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The Last Dance, The Best Laugh

I completed my certification in death and grief studies in 2016. Now I’m studying to become a certified Thanatologist. Whatever I do I go full steam ahead – I’m not always sure why.¬† But at least I’m consistent. So there’s that.

I’m studying tonight about funerals and body disposition (good times) and as I’m reading I can “feel” the picture on the wall behind me. I don’t want to look at it, I’ll cry. I just want to finish my studies. But I know it’s there. Me and Drey at Discovery Cove in Orlando under a waterfall laughing. He was 9. That was such an amazing vacation. One of my favorites – just me and my dude for a week doing whatever we wanted. We laughed so much that week. These are precious memories but they can still be bittersweet. My mind still goes to the dreaded, “when did things go wrong?” question. “What did I miss? Baby, I thought you were happy. When did it change? When you were 10, 13, 18?” There’s no answer to that question other than the Lord patiently and lovingly saying to my soul, “do you trust Me?” Always the same question I get in response to my questions. Yes, Lord, I trust You. I am confidant You loved and continue to love Drey more than I ever could. So much so that You came to earth – the perfect man God – to die for him. Even if it were just him that needed to be saved You still would’ve done it. You love him that much.

Study, study, study… “Linking objects” – any physical object or image that serves to connect a mourner in a comforting or constructive way with a deceased loved one. Some writers express the view that linking objects are a “chain” that should be broken. WHAT? Morons that think they are “grief experts” saying it’s not healthy to have linking objects. Others say, “…the use of linking objects in remembrance rituals can help individuals move from¬† maladaptive to an adaptive style of grieving. In effect, it is a form of directive mourning therapy that allows grieving survivors to take symbolic leave of the deceased.” If someone asked me how I was doing after Drey died I wish I could’ve told them I was embracing a directive mourning therapy using a linking object to take a symbolic leave of Drey. That’s just funny imagining the looks I would’ve gotten with that comment.

Okay… I made it through my reading. Now I can look at the picture that’s been “staring” at the back of my head the past few hours…

Look at that dude. We were so happy and carefree. What a great vacation. My heart. God how I love you Drey.

Denise & Drey Discovery Cove 2003

The Last Dance, The Best Laugh