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Does everyone’s internal dialogue contain so many voices and perspectives? Is everyone awash in conflicting thoughts and impulses?  Or is it just us, the Utterly Fucked?  It’s that feeling where I want to go and do something, a hike, a few hours at the bookstore, a nice walk around the ‘hood, something I know will be good and right, and instead I can make myself do… nothing.  Sit.  Read the paper.  Nap. Have another beer.

Sometimes I decide today is going to be a good day and then slam the door on the way out and cry in the car, pounding on the steering wheel all the way to work.

Other times I realize I can’t take any of it anymore and then I don’t have to.  I end up blithely drifting through the day, smiling at the elusive sun and puddled earth.  We are getting so much rain these days I’m afraid Silas’ tree is going to need swimming lessons.

Most days the cascading terror of my-life-gone-horribly-wrong churns me awake before the dawn, but often by nightfall I’m laughing with Lu or friends, surrounded by so much love I almost start to feel lucky.

I used to feel lucky all the time.  I used to think I was one of the happiest people out there, despite the often intense sense of anger I have always felt at the occasional injustices of the World.

My World is entirely Unjust these days.  Happiness is elusive, too.

I used to sleep well.  I can still fall asleep in fifteen seconds flat and I nap as though I have a special super power for napping.  But I cannot remember a time when I have had a full night of sleep.  Pre-dawn is the worst.  There’s no refuge there besides more sleep, and there’s just way too much to think about.

The Path of Worry is a deep groove.  I slip in before I know it, and finding my way out is an ordeal.  Sometimes it’s easier to just lay down amid the worn rocks and sharp pebbles and watch the vultures circle above.  I try to pick out the silhouette of hawks amid the scavengers.  I’m amazed by the endless sky and steep sides to this gully and I wonder, every morning I wonder, how the fuck are we going to get out of here?

Can’t climb the walls.  Can’t disintegrate into the Earth.  Backwards is disaster and so that only leaves forward.  But sometimes I cannot move one single step.  Then, sleep is the only refuge, but always I wake up wide and worn out and can’t believe it’s another day without Silas.

All of them are.  From That Day until the end of my forever, it is all without my son.  I feel my bones getting wobbly and sick at the thought of that.  I feel my soul shrivel and hide.  My mind sends me images of bright, shiny objects to distract me from the catastrophic disgustingness of a thought like that.  It used to shatter me, now I just sigh and rub my eyes and wonder what I’ll do next to get by, hang on, let go or act out, depending on what I can muster for the moment.

You’d be fooled, though, just reading this.  These words are the gymnastics I do in my mind day after day, moment after moment.  In person I’m nothing like this.  Most of the time I’m calm and pleasant.  If you just met me today you might never know my son died in September and that I am still in the very taloned grasp of crushing grief.

That’s why I’ve been thinking about changing my name.  “Imissilas” has a great ring to it, and that way whenever I met someone new they would know what I was all about.  And that way, when my friends called out to me, they would know what I was thinking about anyway.  With that name I could unify myself.  Instead of being my name and missing my son, I could just be both all the time.

I don’t know how to do this.  I don’t know how to live this life, to experience this pain, to heal, to hang on.  So I’m just making it up as I go and letting the confusing contradictions of every single day and moment, of my soul and heart, of my fear and love and confusion, all of it, I’m allowing it to wake me up when it must and lay me flat when I can’t stand and crush the tears out of me when the pressure grows too strong.

Drained I find a way to pick myself up again and trudge forward, head tucked against the torrent, slowly winding my way through this shadowed, vultured valley.  Silas’ heart beats in my chest.  His soul fills everything within my skin.

Spring is raw for us so far.  Where we were for the last one, what isn’t, etc.

But still it compels us to smile, the warm spring air.  We look for hawks as we drive, living these lives that we could have never seen.

Is there a way to un-hope for something?  If so, I’m living it.  So now I don’t do hope.  I just do givens, realities, nows.

I’m living a series of nows that must remain distinct from everything that came before and anything that might happen next.

Other terrible things probably await down the path of my life.  But I’m sure stupendous beauty and ridiculous fun is somewhere out there, too.

I’m just worried about the timing.

Too many flying bags of flaming shit directly in the face can really beat a man down.  So it’s time for better things to start getting better and being more awesome.

Directly.

I want to get things straightened out and cleaned up, but then I just sit back down here at the computer or out on the couch or often in my car and I just go through the World.  Go.  Do.  Forward.  Get. Things. Done.  Whatever is the next thing in front of me, that’s what I do.

This weekend while away in the woods, all I could do was read.  I read in the yard and on the porch and almost walking up the hiking trail, too, but mostly I read.  I had to have it all in my head instead of just there in my hands.  I can’t do anything with it if it’s still in the book.

Then to bed.  Bed is dangerous.  Horizontal hopes send my stomach gurgling and my mind whirling.  Upright and walking I wander through the day observing the anxious actions of my physical self.  There I go getting shit done.  How the eff do I do it, I wonder, my mind wild and tight.

