I have spent every day for the past two years, five months and ten days figuring out how to make it through each of these days. I think I have done pretty well. I have stopped thinking about any of them as wasted or lost or without value. They are days where I got up and ate and drank, I painted and knitted, I wrote and talked to people. I took walks and I played with the dogs. I learned new skills and explored new ideas. To a lot of people out there I appeared as normal as I ever have and that is questionable in itself. But I know who I am now – inside- and I am working on making sure that I don’t allow the anger which is fear to take over.
I am not a failure because there has been suffering in my family. It is a painful part of life that none of us will escape. It may be that we have different reasons for our suffering, but we will all have pain. You don’t need to pity me. I am no different than you – I have just had a few more cards dealt to me than you have. Either that or you just hold your cards closer to your chest.
If I make you feel more blessed because you have not had the things happen in your life that I have in mine, then please give an extra measure of thanks. Give thanks and pray for the ability to endure time. If you think that my family and I have done things to deserve any of this then you are in need of more help than any blog or diary could provide and you are the one who deserves pity.
Blessed are those who if they cannot simply say “I am sorry.” say nothing at all.
Blessed are those who do not try to understand or give advice.
Blessed are those who are willing to stay close despite the fact they may be dampened by my tears.
Blessed are those who offer companionship but not advice about this grief.
Blessed are those who have also suffered this loss and continue to talk and listen and wait patiently while all of us move through our days – in our own way – at our own pace.
There is no place that I go that my son is not there because I carry him with me always. Always.
He was never separate or cut loose from my heart or mind. He was not dependent but relied on, not controlled but observed and admired.
As an artist I collect images and moods and moments. I, like Mary the mother of Jesus, have quite a collection that I treasure up in my heart.
The trick is to not stop – but to continue to add treasures, to not dwell only on those from the past. It is an effort, but when achieved I feel a measure of satisfaction and maybe it stems partly from my son who in my heart echoes my achievement.
So at this time when families gather whether just for the sake of being family or because they celebrate the birth of the baby who grew to be the man called the Son of God it is still and continues to be about that human connection. Hands reach to touch, we pause to see, to collect the moments to treasure in our heart because while on this earth as it turns out, it is all we have that will endure.
May your holidays hold moments you may treasure.