December 5, 2015
My son Joe passed away four years ago today.
As I always do on this day, I find my way into the darkened space of my heart. It is where my pain and anger has burrowed in. It is deep and cleverly hidden. Most of the time. But not today. Today I find it, grab hold of it and pull it out.
Yesterday was the four-year anniversary of Joe's last day here, with us. I have flashing visual memories of the day.
I recall those of us who loved Joe wandering in and out of the room. The room where he would find his final rest. Or perhaps it was me. Yes, it was me. I was the wanderer.
My memories of that day are surreal. I feel confused. What is going on? I don't understand what's happening. I want to pick him up and carry him away from that room. I want to take him away from death.
I close my eyes and I hear the day. The football game is playing on the TV in the room where Joe lay, unconscious. It's loud. Unconsciously, I find myself putting my hands over my ears. It should be quiet. Joe was quiet.
The hospice nurse was sitting on the other bed in the room. Right next to Joe. She told me to talk to him. "He can hear you," she said.
I was irrationally puzzled. How can he hear me? It's so loud in here.
But I tell him, "It's okay Joe. It's okay."
I'm not sure what I meant by that. But it's what a mother says, you know. It's what a mother says.
This one day is the day of my son' death. There is no joy in this day.
But this day, this death day, was not the life of Joe. Tomorrow I will remember the beautiful life that was my Joe.