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I’ve seen you sit in the meetings with your eyes averted to the wall, as they get wet with tears

Remembering a moment when your child was alive.

I watched you as you drew in your breath

            When you thought no one was watching you

I watched you push down that emotion that choked you.

I’ve heard you as you introduced yourself

            And proceeded to introduce your wife

As if she had no voice of her own.

I listened as you recited the date of your child’s death, their name and how they died

            Watched you still being the leader of a family who is missing one of its own

            Taking at least some of the power back from Death, the cheater who stole your child’s life.

Your voice is strong when you start and ends in a whisper just before your tears start.

I’ve watched you not say a thing.

You sit there as if you’d like to be anywhere else on earth, trying not to think of the pain

            But listening to your wife as she breaks down – yet again

You watch your hands folded in your lap

            Trying to avoid the memories that flood your mind

            But your will is strong – you are a man.

You make it through the telling – yet again.

I want to run to you

            To shout that we all have that pain you are feeling.

I want you to embrace it

            Feel it

            Let it go through you

            Feel the anguish without the guilt

            Let it kill you inside

            And in its wake

            You will be reborn for one calming moment

            Until it comes again and you remember your child is dead.

But here I sit lost in my island of pain

            Held back by society’s rules of conduct

I see you and recognize you.

Cry with us, your partners in grief.

We are kin – we alone truly know how you feel.

We can see the holes in your heart because we have matching ones in ours

We are the members of the same family

            Struggling with the death of our children; their absence in our daily lives

                        On Father’s Day

                        On Mother’s Day

                        On birthdays

                        On Thanksgiving

                        On Christmas – and on every second of every day.

Note:

For those who don’t know about Compassionate Friends, it is a national organization for parents who are grieving the loss of a children and/or children.  Usually, there’s an introduction and a sharing of our child’s name and we all have our little stories – you can choose to participate or not – you can just listen.  Somehow, you get the courage – and then after that is done, you have the main talk or coffee – they saved my life when no one could reach me when my son died in Sacramento, CA in a car accident.  I don’t go to meetings anymore, but the parents who attend know what you are going through and there is a strength in sharing.   If you need to – or know someone who could use their helping hand, look up a local chapter.  It’s not for everyone, but I didn’t think it was for me either – but it was.

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