Let’s pretend you are alive.

I still talk to him, you know. Like he is sitting next to me in the car when I am driving alone.
And he is always a little bored and disinterested and frustrated with his life- even though he knows he is dead.
So I make him laugh. And he laughs that broad Foster laugh.
And he will always be stuck wearing that tweed cap with the Streetlight Manifesto button.
And he always has his foot on the dashboard.

Which can’t be comfortable.
Stuck in traffic… I talk to him. We are stuck in skier traffic.
A dead stop. Rolling a dozen yards every minute or so.
And I’m kind of lucky he’s not really there, because he would have eaten all the chocolate. And this bag, I have to myself.

“I really miss you,” I say.

“I know, dude.” he answers.
“Did you just call me dude?”
I look over at the empty seat. If he were alive, I would have made him drive.
I think he is still sorry that he is dead. But I think he is getting used to it.
“Let’s pretend you’re alive.” I propose.
He laughs, “Yeah, let’s.”
And he says something about walking ahead and having a cigarette.


One thought on “Let’s pretend you are alive.

  1. We saw a counselor/psychologist after our second child died, when I became pregnant with our third. It was helpful only to the extent that it was a relief to have someone to talk to who listened. Someone who didn’t judge. Someone who didn’t advise. Someone who didn’t automatically start feeding us comforting words. Someone who was just there.

    {Mirne, January 28, 2010}


    I have learned rapidly in the school of anguish this week, and am many years older than I was a few days ago.

    {Robert L. Dabney, 1855}


    I want to know if you can sit with pain
    mine or your own
    without moving to hide it
    or fade it
    or fix it.

    {The Radar of Chance, February 14, 2011}


    Reading all your words, every word. Reading about your cat. Your art. Your heart. Your son.

    No words of mine will touch your grief. No wishing will bring your son to your side.

    I invite people here. I say, here – this man, he knows. He writes it all down. As much as anything can feel better – and there is no better when your child is dead – these words will speak to your pain.

    You are not writing into a void. We are reading. But our voices seldom tell you. I wanted to tell you today.

    Thank you for bearing witness, for being yourself. I would give anything to bring your son back, anything. I’m so very sorry.


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