Awoke to a bright, blue sky morning. A walk in the sunshine along the ocean later today wins out over an indoor swim at the local pool. The sun lights up the floating shelf in the den, dedicated to pictures and mementos of Michael, as well as Kelly. Knowing it had been quite some time since I last dusted up there, I grabbed a cloth, and one by one, removed each piece in order to clean them, as well as the shelf itself.
I reflected on the memory of each precious item: the photo of the two of them at our oldest daughter's rehearsal dinner, a candle I had lit for Kelly at a Compassionate Friends event, a picture of Michael as a young teen, another of him as an adult, a starfish decoration representing "as above, so below" from a dear friend, a silk butterfly from a floral arrangement sent by a salon owner I had only met a few times, the framed Post-it Note Michael had written to remind the two of them what had to be dealt with before they departed the cabin that fateful morning, and a tiny crystal bowl cradling found pennies, feathers, a baby picture, and more.
Midway through this process, it dawned on me that the sadness that had been creeping into my body and soul over these past few days was most certainly due to the fact that the anniversary date of the accident was looming. In nine days, we will be at the ten year marker. A decade since he passed. The word decade has weight, representing a significant span of time with respect to human life, but of course, with respect to grief, it means little. One year, five years, ten years, it hardly matters ... none of the anniversaries really feel much easier than the others.