For about an hour tonight I thought I'd lost Greg's favorite water bottle. It shouldn't be a big deal, and if he was alive it would be a frustration that was easily replaced. Even now I could go into our Amazon account and reorder the same thing... I know that.
And I told myself that over and over again. But the thing is- this was his. His hands held this bottle. He put it in his backpack every day on his way to work. It's presence on our counter was evidence that he was here.
About a year ago, our son- who had a matching bottle in a smaller size- started using it. For a long time he refused to decorate it with stickers, unlike our other bottles. This one was his daddy's and he wanted to keep it that way. Over the summer it was labeled with his name for summer camp and just this week it was decorated with the first stickers- stickers Greg designed years ago that resurfaced lately and now adorn our son's bed frame too.
That bottle, and our use of it, has mirrored the slow encompassing of loss in our life- the abrupt change that has taken years to get used to and adapt to. The grief that we've in turn made adapt to us.
At some point we will either have to let go of the bottle or more likely store it away in a memory box to pull out on occasion to reminisce of the time when Greg was here. I know I'll eventually be ready for either, but I wasn't ready to suddenly not have the bottle.
There's this feeling of powerlessness I hate so much when it involves anything of Greg's or is related to his memory. It brings back the horrible feeling of powerlessness I had when he died. I'm afraid of having things that remind me of him abruptly lost or taken away because he was taken away. All I have left are memories and things... like a water bottle.
The water bottle was eventually found and my heart stopped racing. I'll sleep much more soundly tonight. I don't have to face a full-on wave of grief but now I know that there is more grief under the surface than I realized.
But for tonight I'm thankful I don't have to face it all. Tonight, I'm glad the water bottle is safe and sound - a momento of Greg's life that I can hold on to...for now.