It's unimaginable that Dan has been gone three years. Some days it seems like forever. And other days it seems like he is just away for the weekend.
Whoever says time heals all was probably just trying to think of something nice to say. If you've ever lost someone, you know that there will never be a time when you don't miss the person... ache to talk to him one more time... see him smile... hear his laugh... But time does start to erase the memories of illness and hospitals and treatments. And for me, I can see him as young and healthy, bouncing around full of life.
Three years is enough to see the lasting impact of loss. I wish so much that Dan were here to see the birth of his best friends' kids and all of his nieces and nephews. I wish that he had a wedding day. I wish he had been able to buy his own house with a yard for a dog (or three, knowing Dan). I wish he could be here in June to have a big party for his 30th. I wish he were here to tell his story because even though we try, there was nothing like his living example of strength and honesty. These things don't ease with time... because as years go by he misses more and more "things". And my heart breaks a little more for him... and for all of us that don't have him in our lives every day.
But, I know that Dan would not want anyone to feel sorry for him. Of course he would want to be missed (and be the center of attention every once in awhile). I think he would like it that his friends will gather tonight and be together. And I think he would understand when we say it still hurts so much because we love so much. And that love will never fade away and never be replaced. Even though my heart is heavy, it is bigger and has more room because of Dan... even his loss. I know all of the good things he brought me will always be with me... and that makes tough anniversaries just a little easier.
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