Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Odds & Ends
Odds & Ends
In the beginning
got rid of her
I remember a long period of time when I was looking for a target; someone to blame, and something to hit. I aimed my unhappiness at several places over the years—her school, the drug dealer, her father—anyone but myself. That was the flip of the guilt regarding my own responsibility. I was never able to sustain that focus because it really didn’t help, nor did I feel any better. It finally occurred to me that there would never be any restitution. Nothing could equal that loss nor make me whole again. Ultimately, it felt like an avoidance of the truth not to acknowledge that my loss was final. Blaming anyone was not going to bring her back. Another of those small choices slipped in almost unnoticed, until I realized I was less agitated, more at peace within.
As I sit here debating what else to say, I wonder if writing this is like continually picking the scab off an old wound that I won’t let heal, or if it is like resetting a bone that never healed properly. I actually don’t know what healing properly should look or feel like for a loss of this nature.
What I have found most helpful over the years are those that chose to be straight with me. It is the silence and abandonment that adds to the pain. I always thought it was a hilarious statement for people to say, “I was afraid that I might upset you.” How much more upset can a person be? The protocols for funerals and mourning are pretty thin to nonexistent. Perhaps a word or two about the importance of funerals and graves would be appropriate here. Before Sharon’s death, I remember being very critical of funerals, cemeteries, and mourners. I thought it was a lot of fuss about nothing. I guess it is, for those who have not faced a death in the family. It is not really possible to convey bereavement to the non-bereaved.
The funeral is about the final good-byes and making the loss real. It is also a place to celebrate life. Without that there is no closure, which explains why the MIA-POW movement is still active. I have found her graveside a very important place to remember, grieve, and recover.
During the viewing I spent many hours with her body—touching and caressing her, and accepting the reality. There were many that did not want me near her and her coffin; fortunately, Morrie ran interference for me to make that possible. I still don’t understand the strange reaction of people to bodies. This was my child’s body and I was not afraid of or put off by her remains. I met with several of her friends during that time and they were wonderful. I have lost track of them over the years, so a salute to those of you who hung in during that time. I was always very touched by the number and variety of mementos that were left in her casket. Little treasures they had shared during the times together in Sharon’s life.