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How Long Will It Take?
Grief Journey, Losing a Child

How Long Will It Take?

Three months after our son died back in May 2019, I called my friend’s sister whose son had tragically died the year before.

“How long will it take before I stop crying every day?” I asked.

“It takes a while,” she said.

I told her about the aqua t-shirt hanging in my closet, unworn, tags still on it. I’d purchased it just weeks before our world exploded. I couldn’t imagine ever being able to wear it given our new reality. I might as well donate it, I mused.

On the front was a sailboat and three words: Life Is Good.

“Life Is Good,” the company that sells apparel, donates 10% of its profits to a foundation that helps kids. I love supporting them.

But I felt the sentiment would never define my life again. How could it?

“I promise you’ll wear it one day, “Jen assured. “And when you do, I want you to take a selfie and send it to me.”

Sure enough, a few months later, I went camping and wore the shirt. Granted, I cried off and on during campfire time and a few other moments. But it was a start.

Over the course of the next two years, I’ve literally worn the shirt out. For Christmas this past year, I asked my husband for a new one. To make shopping easier, I sent him a link to the website with two shirts sporting turtles (my fave!) and two color choices. He bought both.

I’m wearing one of them today. Truth is, life is hard without our son. Very hard. But it’s still good. Very good.

About the Author

Mary Gilzean

Mary Gilzean lost her 28-year-old son to suicide in May 2019. She joined the Alliance of Hope community the following year, which has been a safe port in this grief storm.Read More »