I drive by the site where Nolan took his life almost every day.
I drive down this road every weekday morning to get Sam to school. We tend to be late and it is the most direct way to school. When it happened there was no road there. A big dirt pile remains and that is around where it happened. For months I did not know details other than the general area. Many months after they put in the road I asked Scott to show me. You see he went to the site the day after. He said he had to. No way I could. I said I would I not even exit the subdivision that way.
Weeks later I got enough courage to take that exit near the site. I didn’t cry. I didn’t break down. Wow. I can do this. I am not paralyzed with grief.
When I go down this road I tend to look towards the dirt pile. I do not think of what happened there. His last act is not the summary of his life.
I look and I remember him. I remember his smile. His laugh. He had a great laugh.
I don’t know if Sam thinks about Nolan when we drive this road. Maybe… maybe not. His grief is so different than mine. Sam told me he was done grieving about two weeks after Nolan passed. He was fourteen when Nolan took his life. I think he will grieve not having his older brother when he is an adult.
Someday the dirt pile will be gone. It will be part of someone’s front yard.
Life goes on.
I will still go down that road and think of Nolan.