So far this year, the AC is having one of those years when it comes to the anniversary of Rich's death. It's compounded by his being able to search the internet.
Last Thursday he had a panic attack of epic proportions, during which he worked up into a state of hysteria to the point of being sick. Whilst much of what he said was incoherent, he was able to explain his fear of us all leaving him, of letting Rich down, letting us down, letting his squadron down. Since then we have wrapped him in a bubble of support. School have been fantastic, I've emailed them to let them know what's happening, various teachers have been in contact to say if there's anything he's mentioned in their lessons or if his behaviours at school are a little off. The squadron have been very supportive, keeping him busy, keeping him active and double checking that he is ok. J has been just a tower of strength. He understands that this year is obviously going to be a bad one, and that there is no good reason for that, it just is. He and the AC are more like mates these days, with a lot of mickey taking, and playing about, but there have been a few hugs in the last few days, and I've seen J assessing the mood before saying something deliberately stupid a couple of times.
The internet has helped in some ways. AC has read the newspaper reports again, he has read the inquest report (inasmuch as it is reported in the paper. Only I know the full extent, because I was there. No-one else bothered and the AC was too young.) and he has read a few of the obituaries that were left for Rich.
And then he found the Virtual Memorial Garden, and scrolled down to Hannis. That confused him all over for a while. It's something the She-Ex wrote for some reason best known to the two of them when she'd decided he was dead. (He once told me that it was because he wanted to call it all off, and she didn't like it, so he stopped answering her emails and so on. I don't know. I wasn't there!) Anyway, the AC found it online, read it, didn't understand and so we've had to go through the whole thing last night. We talked about the toxicity of some relationships, we talked about the accident, we talked about the reports he'd read, we talked about the Memorial that Lori had written, we looked at the dates and the way it was written, and we were able to work towards an acceptance and a laughing in the end.
Admittedly, the laughing came because I showed him a real memorial that Melissa had created for Rich, and there was an advert on the side for some rather nice lingerie, modelled by a generously endowed young lady. The AC was of the opinion that Rich would have enjoyed that being his advert.
I have to agree ;-)