Saturday, June 27, 2009

On When Does That Expire?:

Some of you have noticed my moodiness lately. It’s not surprising, because in ten days it will have been ten years since my son died in a car accident.

I’ve learned to put my grief away and enjoy my life again. I’ve gotten to know this new person I’ve become. This person who has scars on her heart and soul from being torn apart so very thoroughly that day. I’m here and standing each day, still wondering how I’ve managed it.

I am beyond that point where grief and love mean the same thing. I don’t need to show my grief as proof of my loving for my son. I see him not as some godlike child, but as the nice, yet flawed (as we all are) human being he was.

Ten years is a long time. A lot of things have changed in that time. The world he lived in no longer exists. He didn’t know of Taliban or massive recession, my cancer or of my being grossly overweight. He never met his sister’s soon to be new husband. That she became a nurse or that she lives in Boston.

Other people have come and gone in that time. Cousins of his have gotten married and had children of their own, also the miscarriage or two in there as well. My son had been the oldest of that generation of the family. They moved into adulthood with their own gains and losses without him. The extended family has grown up and grown in number.

Life still has promise for his sister as she readies herself for her wedding day and plans to start a family of her own. But the future promises of his life are all dead and buried with him, no wedding day or children to enjoy.

I live each day in a middle space. Happy and sad at the same time. I see a future and a past stamped on everything I look at. But unconsciously, I find myself looking for the expiration date, only because I know it is there somewhere. I discovered it nearly ten years ago on the day my son died.


Judith said...

Ok, can I throw some Rilke at you? I am reading your post and I am thinking of one of the letters he wrote, one that remains with me in the midst of my . . . stuff. It says (and I'll cut the stuff that doesn't immediately pertain to what my thoughts are), " You have had many and great sadnesses, which passed. And you say that even this passing was hard for you and put you out of sorts. ... Were it possible for us to see further than our knowledge reaches, and yet a little way beyond the outworks of our divining, perhaps we would endure our sadnesses with greater confidence than our joys. ... many signs indicate that the future enters into us in this way in order to transform itself in us long before it happens. And this is why it is so important to be lonely and attentive when one is sad: because the apparently uneventful and stark moment at which our future sets foot in us is so much closer to life than that other noisy and fortuitous point of time at which it happens to us as if from outside."

*sigh* I think you are living these thoughts, being attentive to your feelings because they are "much closer to life" than anything else. Something is transforming itself within you. I think it is beautiful.


Lady, I forwarded your post to my brother who lost his only child in a senseless auto wreck over two years ago. He grieves so much and so deep. Don't know if it will help or hurt, but I did want him to know that he is not alone.