I have been writing less for a few reasons… One is that because I have said so much, in so many different moods, I think I am probably repeating myself. The second is that in many ways both the urgency and the audience has faded away.
I wish I had something profound to say… I wish I had some inspiring message… something worthy of a facebook meme or a Hallmark card. And I wish what I have to write didn’t have to be such a downer… I wish it wasn’t sad. I wish it was somehow upbeat… like I turned that corner to a smooth sunny spot in my journey. If I could write it up into something neat and nice and tidy… I would be happy.
Some days are much harder than others… I have felt the depth of agony… of losing a child. And it has given me little or nothing in the way of wisdom. Once I have heard the wail of a mother on the news her son now lies dead… I don’t forget. I can’t. And part of me will always be in that moment. So sometimes I am back there more than I’d like… and talking about that seems to have a reasonable limit in its helpfulness.
But I have been praised for my courage, and I appreciate that. It isn’t that I have found courage, that strength to go on… it is that I have gone on when my strength have failed. And I have so little choice in the matter. And so I look for strength in others, from others, with others… I look for strength in things. in activity, in rest, in work, in recreation… in spontaneity, and in routine. I pray all the time that I don’t die while I am alive.
I will accept what is given. All the love. All the help. All the support. And I will be grateful and endeavor to give back, some measure of what I have been given. I accept the words and sometimes I jot down things that sound useful and profound… in the hopes maybe that I can sound somewhat useful and profound.
When the tragedy of losing my child hits, I was presented with some simple binary choices. Do or do not. Live or don’t. Go on or stop. To give in to this overwhelming, all consuming void… to die while I am still alive… or try to find hope… to construct some kind of meaning. Talk or stay silent. Share or be private. Push out or withdraw. Open or closed. And sometimes I question my choices… about how and why and where… if there isn’t someway to do grief “right.”
And something I can share, that I read somewhere… “People die. Love does not.”