capture your grief – day 10: seasons

SEASONS | Is there a particular season of the year that reminds you of your child? Maybe it is the scent in the air or the colour of the trees? What do the seasons bring with them?

It is very very fitting that this prompt of “seasons” is TODAY of all days.

Here in Denver, Colorado, it was hot, in the low 80’s, yesterday. Last evening it went from 79 to 61 in the half hour that my son was at violin practice. Today? Snowing and in the 20’s. Asher’s outdoor field trip for tomorrow has been canceled.


I’ve always liked summertime and called it my favorite season. I like how I can throw on a summer dress and not have to worry about bringing a sweater or coat. It’s easier, with more options and possibilities. Lingering summer evenings…grass volleyball…beach time…

I am ready for seasons to change every 3 months, though. I’m glad I grew up and now live in places that experience distinct seasons.

I think of Kade and my grief with each passage.

In spring there is notable change of darkness to light, brownness to color, death to life. I usually embrace it, along with wistfulness of the incongruity.

In summer, Kade died. Is it still my favorite season? My most dreaded? Well, yes.

Spring and summer sure look different for me now. I contemplate the months and weeks and days before Kade’s death June 29th 2012. In April he became a whitewater rafting guide. In May a friend of his died. Their poor family! How can they bear it!? How is Kade bearing it? Be careful, Kade, people your age can die! And in June he did.

I hate that he drowned after having too much to drink at a party on a summer night. I love whitewater rafting on the anniversary of his death and feeling close to him with all those sounds, scents, and sensations.


Rafting to Remember Kade 2019, Arkansas River (Kade’s river)

Fall. It’s my husband’s favorite season. October is when we got married. In Colorado, it’s (mostly) pleasant with deep blue skies and warm daytime air. It also is a harbinger of shorter days and painful poignancy of the upcoming overblown holiday season.

My chubby, adorable, healthy baby boy, Kade, was born in winter. My firstborn. Such a spiritual and loving time.

This year, this season change, today, I look forward to winter. I am ready. Our late and wintry spring brought a late and hot summer. The 90s and then the 80’s seemed to go on forever. I’m ready for boots, scarves, sweaters, hoodies, and crispness in the air. To hunker down with my little family on dark evenings.


Our Kade tree this morning

With my life’s work centering on healthy coping, self-compassion, and self-care, I feel fortified and ready for the hibernation, as well as the work that can take place in the quieter times.









capture your grief, day 23: sounds, seasons, and scents

Sounds: This is a different way to think of remembering Kade. Sounds. I can never hear the kickflip of a skateboard, or the jarring but not unpleasant sound of a skateboard deck scraping along a paved curb without thinking of Kade. Passing a skate park makes me freeze for a moment.

The bass line of any song brings to mind his focused form sitting on his bed teaching himself riffs. I have a bursting folder of bass tabs he printed from online.


Kade’s folder of bass tabs. Mostly Primus.

Seasons: all of them. When spring approaches there is an excitement of rebirth, but the sting that not everything can be reborn. With summer comes my favorite season whose associations were traveling, volleyball, and summer dresses. Now the season first and foremost brings the anniversary of Kade’s death on June 29th. When fall comes, the colors and crisp nights remind that winter, ski season (Kade’s favorite), is around the corner. As well as Christmas with its special brand of heartache, and his birthday, and the turn from one year that hasn’t seen Kade in it to yet another that will not.

Scents: Sometimes when I smell cigarette smoke on clothing I think of Kade, and his friends. And AXE Body Spray doused over cigarette smoke on clothing? A direct olfactory path back to some early teen times. One of my favorite times and places in my memory is him in a clean white t-shirt and pajama pants (with little penguins with Santa hats on), sitting in his satellite chair in the basement. I would come down to tell him goodnight. Sometimes I would lean in and kiss his just-showered head. Damp and freshly shampooed.