Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What It Feels Like to Lose A Son

At first, icy shock numbed the fresh wound.   Like a cold compress it made my body quake.
Catatonically,  I smiled and nodded at words of wisdom as if I understood.  I mirrored and mimicked your sympathetic looks.  "I greatly appreciated" all of  your "xoxoxo's ".

In the beginning I cried uncontrollably.   I choked and gagged as convulsive sobs stole my breath away.   And I smiled and nodded and agreed that "yes, it will take time."

Then slowly my burning tears began to melt away the protective icy shell   The soothing spell of the hypnotic state to which I had become accustomed was being chipped away by doses of harsh reality.  I was frightened and talked about my sadness.
And I smiled and nodded and agreed that "yes, I suppose I should talk to someone...else"

Now, the raggedy edges of the hole have become sharpened by my steely resolve to hide the unsightly gash.  They jab with knife like precision to remind me of its constant existence.  I try to push away the pain. I walk very fast miles, and stare at  flashing red neon numbers telling me that I have travelled 3.31 miles.  But as I look around, I notice that I have not moved.

Two weeks ago, as we sat facing each other, you were dressed in your usual crisp white.  You explained how, in time the rough edges will soften.   And I smiled and nodded and agreed as I apprehensively say "okay I will give it a try."

But, the package sits here unopened, the blue label with its instructions and warnings unread.

Today, at 5:30 a.m., I awoke with silent tears, as I do every morning.  I felt him hovering around me,  as I do every morning.  As always, I imagine my arms outstretched towards him, trying to pull him into me.  I ache as I feel the hole pulsing with pain.
This morning, the pain refused to be contained and I had an urgent compulsion to write, to explain.
This morning I needed to say it "out loud".
I am hurting.  I don't understand why.   I miss my son.  And finally, to finish out my daily mantra, I cannot believe he is no longer here.

This morning I didn't want to smile and nod.
This morning I wanted to be sad and cry.

But, as I continued to write I noticed that my load seemed a little lighter.  I began to have glimpses of some kind of understanding.

Could it be possible that he will not be at peace until I am?

Maybe it is true, that once the edges of the hole have been smoothed, they will become pliable and therefore passable.

Perhaps then and only then will I be ready to allow him, by my side and as my gentle guide, to find his way back in.


I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.
Here are the catch up entries from the past few days of Anna's diary:
Sun. October 13, 1929
Home all morning alone with Junior.   Went to visit the Naps about 2:30.  Stayed there until six.  Then left and went to see Grandma M.  Her good day.  Had supper with Grandpa.
Mon. October 14, 1929
Junior and I went to Mary's for the day.  Her sister-in-law Rose cut a dress for me she is going to sew.
Had supper there and came home.  Junior went straight to bed.  I read a book.
Wed. October 16, 1929
Home all day.  Made plans to go to Bob's banquet with Jean and Edythe.  Her gown was very beautiful.  Black velvet and tulle.  Had nice time.  Very tired and went home early.


  1. This is where I entered the picture, last December, after having heard from another blogger of your loss. I feel very close to your pain, even though I have told you before, that I have NO idea what you must be going through. All I can do, is be one of those background figures, nodding empathetically, and sending you and you Ross, lots of xoxoxoxo's.

    1. Mark,
      Thanks for hanging in there with me.
      Anniversaries of loss are not easy. I know you must miss your father a great deal. My mom passed away almost three years ago and I still think I can pick up the phone to tell her my troubles.

  2. I meant to include the piece of information, that this particular date, October sixteenth, 1996, saw my family lose our beloved father, Robert Paul. Words serve the purpose of trying to get some meaning out of it all. Your ongoing efforts are greatly admired and appreciated; I find comfort in writing, and suspect you do also.

  3. What raw and beautiful words for such a difficult struggle. I have such admiration for the way you continue to try to find meaning and sense from such pain.