I am going to write this even though it will make me late to work. I have to.
I am going to work every day now. I don’t take days off just to feel sad. Or from the exhaustion of having to try to act normal. I don’t cry in my car every time I drive up the mountain… not every time… not anymore. I don’t fear that sadness will drag me into a much darker and deeper depression… one that I can’t find my way out of.
I function. I laugh. I smile. I do things like go to football games and movies. I sleep very well. I don’t feel tired all the time. Small things like a visit from a friend on a holiday Monday. Like a funny clip on FaceBook… Like my wife and son, Justin laughing downstairs (Who’s Line is it Anyways?) as I drift off to sleep. I survive. I live. Small things matter.
But I do long for my son. To see him and talk to him… to see his life unfold, and to laugh and eat, and play.
I write. I walk the dog every day. I paint. I build fences. I pray and read and listen to music… It is all part of the process… and there is no map, no chart… no compass and sextant. Those emotions… they need expression.
And I still hurt. I’m still often feeling that lonely kind of sad… this profound emptiness. This hollow frustration of knowing that I am not going to get what I want in this… and I can’t stop wanting… and it is awful. How can I describe what it is like to lose a child to suicide? Moving forward… do I ever really “heal”… do we go on? Get over anything? There are still tears today. And tomorrow… and I think that feeling in the pit of my gut… my heart longing to hear, to see, to touch my child… I don’t think it goes away. All I know is that it is incorporated into the daily rhythms of life… and it is something I have accepted.
I met with a pair of very young retirement plan salesmen. Planning on what happens when work ends… 62… and what happens with money at 75…85… It was strange to think that far ahead. There is a future and practical matters. And really there is some time in all probability, before I die.
Health is a thing in healing. I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs… no cigarettes or weed. Chocolate, yes… but that doesn’t count. Maybe something in my soul would like the distraction… the numbness and the irresponsibility of addiction. A rewiring of the brain into a slow downward spiral… A deferment of pain for a moment at the price of what? A shorter life? So…I don’t destroy myself. I exercise. I learn karate. Yoga? I think that is done… but I think it helped. I watch what I eat. But I am too heavy and I need to exercise more. The fence is built and that activity won’t be there to burn up that extra chocolate.
When I talk to God… it is different. Quieter… I’m not asking for miracles. I’m not asking for anything really. Just sharing with Him. I know that I would have enjoyed a brief chat with Ethan… and so that is what I do. We chat. I tell Him how I’m doing… and what I’m thankful for, because I am told, He likes it. And He… He listens. And I think that is the statement of faith I have for the moment.
The fence is done. I walked the dog. Coffee and cereal. And I am very, very late for work.