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 7 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.
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, 6 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. I’ve been writing a book about my journey of surviving Davey’s death and it’s bittersweet. The sweet part is all of the great memories I have with Davey – fun times, lots of laughs. The bitter part is all we have lost, the extreme grief, the impossible reality of living without him.
I don’t use the word ‘healing’ in relationship to the grief and loss I’ve experienced from Davey’s death because that sounds like it goes away. 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 –
the pain of permanence.
Miss you, Davey.
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