Lagoon and Loss

One of my boys on a trip to Lagoon five years ago.

One of my boys on a trip to Lagoon five years ago.

I took a trip to Lagoon this week and found myself near the circling whales. Bulgy the Whale has been a favorite ride of each of my boys at some point and my two-year-old smiled the entire time he rode up and down and round and round.

As I watched him ride I was taken back five years to the summer of 2010. We lost Luca that spring and a few family members pitched together to buy me, my husband, and our two living children, season passes to the local amusement park.

I didn’t realize how great that present was until after taking the boys a few times. Those passes gave me mindless, numbing entertainment at a time when I couldn’t think straight.

I would drive my boys 20 minutes to Lagoon then push them in the double stroller stopping to ride dozens of kiddie rides until my 2 and 4 year olds wore out.

I remember waiting with them in line, helping lift them up, then strapping them in. Then I’d sit back while they rode for hours.

I didn’t have to think. I could walk around like a zombie while they had the time of their lives.

As I watched my fourth little boy take his turn loving the whale ride, I couldn’t help but remember how much that ride saved me that summer, how all of those rides – the cars, the boats, and Puff the Magic Dragon – saved us that summer.

I honestly don’t know how my husband and I made it through that year.

How did he get up and go to work? How did I go grocery shopping and make meals? How did we go on doing all the things we had to do despite our heartache?

Much of that year is a blur to me – probably because I walked around in a sorrowful stupor.

And although I still think of Luca every day, my mind and heart are now able to look beyond his death.

Yet no matter how far I think I have come and how much I think I’ve grieved, there are times when a memory or a smell or a word takes me back and my heart hurts for the loss of our little boy. Like earlier this week when I watched another one of my cute, little boys laugh and laugh as he rode in the whale.

Trips to Lagoon will be quite different this year than they were five years ago. But I’ll never forget how great it was for me while I was lost in my grief.

Thank heavens I had Lagoon that summer.

Thank heavens I had Bulgy.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jackie Herrin
    Jun 18, 2015 @ 12:07:47

    That’s a favorite ride of ours too! Lagoon was similar for us during our summer of miscarriages in 2011. We went multiple times a week and loved every second. And at the end of each day the spirit would whisper to me that I wouldn’t have been riding rides or even be there at all if I had been pregnant. While my heart ached for another baby, it was really the best summer of my life spent with a child in each hand riding baby rides all day. If at the end of my life I could re-live any day, I think (so far) I would choose one of those days. We need to meet up at Lagoon this summer!


    • Natalie
      Jun 24, 2015 @ 23:13:26

      Jackie – we are kindred spirits. We have had so many similar experiences that I swear we were destined to be friends. I love that you have a connection to Lagoon as well. Let’s plan a time to meet up there. I’ll send you a Facebook message in the next week or so!


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