It’s a compulsion to ask, “what if we had done things differently?”
But I think it’s also a compulsion to ask, “what could have been?”
I certainly have wondered that more than a few times over the last six years. What would our life look like? How different would it be? How would Levi fit into our family personality wise? What would the family dynamics be like with him around?
I can’t help but imagine how different life would be with him.
My nephew drew this picture of our family. I immediately thought of Levi when I saw the gap and then read his note on the back; he had intentionally left a space for Levi.
This is quite honestly how we see our family. With a big gaping hole.
I can’t help but see the gap.
When 3 out of 4 towel hooks are used.
When the three kids sit on the couch and there is space for the fourth.
When our six person family fits at a table for five.
I often wonder, what would be? How would life be different? For us, for our kids, for our families, for our friends?
Because grief does this. It doesn’t only take away our person from this moment; loss takes them from all future moments.
I am reading a grief book right now that talks about ‘counterfactual thinking’ and how this is a mental process within grief. There is a compulsion to lean into what could have been, an alternate reality. To try and put current knowledge back into the past. It’s impossible, but a common factor in grief. Because we will never see what could have been, we will wonder what would have been.