Category Archives: Coping

To the nines

“Form is exactly emptiness, emptiness exactly form.”

Buddhist “Heart of Perfect Wisdom Sutra”


Sam.

It is the year of the Monkey, the ninth of twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac cycle. And, the ninth year of living without you—and your monkey-hugs.

I had you for nine birthdays, nine years. Nine photos on a wall. And now, you’ve been gone for nine years. How can it be? That I had you for as long as I have not had you.

You would be turning eighteen! You’d be graduating in a few months; you would be driving with your brother to school each day; you’d be sitting in the fourth chair at dinnertime; you’d be laughing, flirting, texting, dating; you’d be telling stories, reenacting every hilarious detail; you would be staying up late, and Reggie, your dog, now old and gray, would be curled beside you, snoring and content; you would be….

I suppose the “would-be’s” will continue as long as I am here without you, balancing form and emptiness. And finding within me the courage, the way you did, to continue and never give up.

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Unfriended

“In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends.”

~ John Churton Collins

If you are an underclassman (in your first few years) majoring, involuntarily, in Life after the Death of your Child, you may find yourself bewildered at the flight of your friends, at the loss of your former support system, and at the dead air you’ve heard crackling since the death of your child. The phone has stopped ringing. The emails have ended. The holiday cards are conspicuously absent. The voice messages you left (“Hey, friend’s name here, just checkin in. Hope all’s well. Talk to ya soon. Love ya.”) have yet to be returned. The summer visits are no longer anticipated. The secrets you’ve shared have gone underground. And, at this point you’ve run out of excuses for their absence. You’re angry. Hurt, abandoned—left for dead. And, if it’s even possible, you’re sadness has deepened.

Okay, so this was my experience.

If you have not experienced the disappearing act of friends since your child’s death, then you’re very lucky. For now. And you don’t have to read any further. Unless, you just want to see how this ends.  Continue reading

Deanna

April 24, 2014

Sam, up high

Poem #24: “Returning”

As a child, I looked
When I heard the jingle
Of my lost dog’s metal tags
Paper phone numbers fading
Blowing away
I looked
Just in case
And there she was…
Returning

Now, I look
When I hear the sound
Of my lost child’s melting voice
Footsteps on the carpet fading
Years away
I look
Just in case
But there he isn’t…
Returning 

The shadows beside me

 Boys at sunset, Naples '04

While we (bereaved parents) are readjusting to our perception of what grief is, and who we are as we grieve, and how our relationship with our deceased child will be, grief changes and evolves, subsides and resurfaces.  Continue reading