Friday, March 13, 2015
Easier than what?: A mother looks at life without
There's a part of me that died that winter's night.
Illusions. Myths. Platitudes. An old way of looking at faith and life. My future as I'd anticipated it. The ability to be "normal".
A part of me died when my child breathed his last.
I suppose that a part lived, too.
The hope that life can be okay again. That by treasuring my son and the memories of who he was, I can be his memory keeper. I share him and because of this, the world can be a brighter place.
Oh, I have learned the value of so many things. Yes, I can still see the glass half full. My Daniel lived; he loved. I keep all that in my heart.
But every so often this extroverted person I once was just wants to retreat and be alone with her pen and paper. Talk to God. Walk alone on the beach. Not have to play nice or join in the conversations about other people's children. Or other people's small problems that they get so worked up about.
Sometimes so much gets bottled up inside me and I have to let go.
I cry over simple things. Or just feel overwhelming sadness. Over the years, I don't struggle to "feel better". I know how to let these emotions run their course. It's okay to be sad. It's all right to step away from the crowd. And if I grow frustrated that I can't always participate like others can, that's fine, too.
I channel my frustration by writing. I write from the turmoil and as I do, I've been able to produce some beautiful things.
So the question is raised: Does it get any easier?
Easier than being woken to tapes in your mind that replay the horror of watching a four-year-old die and you are helpless to save him? Easier than aching for his hand in yours? Easier than shopping for everyone else and not being able to surprise him with a toy?
You can't erase love. Love remains just as strong and passionate as it was when he was with me on earth.
It's not easy to love for the rest of your life someone you can't see and can only feel in your dreams and memories.
Life does go on. Problems continue to find you. The other children you have have bad days and your mother's heart aches. Life ain't for wimps.
But you know that. It's chiseled in your core. You know a child can die.
And that when he is gone, it means forever on this earth. No more picnics. No more smiles. No more watching all your children grow up together.
Does it get any easier?
It depends on the day of the week, the time of the year. Some days you think you're strong. While other days, especially those insignificant days, you feel like a puddle.
It's all about adapting. Adjusting. Knowing when to bring the tissues.
Perhaps that's what becomes easier. Our ability to cope. Not our ability to live without. Just cope with the without.