The Pain of Permanence

May 18, 2016 my world blew up – thrusting me into a dark, confusing, very sad place.  A place of grief.  A place I never wanted to go.  My son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty.

I have had other people very close to me die – my mother, father and older brother.

But this was not the same.  Not even close.  And I can’t even explain how much worse it has been compared to other deaths in my family.

My first year after Davey was killed was filled with a swirl of emotions.  My heart was smashed as the light Davey brought into my life disappeared.  My plans and dreams for him were ripped away.  I was smacked in the face with situations that were extremely tough.  It all hurt.  That first year was unbelievably difficult.

I was hoping the second year would be better.  People always say that the first year is the worst, don’t they?

But it wasn’t.  In the second year, I began to feel the pain of permanence.  The reality of life long-term without Davey didn’t seem possible.  But it was happening.

And it keeps happening.  I have experienced how empty his birthday feels without him 5 times. I know what Christmas and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are like without Davey.

I know the heartbreak behind the smiles when we celebrate the birthdays of his children when a very happy and proud father is missing.

There are no words to describe how awful the permanence of this situation feels.  It’s impossible.  I believe strongly in the goodness of God…..but this doesn’t feel good.

In the months following May 18, 2016, I had no idea how my family and I would find our way back to our normal.  Now, 5 1/2 years later, I understand that we will never go back.

That time, that place is gone.

My life – our life – back there is gone.

So we have to move forward – a new life, a new reality, a new normal.

Sometimes this new place is filled with sadness as the unending reality of the situation painfully etches itself onto my soul.  Most of the time light shines through the darkness and the blessings that fill my life today overcome the sadness.

I don’t use the word ‘healing’ in relationship to grief and loss I’ve experienced from Davey’s death because that sounds like it goes away, becomes a barely visible scar.  I don’t think that’s a good description of this journey of survival.  Often something will happen that touches a piece of my broken heart and the tears that slide down my face are visible evidence of how much I have lost.  I’m gradually getting used to my life without Davey but this broken heart is not going away and it’s not invisible.

In some ways, each new year gets more difficult –

because this is feeling more and more permanent.

Miss you, Davey.

Love you.

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