Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fifteen Years: Weariness and Shutdown

                                                       If you
get out

You cannot
dead child.

I cannot

I can

I began to retreat from mentioning Sharon much at all. When new people would ask me how many children I had, I began to skip over her death, respond that we had three boys, and quickly change the subject. It felt terrible, but the alternative felt even worse at that time in my recovery. The choice here was to quietly withdraw and batten down the hatches. Sometimes grief is an exhausting journey. The problem was that many folks would respond that it was too bad I hadn’t had the joy of a girl, so the truth usually came out anyway. It doesn’t seem to matter if the story is told up front or later on; it so dominates the conversation that other issues and considerations often get sidelined.
     I don’t know exactly why this time was so difficult. It may have been that we left Illinois and moved to Montana, so I had to leave the only tie I had left to her—her grave. In retrospect, it seems like this was just another cycle in the never-ending grieving process”; this particular time, the phase of bargaining. I just wanted to feel safe for a while and not engage, or be close to anyone. It is hard to articulate that long-term weariness. Like so many that are different” and don’t quite fit anywhere, I only wanted to be like everyone else. Being a bereaved parent is unusual, but being up front and vocal about it scares people, or puts them off. There is no all-purpose good choice in this arena, so it becomes a choice every time I meet someone new as to how to handle discussing that part of my life.
There was often some sort of antidote to all the downers, like a sweet, small, touching thing that happened every year for as long as I lived in Illinois. There was always a single red rose on Sharon’s grave on her death day. I don’t know who was responsible for that; I never saw the person. I wish I could thank him or her for that remembrance. It was nice to know someone besides me missed her and visited her


No comments:

Post a Comment