There are pictures I hide on Facebook. I go to the little downward pointing arrow at the right and I click “hide”. Sometimes they are offensive photos or poster/sayings, sometimes they are personal photos of young people engaged in their activities – risky activities. Rock climbing and ropes dangling from who knows where for who knows what reason (and they are dangling there).
I can’t stop them from engaging in those activities. It is their choice as it was my son’s.
I went to the drag races yesterday for the first time in my life. My husband and brother-in-law had asked me to go for years. We went and watched the trials. It was very interesting and very loud. I had double ear protection and it was still loud.
My risky behavior is that I drive on the road with everyone else. I drove home last night – extremely tired and rolling along at speeds of 55 – 70 mph in the dark on an interstate highway. My husband was nodding off beside me in the passenger seat. I cranked the radio up loud. I turned the air conditioner down low so that I was shivering.
I eat food with fat in it. I climb stairs – though I have learned the hard way to hold the rail. I have a hot tub and climb in and out of it. I live on the earth.
Life is risky. That fact does not answer my need to understand why I am in my life where I am.
The angry, frustrating reality that life can end very abruptly is hard to get my head around. Sure old people get sick and die and I am getting old. There are probably disease processes setting up housekeeping in my body as I type. Cataracts are forming on my eyes and arteries are clogging as surely as my bathroom water pipes.
My son was too young with too much good to do with his life. I depended on him for love and acceptance and to spur me on to good works. He was beautiful and charming and intelligent and kind.
This is our second year without him and it is so hard. The void and missing him has reached a fever pitch inside my heart. On a scale of one to ten, I’m at a 9.5. Funny thing is to the watching world I think I probably look fine.
The men and women who drive those dragsters surprised me at how physically small they are in stature. They squeeze into that tiny space inside that incredibly dangerous machine and barrel down that strip at an insane speed. Out of their uniform and dressed in everyday clothes I bet I wouldn’t recognize them on these street.
Maybe the grieving need a platform to operate in and a uniform they can don to walk out and express how incredibly dangerous they are feeling. Something like the smoke and flames and noise at the drag race – an outlet for the incredible frustration that they want to scream to the world.
Maybe I should have screamed at the top of my lungs as the dragsters screamed down that strip making my insides vibrate as they roared by.
I roar inside every day. Every single day. I roar and rage at the circumstances that claimed my son, that claimed so much joy.
I rage at the danger of life. And then I put on my street clothes and walk out my door and get in my dangerous car and go do those things that are expected of me as living breathing member of this life. It makes no sense.
There is nothing I can do about it. Words and ideas that help don’t last long.
My son was my friend and companion. He made it very clear that he loved me and accepted me for who I am. I use that sometimes to get me to move forward. I remind myself that he had expectations of me.
So pull out the tanker trucks and spray out the glue. Run the funny little roller machines out over the track so my wheels will stick and I can get traction to roar away into another day before that little flame dwindles. That little flame of hope in my heart that grief likes to quench so quickly with my tears.