Ska was playing. Something bouncy. Driving up 330. I’m thinking it was a good day.
I was having a conversation with my son today… with the dead one… and it was one sided but not too heavy. How we as a family miss him. I had started to tell him how we survivors were all standing. How his actions had not broken us. How his mother has emerged… not unscathed, not unchanged, but unbroken.
And then I thought… I realized that both of us for some time were broken. As broken as parents could get. Inarticulate, dry of tears, out of breath, motionless on the floor broken. Hope gone, pain to the point of numbness, bereft of all intelligent thought… And it lasted for a while.
And I know now what broken really is. It isn’t just that darkest place, it isn’t fear or pain… it is beyond what you believe and know you can endure… past words– past any descriptors of emotions. Past coherent thought. It is that prayer that comes out in sobs and ends in some sick guttural moan. It is expletives and bloody knuckles and biting through your own lip… and nostrils burned and irritated from crying. Where you lose track of your body, lose track of time, and place… And part of that doesn’t go away.
And somehow, people held us and fed us and talked to us and for us… and stayed with us. Family. Friends… they stuck there. Fed us. And lifted us up in ways I can’t explain.
See, it isn’t that we weren’t broken… and I don’t know that part of me isn’t still broken.
I miss my son. We had conversations… silly and bouncy and deep. And I didn’t know how I would ever live without him.