We walked in the woods this weekend and I put my book away long enough to look around and hit the trail and get some breath and sweat.  There were long, warm views from atop the mountain and crisp early-spring shadows still laced with snow.  I didn’t have much to add to the group’s banter and conversation because I was brooding through the woods.

It was nothing specific beyond Silas and everything that is my life now.  No particular worry or newly bad situation rumbled around my brain.  A pervasive sadness just filled me even as I relished the thrum of turkey vultures taking off, fleeing my mad dash down the trail around knobby roots and small, firm trees.  Old leaves covered every inch of the forest floor, giving each step the potential for slip.  But I got winded before I tripped and fell.  Lucky me.

For a few moments I was alone in the woods in the rustling quiet of nature.  I listened and looked and stood slightly sweating in the cool arboreal shade waiting and wondering for what was next.  Not just the next moment, but the next everything.  For a moment I thought about what our lives might look like if we had another child, but I couldn’t focus on that thought for long.

I was worried and hopeful throughout Lu’s pregnancy but those thoughts and fears seem vastly inadequate to the magnitude of what happened.  So I don’t bother with them anymore.  Our lives will be whatever they are whenever that happens, and there was not much I could about it out there on the mountain, in the woods, briefly alone in the chilly spring air.

My muscles were atrophied from lassitude and grief but they kept me moving through the trees until I found the perfect spot to stop and wait.

The breeze across the sweat of my back sent me shivering.

I listened to my soul missing my son by hearing the subtle sounds of the life around me.

My wife and brothers and family and nephew snapped and crackled into my range, their laughter and conversation a beacon for my worn and tattered spirit.  I waited for them on a rock above the trail, hiding in the glare of the sun.

Silas is hidden in the glare of my pain and grief.  I need to have him close, but missing him burns my mind to a crisp.

Once they found me I walked with Lu’s hand in mine and we didn’t have to say a thing because we both knew what the other was thinking.  I hope Silas knows too, somehow.

Back home I picked up my book and read some more.  I had to have it all in my head because now, not knowing is worse than anything.

This pit in my stomach is a sign of the uneasiness I feel every second of every single day. It hasn’t let up as time has gone on, it’s actually getting worse. This uneasiness is there to take the place of Silas being here with me, with us. He also has found himself a spot on the forefront of my brain, kind of like in my 3rd eye. The place where I am supposed to have found enlightenment, but is also what is believed to be the place where mental images are evoked that have deeply personal or spiritual significance. Silas lives in that place 24/7. I think the only time I can push the thoughts of him aside are when I’m watching enjoyable tv or teaching. Otherwise, his unmistakable absence is firmly planted in every part of my being.

We went to visit my parents in Florida a few weekends ago. There was this dark cloud of What Should Have Been, hanging over us the whole time, it was unmistakable in its presence. My parents have been waiting a very long time to be grandparents. I am almost 38 and the oldest child and there are no other grandchildren yet in our family. It is time, and has been for awhile. Down there, pretty much every single friend of my parents are grandparents, and they just could not wait for their turn. It was wonderful to see them, to spend time, to relax and enjoy the really hot Florida sun.  But we all knew what was missing. It made the trip really, really sad for all of us.

My days are filled with his absence. I know it isn’t healthy for me to think about how he should be here and how he would fit into my every day, but I do it anyway. I can’t help it. When Bandha wakes me up every single morning at 6:30am to be fed and to be let outside, I imagine it to be Silas waking me up. I think that Chris and I sleep as late as we possibly can, every single morning, just because we can. Waking up is the hardest part of the day. I fall asleep no problem, and even stay asleep. But I always crawl back into bed after letting the cat out, and then never want to get out of bed again. We drag ourselves up, unwillingly, because we both have a lot to do each and every day.

This absence is filled with work, work and more work. We are both building our businesses and spend as much time as we can just working hard. It is filling this void, this constant emptiness we feel and it is just a really good distraction.

I am finding myself having to confront the world of the 6-8 month old almost every single day. If it’s not a parent hanging out with one while i’m teaching a class, its a woman calling me to register for my teacher training and telling me that it will be the first time she’ll be away from her little one. It’s all very innocent for all the non-babylost parents out there. But for someone like me, the mere mention of an 8 month old sends me bawling from the elliptical and into the bathroom for 10 minutes until I gather myself. Why I’m being tested like this, I’m not sure.

As much as Silas has been filling my thoughts, I haven’t really felt a sense of him with me that much. We do have this thing for hawks, though, and are pretty much obsessed with the fact that they are everywhere and are so beautiful to watch as they sail gracefully above us, surprisingly here in CT. I try really hard to feel Silas in these amazing birds of prey. The other day though, I had an encounter that was like no other I’ve ever experienced in my life. I was standing outside a school where another teacher and I had just taught some kids yoga. We were chatting away, when suddenly, a humoungous bird swoops down in front of us, practically eye level, and then flies off staying really low for a bit before heading up to a tree. I looked at it with my jaw dropping and said “was that a hawk?” My friend looked at me and said “you know what that means right?” and we just looked at each other, started crying and hugging and just stood there in shock. I felt it with all my heart and soul. It was my little Silas, just letting me know that he was here with me, filling up a little of that emptiness, even if it was just for a split second.

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