I haven’t written here in over a week, for various reasons, and I miss it. But I’ll have to miss it for just a little while longer, because this is the time of year where I head off to camp for a week. It’s always been my favorite week of the summer, and it’s never disappointed. High standards, to be sure.
But this year, even though I’m still looking forward to it, I’m also a little bit scared. Or maybe nervous is more accurate. Because this year we’re missing one of our most valuable players. This year we’re missing D.
We had a team meeting about a month and a half ago, to plan out the week and get everything in order, and it was so strange without him there. I think we all wanted to believe that he just couldn’t make it that weekend, even though we knew otherwise.
There’s a part of me that feels like the rest of our group has come to terms with his death better than I have, if that’s possible. I feel like because they’re all still together, all still living in the same general area and seeing each other on a regular basis, they’ve just been better equipped to deal. I don’t know if that’s true or not. And it’s probably not that easy to judge. But it’s still been on my mind.
Each time that I think I’ve accepted the loss and, not moved on, but moved forward, something happens to send me back. It’s a good thing you can’t see tear stains on a blog.
I’ve been trying to prepare myself, as we get closer and closer to the start of camp, for the inevitable questions. D was such a big part of these campers’ lives – they know him; they love him; they look forward to seeing him every year, and seeing which character he’ll be playing in the running skit of the week. It will be glaringly obvious that he’s not there this year, and I’m dreading the question: why?
I don’t want to discount a middle schooler’s ability to deal with death. I know firsthand that it’s possible. But to lose someone who was so young, to a disease that is so completely degenerative (and whose cause still isn’t completely understood) is a near impossible thing to wrap your head around. For any of us. And, selfishly, I don’t want to have to be the one to say it out loud. It’s hard enough to type it.
We leave tomorrow and I haven’t told any of the rest of the team yet how nervous I am. Though, considering they can read me like an open book, maybe I won’t have to.
In any case, please send good thoughts this way. It will be a fun week, but it will undoubtedly be a rough one, as well.