Those we still have in our lives are weaving tiny threads through our life in such a subtle way that we barely notice. Connections made through interests we share, expressions and habits they have both good and bad, possessions they hold dear. There are collections of objects all around me that have been given to me or touched by my family. When we see something our spouse or child might like we think about them. We accept the reminder as a part of our day.
The threads that bind me to my son are still there. Reminders come every day and sometimes are like a flood.
I am on Facebook. On the wall there were some posts that have jolted me. One was from a friend who is a climber. Her husband had been climbing and told her “he was still alive” after a climb. I think the words jolted her too from the comment she made. Another friend posted “Souls go to heaven, organs do not.” We received a letter from one of the recipients of our’s son’s organs Saturday. It always sets us back on our heels. Then today there is a post from a friend that they are vacationing at the place where the accident occurred that took our son’s life. They are at a resort near the area.
None of these particular posts would have caused me a second glance a little over a year ago. Sometimes with a knee jerk reaction I block or delete some folks posts. It is not out of anger towards them. Sometimes I avoid Facebook and the internet for days because there is just TMI.
We have phrases we use without thinking. “Almost broke my neck.” “I feel brain dead.” I hear someone say that they could kill their child. They don’t mean anything by it – I know. I’ve said stupid things like that myself. Now the phrases seem crazy and cruel.
In the Bible, in the book of James it talks about taming the tongue. It has taken on new meaning for me. Be careful, little mouth, what you say.
My husband and I watch “The Big Bang Theory“. The characters seem like a hyperbole of some of my son’s friends and colleagues. I recognize some characters from my own days in school. There is not one exact match among the characters on the show, but there are hilarious similarities. We watch it as a form of self soothing. We laugh and though I doubt they intended this outcome sometimes it makes me shed a tear.
There is a hawk nesting somewhere above us on the mountainside. I hear it during the day when I am outside with the dogs. It’s voice is strong and loud so I assume it is not a bluejay mocking a hawk as my son taught me that they are known to do. If it is a bluejay then that is okay too. We got a catalogue from Tom’s Shoes, addressed to him or current occupant. He liked those shoes.
Feverishly I have been backing up every digital picture file I have. I can’t stand the thought of loosing one image of him or my daughter or husband.
Life itself is a reminder of him.
Every bereaved parent could sit for days and weeks on end and try to list everything they miss about their child – but life does not make time for that. We want to talk about them, but we don’t know what to say – so much of our memory of them has no words because it is the love we have for them. It is the hope we had for their future. It was the anticipation of what they would do and where they would go. We wanted to see their unique gifts come to full flower.
The bereaved parent is easily derailed by simple things. Sounds, smells and flashes of memory that come unbidden. For those who have lived in this state for years I understand it still happens to them. We miss our child or children. We are still connected by a million little threads that all attach directly to our heart.