In the silence of this house, when I am by myself the question “why” comes up a lot. I don’t ask others to share in providing an answer, because I fear their responses. Some say it was your time. Some say God pulled you out because He was aware of something worse that could happen. Imagine that! Some climbers in their fear have speculated that you had to have done something wrong. Thankfully there has been re-examination of fixed pins at the climbing site and warning signs (for what they are worth) will be installed by the park service. None of which changes this outcome. You are gone.
I try not to spend too much time in worthless speculation – worthless in that it does not change anything now for us. I am not sure what I do focus on. I have grief attention deficit. GAD zooks!
Sorry but that makes me laugh, however real it is.
I get things done each day. I focus a little longer before the floor drops out from under me. I still actively yell at the intrusive thoughts.
Yesterday I got a message from one of your best friends. I thought he was saying that he was coming to town. It was his wife and son who were coming, both of whom I would have loved to see. I found a note on the door when I returned home from working in Asheville. When I got the message from your friend I had a mini breakdown. I wanted so badly to see him and hug him. He is not a substitute, but there is something about those friends of yours that you loved that somehow makes me think I can find a scrap of you there. When I found out he was not coming the tears came. It was a good thing that there were not many visitors to the gallery yesterday where I was working.
I guess I am a bit lonely for the information concerning your friends with whom we had a connection through you. I know, I know. They have their own lives to get on with. It makes me wonder if I have left people behind wondering what ever happened to me. I am sure we make them feel sad. It must add to their grief. I would certainly avoid it if I could.
I talk to parents who have lost children . I used to log in to a chat room every week , sometimes several times a week, but I don’t now. I don’t know why either. Sadly, new members join every day. Maybe that is the problem. They remind me vividly of the path we are traveling and take me back to sign posts I have already passed. Some have lost children to car accidents, home accidents, suicide, illness. All of us asking the same questions. All of us turning over the information in our hands, trying to make sense of it. All of us left with the same outcome.
Our children are gone. The painful details, speculation and well meaning remarks remain. None of which help us.
You want to know what has helped? It helps when people give me the space to talk about you without flinching. It helps when a close friend or your dad and I can talk and shed our tears together. It helps to remember the wonderful times and strangely the bad times with you. It helps to talk to your sister who does not necessarily shed a tear, but who can talk about you sincerely because of how well she knows you. That helps me embrace how real you were in every way. It helps to knit. Something in the rhythm of the stitches helps calm me. It helps to exercise, though I don’t remember to use it as often as I should. I have found comfort talking to my handful of friends who have lost a child. Pottery class helps – again the rhythm of the wheel – working on the clay. Painting helps some when I can concentrate on it. Writing makes me cry so I haven’t been writing as often.
I have noticed that some people derive comfort from slogans and cliches. Whatever it takes to help you get through the day.
Aches and pains seem magnified. Perhaps it is the undercurrent of depression that makes this so. Maybe it is simply because I am getting older.
I really hate this. I hate accidents and illness and depression. I hate it that children die. I hate that most of our life is spent dealing with death – others and our own. We hop from stone to stone trying to cross to who knows where without falling in or being swept away by the current.
The world is not a safe place.
I am missing you so much. I am cycling through some hard things against my will. Yearning, ache are not big enough words. You would probably not recognize me in my grief. I never knew this was possible, and I am somewhat embarrassed by it because I always thought I was supposed to be so strong for my family. Living in tough stuff.
I continue to pray, but the prayers have changed. I pray for strength, endurance and wisdom and for love – nothing more. People who have not experienced this type of grief in their life can create a fickle puppeteer god who pulls strings here and there. I don’t believe a God of Love can be so manipulative or punitive. If this is His creation as extolled by so many then I pray for their minds to be enlarged to begin to comprehend the vastness of it all. If creation and the universe is a measure of God then we have not glimpsed the hem of the garment let alone touched it. You have witnessed that majesty from perspectives I have not seen. You were a man after His own heart, a man of mercy and justice and a mirror of His love. No wonder you never recognized Him in the words of men. We don’t “get” God any more than we do the meaning of life or death. I am oddly okay with that.
I’ll say this for you babe. You made the best of the time you were here.
I hope some day someone can say the same for me.