I haven’t been able to write anything to post here for some time. It is not because I don’t have things I want to say. If anything it is because I have too much I want to say and nothing seems adequate.
I keep waiting for something to change, for there to be a shift towards a gentler acceptance of the fact that my son is gone. I keep waiting for all sorts of things because of ideas that occur to me or ideas others suggest. I am just going to be where I am for the unforeseeable future so it is the expectations that may need to be ignored.
I feel like I am bragging when I talk about how wonderful my son was and how close we were. Would that particular closeness have continued had he lived? Would him choosing a mate have changed things? Questions like these are part of those things that I am trying to ignore. Who knows? No one will ever know. Speculation is frustrating.
Remembering is frustrating too. Remembering things you wish you could have done differently, opportunities that were missed, harsh words you wish you had never spoken. Those moments are gone but the impression they left has fossilized now and it makes it harder to ignore them.
There are so many memories.
Those who are left in my life need to be appreciated. How dare I allow grief to interfere with appreciating them and creating memories with them. I work hard at compartmentalizing so that when I am with another person I love I can give them as much attention as they deserve. Perhaps I over compensate. It is exhausting and I second guess myself.
I see videos of military personnel returning home and their dogs greeting them. I picture my son walking through the door and his aged dog seeing him again. Why do we make up such scenarios? As if the reality is not hard enough.
Keeping things that were his and not using them is something I continue to struggle with. I struggle with using his clothes and books or giving them away. It is as if by doing so I have to really truly finally believe he is gone.
He is gone.
My Facebook feed is full of posts of parents who have lost children. I avoid Facebook sometimes because of that. Their new, raw horror is too much for me. I tell them I am sorry for their loss and hate the fact those six simple words are the only words that I or anyone can say. Those words that in proportion to the loss should be stretched across the universe scrolling down eternally like the banner in the Star Wars movies.
Comfort? That is a tough one. Taking comfort in . . . what exactly? There again there is an entire litany of words, platitudes, nice quotes, well intended suggestions, but comfort? Perhaps I have to face the fact that I don’t want any. Perhaps I take comfort in my discomfort and everyone who by exposure to me that finds themselves uncomfortable for that brief encounter will just have to get over it.
Actually, unless you know me very very well, as my daughter and husband do – you might never know. You might forget where I live until someone says something randomly – “I almost broke my neck” or “I thought I would die” or some other phrase.
Yet here is where I live – navigating what seems like a mine field of grief.
Triggers? Let’s see – how many examples do you want? Songs, smells, weather changes, season changes, holidays, TV shows, food, tall young men, guitars, birds, bugs, lizards, silver VW Jetta station wagons, rock-climbing videos or commercials, clothing especially Patagonia clothing, plaid shirts, Birkenstocks and beer.
I bartered for a painting at an art show I participated in recently. The painting is of a murder of crows on a limb. It is entitled “Leaving Home” There are four birds in the painting. Three sit looking one direction and one is facing the opposite direction. I attribute a different meaning to this painting than other’s might.
I am like an electrical wire whose insulation has been stripped in places. I spark and fire and short out now and then – but I try to keep letting the current flow while it can. I try, but you may want to give me some room.