Today I am calling my friends. It was the birthday of one of my closest, dearest friends yesterday, so I didn’t want to call any of them, as I knew they were having a party for her and didn’t want them to have this in their heads. I have only been able to tell three people. Apparently that is my limit. That is the most times I can say the words “Killed in a motorcycle accident” without completely losing my sanity. I can’t say it anymore. To say it again would be to make it real, and it can’t be real. Can it? It’s all some sick joke someone’s playing on us. It’s not really him. It’s someone else’s son, brother, cousin, nephew, not ours. It can’t be OUR Greg.
But it is our Greg. And it is OUR beloved son, brother, cousin, nephew. And there is no escaping or changing that fact.
I went over to my aunt and uncle’s house both yesterday and today and it was excruciating. No one should ever be a witness to that kind of pain. They have to be the two strongest people I know, because if I were them, I would be under the bed trying to figure out how to breathe, and talking to friends or family would be beyond my capabilities. But there they are, functioning, making decisions, talking to people. Breathing. And they humble and amaze me.
They left for Arizona today to bring Greg home. For one last time the entire family will be together for a road trip. If I remember correctly, to get where they are going they will most likely pass the spot where he died. I can only imagine what that will be like for them. Are there flowers? Candles? Are there little remembrances as there so often are at sites like this?
While we were driving back from Lake Arrowhead late Friday night, things kept running around and around and around. Aside from the memories of the past and the loss to come, a few images kept showing up.
This one was taken, I think, at his older sister’s birthday party. I don’t know what was happening when this was taken, but it makes me laugh every time I see it. He just looks so annoyed.
The next was taken at my Aunt J’s house. She always had family over for New Year’s Eve, and we’d stay the night. This must be the next morning, and it so perfectly captures Greg: full of energy, going non-stop, and a little bit wild.
And finally, this one. He dyed his hair blue about a year ago. I remember when he sent this picture to my cell phone. I laughed and laughed because it was so typically Greg, and I thought he looked good with blue hair! He had both the personality and the build to pull something like that off.
While searching for those photos, I came across a few others. This past summer I spent some time in Arizona and his sister came out to go with me to the Grand Canyon. We went to Greg’s school so he could show it off for me. We were standing outside the main building and I wanted a picture, so I said, “Hey, smile! I want a picture!” And simultaneously, this is what they did…
They are their father’s children.
This picture was taken before a homecoming dance, I think. The two brothers. This picture also cracks me up because Chris never learned to walk. He strutted from the moment his feet touched the ground. He was Mr. Cool, whereas Greg was the space nerd. In this picture, there Chris is… He looks good and he knows it. And I can almost hear Greg snickering at him and saying “Get over yourself, dude.”
There are other, better, more important pictures of Greg. Pictures of graduations, his senior high school photo, the family pictures taken with his siblings, with his parents, with his grandparents, but those pictures above are my favorites because they show his personality. They show how he really was. I’ll stop counting the days soon…probably after the funeral, but until then…
Today was the second day without Greg.
A Grieving Guppy