My son is gone. I miss him. Today is the second of January. Yesterday was four months since the police showed up one beautiful afternoon and informed us my son was no longer a part of this earth. I still do not know how that can be. My son was healthy. He was strong. He was beautiful and perfect.
Remembering my son at birth.
I remember when my son was born. I carefully unwrapped him. He was my first born. He was a special package and I still was young and insecure about how to handle him. My son was just a few hours old and seemed so small and fragile. I looked at his toes and wrinkled little legs. I touched each one of them as if to make sure they were real. I held each little finger. I smelled him. I watched him wiggle around in his sleep.
My Son is Dead.
When the police came that day, I only heard enough to know my son was dead. It didn't matter at the time how it happened…the result was the same, no more Phil. I didn't want or need details. The question was not how, it was why? Why? Why? Why? Why him? Why now? Why today? Why? They didn't have the answer to that. It would not have mattered if they gave me an answer. There is no answer that would be enough. Nothing could justify Phil being gone. I loved that kid so much. To the depth of my soul.
The Smell of My Son
I can still smell his smell. I have his blanket that he slept with. It is dirty and needs to be washed and I cannot bring myself to wash it. I had sinus surgery and have not had any sense of smell in nearly two years. I might regain my smell someday and I want whatever faint smell of him is left to still be there…just in case. Even if it is dirty. I don't care. I slept in the guest room last night with his blanket. I held it like a person. I hugged it. After all, it was his. I imagined him sleeping with it. Maybe he drooled on it….I can still see him sleeping. He snored. I imagined it in my head.
His car sits in the driveway. I love seeing it there. I wonder how long a car will last just sitting in the driveway? My husband has talked about selling it, yet, I know he likes seeing it too. He hasn't taken any action to market it.
Time marches on. Four months? Really? It seems like it didn't even happen and it also seems like an eternity.
I feel as if I cannot breathe. There seems to be no release except the extreme crying and sleep. It has been sometime since I have had the extreme crying. I stayed home Christmas Day and watched Jack Frost and then lost it and cried and cried like it was my last breath. I fell to the floor and wailed and felt a sense of release. The day after Phil died, I took a walk on the side of the house, I felt my legs go limp and I crumpled in a heap on the side of our home. I banged the ground and yelled and sobbed like one would expect of a mother who just lost her child. I howled. The dogs howled. I felt as if my world had ended. I remember reading in the bible…this must be what wailing and nashing of teeth looked like. I looked around and the world continued. I looked around some more and everything looked different, though I knew it wasn't. The world was the same, it was my perception of the world that had changed. It wasn't safe. If Phil could die, so could my other kids. I had to protect them.
Tonight my daughter Emma came home and wanted to go sledding with some friends up in Prescott tomorrow. The answer was no of course. Why? She is so responsible. I trust her. She is a great kid. An honor student. But, my son died. This means my daughter could die. There could be a drunk driver. There could be ice on the road. There could be foolishness that happens. Seven kids in a suburban driving in the mountains with snow during the Holiday? Too many red flags went off inside me. No. No. NOOOOOOO. You cannot go! You could die! Don't you understand? You could be like Phil. If Phil could die, so could you. Now I know what it could be like to lose a child. It is possible. Before my son died, it was something I could not imagine…it would be too painful. I would die if that happened. Except that I didn't. I am left to live with the pain….unbearable pain. Fear was raising it's ugly head.
Well meaning friends give advice about losing my son. They send poems and cards about my son…about death and heaven. Nothing can make the pain and loss of my son subside. My husband says I am doing better. What are my options? If I don't do better I will die. My heart cannot hurt this much and still beat. If I continue to open that door in my mind, I will die. Hell, I feel like if I touch the handle on that door in my mind I will die. Somedays I wish I COULD die…I want to stop feeling the loss of my son and it never seems to go away. I am becoming a prisoner of my own mind, of my own emotions.
People tell me, this is not what he would want. He would not want you to be sad. Bullshit. Really? How do you know? Did you know him? What he would want is to be here to raise his daughter. What he would not want is to be dead. He didn't want to die. Stop telling me stupid shit! What is true is PEOPLE don't want me to be sad. It makes them sad. It makes them feel uncomfortable. Well tough shit. I am sad. I am going through this. It is real for me. Deal with it.
I sometimes feel guilty for being negative about this. I should be a shining example to others about how to grieve. I have all these amazing personal growth tools. What good are they if I don't use them in difficult times? Yet, I don't FEEL positive…I feel hurt, sadness, loss. Is that so wrong? After all, these are just emotions and emotions are neither good nor bad, correct? Most people think for a minute how bad it would be to lose a child and they cannot imagine. You know how many times I have heard that? "I can't imagine that." If it is too painful to even imagine. Try living it. The initial loss is bad….what is worse is living with it. Day in and day out, Phillip is not here.
Maybe it is just because it is Christmas? I so wish that was true. I know it will continue into the New Year and month after month. I suspect it is because I just miss my son and I think I always will.