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Dare I write? Dare I start down this path again with Lu’s second pregnancy?
I’ve had the urge to go back and read what I wrote about each of the stages of her carrying Silas, but frankly, I’m scared. I’m scared of the innocence and naivety in my writing from that time. I’m scared of being confident and cocksure that everything is going to go perfectly this time. I’m scared of reading that confidence in my past posts now knowing how wrong I was.
I’ve considered putting this blog to rest altogether, and let it stand as is, as a testament to Silas’s brief time with us. Instead I could start a new one to chronicle these next nine months.
I’ve also entertained the idea that I shouldn’t write at all this time. That perhaps the words themselves were the jinx that took him from us, and how dare I risk that again?
But I hate being afraid, and I don’t believe this blog was a jinx in any way.
I also hate it when I tell people Lu is pregnant and they say “Oh how exciting, you’re going to be a father!”
I want to correct them and tell them NO, I *might* become a father. It could happen. I hope more than anything that I do become a father. But for now I’m just a potential-father. A Maybe-Dad. A hopefully-father-to-be, if the Universe allows it. If genetics and nature line up just-so. If we are as lucky this time as we were unluckly last.
For the last 3 nights I’ve barely slept. My stomach was bloated and roiling and my mind could not find the path to quiet slumber. Once I hit 4:30am and I was still awake, again, the knowledge that I was fucked for tomorrow made it even harder to still my thoughts and drift away. Even pointless tv couldn’t shut me down. Finally at 6am pure exhaustion took over and I slept for a few hours, but when I had to get up for work I was in slow-mo, and that stayed all day.
So much of our focus was just getting to this point. Yet, it took so long, it felt like it was never going to happen. I had to train my brain to think only of right now, of this, of here. Now we are ‘expecting’ and I am terrified of expectations. The stress and fear mixed with hope and love has me in knots. In order to stay sane I’ve taught myself to be happy enough with whatever was right in front of me. So that’s exactly what I’m going to keep on doing.
Today Lu is pregnant. A tiny, beautiful heart beats within her. Her boobs are bodacious and her skin has an amazing glow. She’s been tired and off to bed early and I’m trying to make her take it as easy as I can, but she’s not one for slowing down for anything. Today she woke up and felt like she might be getting a little cold, but that could just be her body reacting to the pregnancy. After all, that happened last time, I checked.
I should close this blog. I should shut it down and walk away. Perhaps this place these words my chronicled expectations are the jinx that prevents me from becoming exactly what I want to be.
I’m dangling. I’m done. I’m done wondering when I get to be a Dad.
Oh yeah sure I know I know how I’m Silas’s Dad and like it’s all okay because you know it’s just fine. You’re strong, you’re okay you’re going to be okay you’re doing great. All true, except the Dad part. Not that.
Got home at 2am tonight. Got a ton of shit to do tomorrow. I’ll probably go to bed at midnight tomorrow night after finishing everything I need to do. Not that it matters; my schedule is mostly my own. Lu works hard, too. All the time she’s on the go getting shit done to run her business.
We do it because we can, and because we have to. There is no Silas to dictate our lives. In our hearts he’s there of course, but we don’t have to do anything at all to hold him there. Out here in the apartment it is just cats and work and time together to eat and sleep and garden and read. It looks placid, but that is because we’re good at this now.
I’ll sleep flipping over and over and over. I’ll dream and maybe remember snatches. They’re always the same these days. They are always about the unattainable. The dreams are about friends I can’t see at concerts that never happened. Complex interactions and events cascade through my sleep and I flip and flip and flip over and over and over.
I’ve learned how to not clench my hands when I sleep. Everyone should try this. When you sleep, lay your hands flat against the cool sheen of the sheet. Spread your fingers wide. Lay your hands between the pillow and the mattress. Sleep with your hands wide open and flat because it feels good and right and smooth.
I lay flat and I flip from back to front to side to back again. No Silas. Not a Dad. This page is a mockery of everything I want. It is an affront to reality. I’ve gone for the hope, for the belief, for the obviously easy because everyone around us is clearly okay to make and have babies. To be parents.
Elm City Guy. Elm City Roaster. Now maybe Elm City Bartender but Not in New Haven so Not Really Elm City Either… Guy Who Does Lots of Things Besides… Well… You Know… Being A Dad. Elm City Douchebag. Elm City Fuck You. Elm City Leave Me The Fuck Alone Because I’ve Got Shit To-Do!
