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July… not my favorite month.

I feel myself being dragged closer and closer to July 27th. This will be the fourth anniversary of Corey’s attack. The 28th… the day he died.

The days feel like lead weights around my ankles. I trudge along, knowing I cannot stop. If I could stop time, it wouldn’t be now! It would be July 26, 2013.

If I could stop time on that day, I have so many things I’d do!!

I would hold Corey until he couldn’t stand it any more… then hold him some more.

I’d tell him how much I love him (I said “I love you”… but was it enough??).

I’d ask him to go out to dinner with us instead of staying home with his Taco Bell bag.

I’d make him his favorite meal (taco salad… explains the Taco Bell, right?).

I’d ask him to stay home that night.

I’d beg him to spend the evening with his family…

To ignore the invitation to hang out with his friends that Friday night.

I’d watch Hocus Pocus (his favorite childhood movie) with him… again.

Or maybe I’d watch one of his newer favorite movies (no matter how gross it was).

I’d bar the doors.

I’d shutter the windows.

I’d lock him in a room.

I’d warn him not to go out.

I’d go looking for him if he left despite my efforts.

I’d fight off his attacker, even if it meant I’d lose my life.

Can you tell I’ve given this some thought? When your child has been murdered, you think about how you could have stopped it over and over and over… and over… and OVER.

You dwell on things like the “Butterfly Effect”.  You know this term, right? This is the idea that if you went back in time and killed a butterfly, it would change how everything in the world turned out. Which butterfly should I have kept safe on July 26, 2017? Which thing in my day could I have changed to keep Corey alive?

I know these are the words of grief. They aren’t logical. No matter how long I dwell on this, it won’t change the fact that Corey was murdered. This is bargaining. It doesn’t work. But we (grievers) do it on a regular basis. We ruminate about the different ways we could have saved our loved ones. We ask God for a “do-over”.

I know after 4 years that this will never happen. But still the lead weighs my feet down. The burden almost too heavy to keep walking… one foot in front of another. Climbing up this mountain called July. Scraping. Grappling. At times rappelling off the cliffs… barely holding onto the rope that ties me to reality.

August can’t get here soon enough; When I’ve cleared the peak of this mountain of sadness, and can see the year beyond.

What a relief that will be.

Michelle Metje

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