Unexpected Grief

Grief is an interesting thing. In the immediate aftermath of a tragedy, it is acute and intense. As the weeks and years go by, it ebbs and flows. Sometimes I’m able to anticipate events or situations that will be difficult. And sometimes I am caught completely off guard – like a punch to the gut that I didn’t see coming.

I know July 10th is arriving soon, and I am well aware that day will be hard for me. Just like his birthday and death day, the diagnosis day was the day this whole grief journey started for me. I can plan for it and prepare my heart for the extra tender state it will be in remembering the events of that day.

But blueberry picking this past Saturday? Didn’t see that one coming.

I thought I just wanted to do something different with my littlest two than the usual weekend morning at the house while Daddy and Adele had their time together. I thought I’d try out the only blueberry picking farm in the greater Charlotte area. I thought I was just sharing a fun experience with my one-and-a-half year old, with (hopefully) sleeping newborn baby in-tow. I thought we would get some homemade blueberry ice cream that was advertised after being out in the hot summer sun that morning as a way to cool off.

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And we did all of that. But as my two babies fell asleep quickly in the car after a fun time at the farm, only then did I recall the last time I went blueberry picking: In the North Carolina mountains, shortly after discovering the baby boy inside of me would not be compatible with life outside of me.

The last time I picked blueberries was with Arthur.

When I realized it, I was thankful to have a 30 minute drive home and some sleeping babies – having the space to miss him a little extra that day.