Last week someone remarked that Greg's life had been "long ago". Their words stopped me in my tracks.
I get what they meant. After all, they didn't know Greg. He's someone they know existed in the way this generation know about about dialup internet: interesting to learn about but seemingly without relevance for today.
It's true that thirty-five months is a long time. My son has now lived nearly 1/3 of his life without his dad. I have to scroll and scroll and scroll on my phone to get far enough back in time to find pictures of him. Since his death, a global pandemic ended and life found a post-COVID normal, a new president was elected and another one election cycle is gearing up, and his favorite band has had multiple tours and new albums. Time has passed and life has changed with it.
But thirty-five months also feels like a blip in time. Sometimes it feels like he was just here - not yesterday, surely, but maybe 6 months ago! Some days the grief that's covered by layers of "new normal" rises to the surface and we cry because we miss him and there's nothing we can do to get him back.
Unlike dialup internet that was replaced with something far better, Greg's life (and death) impact us every day. Who we were and who we are was shaped by him. How we experience life and how we walk with God is marked by his fingerprints. A person can meet us and have no idea he existed, but to know us well is to get to know him too.
So thirty-five months looks like being sad less often but still sad many days. It's learning to let go of the past while still bringing him with us into the future.
It was... and it wasn't... so long ago that he was here because he is still a part of us.