Oh shit

The grief I thought I had outrun is finally catching up to me in a big way.

I had to take Dylan down to his dorm today and get his remaining stuff out of there. The good news is that he won’t be charged for another semester of housing, given the circumstances.

Another great thing is that I couldn’t fit his portable fridge in my car and the one person I know with a big enough vehicle would spend as much in gas (or more) as the fridge is worth.

He started out wanting to sell it to his roommate but I kept talking about karma and the importance of doing nice things for others without expectations in return. I’m a very firm believer that when you do nice things for others, it will always come back to you in some way.

He paid for the fridge himself so I understood why he wanted to keep it but it was just going to be too impractical to bring it back with us. He’s typically been the most resistant of all my kids to spontaneous acts of kindness and generosity and I’ve been kinda lowkey worried about him. He still fights against a scarcity mindset and I keep trying to teach him generosity.

In the end, he asked his roommate if he just wanted to keep the fridge, which he did. And I was so proud of him for making what I felt was the right call.

Even in the midst of our own suffering, people are being very generous with their help. And we should not be greedy about holding onto our own stuff.

It was such a tough and emotional day for both of us. I really got the sense that he was saying goodbye to College Station, which was very painful for him. We went to HEB (a favorite grocery store we don’t have up here) and got fried chicken from a local favorite place.

I cried a lot on the way home, almost to the point of feeling physically ill from it. I’ll be honest—I’ve never loved the drive there (especially because I always made a round trip in a single day.) But he made a lot of good friends there and he doesn’t know if he’ll ever see them again. I know kinda what that’s like since I’ve made several long-distance moves in my lifetime. But he is so young for that kind of heartbreak.

He may go back in the fall and that situation is always evolving but I also see it as more probable that he won’t. And in a way, that makes me profoundly sad for him. He’ll find his way to something that hopefully isn’t as soul-crushing as his experience there was but I just really hope it isn’t another hard adjustment for him.

But he was already having a hard time with the adjustment, even before J’s health took a very sudden and dramatic turn for the worse. Simply being there caused a lot of physical and mental health problems for him. And while I always told him that he could drop out at any time (and it’s to his credit that he didn’t), I can’t help but also hold myself responsible because I didn’t play up the advantages of taking a gap year or two.

I don’t know where he’ll end up; I guess a lot depends on whether or not I get the life insurance and when.

But I just kept crying over the bitter unfairness that J was taken from me so soon. I had to throw out a Valentines Day card I’d gotten for him when I was cleaning out my trunk in preparation for the trip—I really and truly expected him to be here that long. The speed of his decline to the end came much, much faster than any of us saw coming.

Meanwhile, my MIL is still being horrible. I logged in from J’s account yesterday and she posted one thing about J’s death and then it was on to her usual stuff about wanting to be free of narcissists who don’t understand her and how much she loves her dogs and how much she hated Texas.

I can’t help but think about her stockpile of literal millions of dollars and she never once offered any help with anything.

I don’t know how to sit with my grief, I really don’t. He was my absolute best friend and soulmate. As I’ve said before, he’s always said that to lose me would be like losing a limb, and I feel the exact same way. I just haven’t found a way forward with a limb missing yet. Everything just feels so hard right now.

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