Phew. I’m glad that’s out there. I hope that didn’t hurt anyone, but damn that felt good.
Maybe I’ll be a dad someday. Until then this blog is named as it is as a hope for what could be. If anyone is listening/reading that can do anything about this, all I have to say is seriously, stop fucking with us. We’ve had enough.
I’m going to be a dad. Lu is going to be a mom. We are taking actions and steps far beyond what most people have to do, but we’re doing it because it feels right and because once it finally happens I’m pretty sure we’ll be pretty good at it. And that’s not bragging, that’s hope.
My desk is a disaster. It is a reflection of my inner turmoil, and I welcome the comfort of its chaos. But there is a traitor amidst the madness. There must be. It’s the only explanation for all the bullshit we’ve had to endure.
So a pogrom has begun. One by one I’m evaluating and discarding my favorite objects and items. There’s the highlighter I never use in a tall, brown ceramic cup of uncertain origin. The tiny metal buddah isn’t facing me, and I wonder about its intentions. Then there’s Boba Fett, gun raised, standing next to the Mexican skull-headed figure with a broken arm, a bottle of beer and a jaunty cigarette. All suspect. I need firecrackers for both of them.
Spoons and wrenches, magazines I’ve long finished, business cards from across the spectrum of sales all clutter the space around where my arms rest as I type these words. But even the keyboard is suspicious now. I spurn pens at the first sign of faltering.
There must be a Betrayer. There must be an active force tugging at the most delicate strings of our souls because otherwise the explanation is eternally bleak.
It sucks to feel like bad luck. I hate that other people look at us and go whoa, what the fuck, that is some bad luck coming down on them. To the Secreters & Manifesters, we caused this by our bad thoughts. By the Pagan book it’s a malicious gnome. To the Fundies of Various Religions it is clearly Punishment for our Sins. Others of a more secular variety just cite big ole Bad Luck. And for the Superstitious, we’re Cursed.
I’ve never been much of a part of the latter, but these days that feels the most true, as well as utterly ridiculous.
But when you’ve hit the shit lottery in life, utterly ridiculous is eminently plausible. Otherwise there’s no way we could be here. This new life only a year old is preposterous every day.
I’m open to the possibility of extremely small odds. I am a living example of infinitesimal statistics.
The death of our son caused our lives to spiral into despair. We clawed our way back into some semblance of normalcy, only to be constantly challenged every month when we are not pregnant again. It is like swimming into the surf only to be pounded into the sand with every stroke, every tide.
Last month, the false-positive on the Piece Of Shit digital preggers stick was a step too far on a hike that should have never even started. Car accidents before that. Financial woes. Family illness. Cold nights without heat. The many slices of life’s razor have forced me to be hard and wary. I’m skeptical of everything except for Lu, the love of friends and family, and that shit is going to be more fucked up every damn year.
It is time to purge. We already had the opportunity to discard our possibly-cursed cars, and now we’ve started fresh. One of the new machines is a time-tested Lovevan from our friends. Many a ridiculous night has been transported by said mini-van. It’s a Quest and that fits. We’re on a quest for something better too.
My new auto has an extra speed and 100k less miles, which is totally fantastic. It’s also quicker and tighter with a Celica transmission instead of Corolla. I can feel the difference in torque and response every time I jump onto the Merritt from a dead stop into zipping traffic.
It can’t stop there, though. Next are the tiny talismans on my desk. Smashed and twisted. Then the Ward of Eyes Evil from above our threshold and the angled mezuzah on our doorjamb. Shattering for one. A slow burn for the other. What good are they? Maybe the vortices of their competing protective energies canceled out one another and allowed our son to be taken from us.
Or could it be this apartment itself? This town? I’ve never felt an instance of malevolence from either of them, but maybe my Evil Radar is on the fritz. I look forward to coming back to these walls and floors every time I’m away. In the spring and summer the backyard is an oasis of growing vegetables, warm sun and cool breezes. The kitties chase squirrels or just laze about as I read the paper or fire up the grill. When friends and family are here this place feels like a party, and even alone on a cold autumn afternoon, it feels like home.
It can’t be cursed. It would feel icky and weird, wouldn’t it? Don’t the Cursed Things have an extra squeaky sheen to them? Can’t you feel the slippery deviance of their very atomic structure?
