I strain to put into words what cannot be put into words. That set of feelings that is indescribable except to those who have suffered a similar loss. I try. No matter how eloquent my words might be, I know they will fall short.
But I think there is some general expectation that I function well. That I work. That I eat and sleep and act normally. That I am productive, cordial, civil… that I maintain relationships and schedules and hygiene. That I pay attention when others speak and that I am able to hold a normal conversation.
And most days… after six years of mourning… I can do that.
So I feel compelled to try to explain… to you, to others, to myself… how I feel. Maybe it is something I have to “get out”… to heal. Maybe it is an excuse for why I act the way I do sometimes. Maybe I have to tell myself something so that I don’t feel empty. Maybe I think it will help someone somewhere deal with loss.
Painting is easier.
The unchanging fact of my every day life can be summed up in four short words: My son is dead. Nothing I do or say or read or pray… changes that. He is dead… for six years now, by his own hand. He will be dead tomorrow. He will remain dead. And that leaves me feeling hollow. I could feel sad or angry or confused. But those four words are independent of how I feel. There is a pain… physical pain. Emotional pain. Pain deep down in the fiber of my being. The longing doesn’t go away. That sense of loss is alway there… Time goes on… Life goes on.