Tuesday, June 28, 2016

An Answer To A Comment

Lee n. Field cut to the heart of this post with this question:
"How you holding up? Finding old pictures is bittersweet, and apt to stir up grief again. (We're 3 years out from losing 2 sons.)"
 Thee compassion and understand of the post in that comment is palpable.

I am only 8 months out from losing a son to depression. I'm not hiding from my feelings or pretending I am "okay" in the same way I was okay before. Still, life goes on. There is love and joy and sadness is the same measures as before.

I have 3 surviving sons. I don't really know how they are doing, only what they say.

I have a wife, mother to my sons. We have been together for 40 years. What is our relationship? What support do I provide to her and her to me as we continue our lives with this aching loss? She is absolutely awesome and is a gift from the Universe in my life.

I have elderly parents, my mother is battling cancer and my dad has very poor health from a lifetime of chronic smoking. I will be visiting them for a week soon. Fair or not, they will be expecting me to support them in their life journey.

I have friends. Some close friends, Borepatch among them, that rallied around me and care. They want to see me return to life and perhaps don't know exactly what to say or do, but are a source of energy for the love they offer me.

I have thousands of pictures and slides. I had been, before last November, working my way through them, scanning, editing, throwing away. I know where they are. When I go to look at them, I know what I'm planning to do, sort of raise the shields, and I can do it. This one was in an unexpected place, tucked into a notebook, and I had long forgotten it. It was like stepping on a mine.

Parents who lose a child for any reason have a huge reservoir of grief. It cannot be emptied. It cannot be ignored. It will not go away. How you live with that grief (or don't) is a measure of who you are. Lee n. Field knows. And so I can only reflect his question back.

Lee, "How you holding up?" You lost two sons three years ago.  I can't imagine or know, but if you want to share publicly, I will post it here. If you want share privately, email me at ASM826 (at) GMAIL (dot) COM. If you don't want to say anything, I understand that as well.


Old NFO said...

All any of us can offer is 'support' in whatever form might help. None of us can know what you are going through, as each and everyone handles things differently. But know that we do care!

Brigid said...

Everything worth meaning is made up of so many small parts, its moments, its words, its acts, the skin and bone and the nucleus within us that contains its own fire, somewhere deep inside. We're our own walking fate, and we're our own little miracles, the atoms from which we're made, not so different from the atoms of the earth, the air, the water, all of us formed from that blazing nucleus of the stars - Heaven, binding us together.

I will never fully understand the miracle that is our existence, our role in the vast wonder that is earth and space and Heaven. But I can grasp the wonder of my world, in a volcanic rock formed in the earth that holds in place letters from a loved one long ago, in a pressed leaf in a photo frame; the tiny veins within it stilled, a leaf once green, held tight between pages. It died in the loss of a battle between promise and poison, leaving just the shell of what was once a beautiful thing.

I look at my own hands, the web of veins, the flow and beat of my blood, frailer than the scent of copper and louder than the seethe and fury of the ocean. With these hands I can pray and I can support. They are here if you need them.

lee n. field said...

(email to you)

Glen Filthie said...

Took me about 5 years, ASM, before I finally felt like me again. Hurt like that is like losing a limb or going into a wheelchair... it's a disability that takes a few years for you to learn how to deal with.
That was my road, your mileage may vary.