Or perhaps therein lies their insidiousness. The tainted piece of reality is invisible as evil and therefore impossible to eradicate.
It could be a cushion of the used couch we bought last year. Maybe our table is possessed with a very slow, inert demon. Or how about that water heater? I’ve always hated the way it made the laundry room smell.
One by one I’m getting rid of it all even as Lu stands there shouting at me, asking what the hell I’m doing.
“I’m fixing things” I tell her and continue my methodical eradication of everything that could contain the terrible vibration that is destroying our lives.
But then in the end, there’s only us, she and I, side by side, the apartment demolished before us. The cars are fresh and clean so we can live in them, but maybe it goes even deeper. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m the Curse that destroyed our future. I guess I’ll start with my teeth and then go for my fingernails until things start to improve.
I hope I figure out what it is before too long because Lu is starting to look at me a little funny and there is not much left to get rid of. Soon the whole planet will be a candidate for expulsion and I just don’t have time for all of that.
I am an Incognito Disaster.
You can’t see the mayhem only millimeters out, but it’s there, inside.
You can’t see my toes curl as I cringe when I re-live the day Silas was born.
Cars swerve around my thoughts as I drive.
Fall is here. The longsleeves and blankets prove it. I knew it had arrived a year ago today, too, when I first cleaned out the birthing pool in the back yard as colored leaves dropped from above.
It is hard to believe I am same the individual that performed those actions and thought the things I did as I was preparing for Silas to be born. The sweet hopefulness and naivety nearly sickens me when I read through what I have written. Perhaps at some point today’s bleak despair will appear equally dated. Only time will tell.
But Time is silent, and can only be discerned by the effect of its action on my mind and soul and the World around me. I know time is passing because of how long I have missed Silas. But Time is a trickster, too, because somehow it feels like I have always been missing Silas. His absence fills my life, even in the parts before he was even a possibility. He is gone from my distant past and my far future just like he is not here with me today.
There is a strange comfort to this time of the year for me now, though. As the weather cools and fall slips in I am powerfully reminded of everything we went through at this time last year. The raw shock and deep despair was suprising last year. Now it is the invisible, impenetrable cloak I wear over my soul every second of every day. This sensation is as close as I will ever get to my missing son.
This weather. This light. The feel of the chilly sheets as I slide into hiding, never to be seen again. These are my thin threads of connection to him, to the time when he was near me. Even though it is shot through with torment and loss, this time of year is his and I’ll take it.
I wish I could just crawl away with the cold snap of the fall breeze and huddle from the ravages of the Universe for a little while, just like I did last September and October. I wish I could pull the Dead Son card, show it to everyone and just walk away. I want nothing. I want to be surrounded by love and left completely alone. I want no decisions. I want an easy ride. I want to hide away and think about Silas and read and write and eat and drink and sometimes maybe go take a walk with Lu.
They must know that I’m not better. I’m just better at hiding the ravages of losing him. He is always not here. That doesn’t change, so that place in me where he should be, that doesn’t change either.
I touch my tattoo every day and say to myself, “This is my son. This is all I have of him.” And then I nod to myself sad and somehow satisfied that I found a way to pull him close and not break down and not fall apart and not shatter into a million razor shards every day, one more time, again.
September again and I’m calm. Sad and fucked up, but calm. Crisis and emergencies are scaled differently once you’ve had your son die. There is nothing about work or money or any of life’s bullshit that comes anywhere near the level of emergency we dealt with last year and therefore, none of it is worth getting too worked up about. Sure the anger is still there, and I do get fired up and pissed off, but they are small, passing events. They have no bearing on the course of my life or the state of my soul.
Now, my soul is set to an impossible superposition where everything is the worst it can possibly be and yet often I manage to cruise through most days mostly happy within that envelope of sadness, somehow finding fun despite a pervasive, bone-crushing despair.
Missing Silas does not preclude enjoying delicious dinners fresh from the farm and garden. Although my son is dead now and before and tomorrow, I have found that the only way to honor him is to not be consumed by the bubbling rage that sometimes burbles to the surface. As much as I would love to hide away, I cannot do it. I don’t have time. There is too much work that I love to do, because autumn is superb coffee weather. It warms me on the inside where I need it most. And no matter where I go, Silas is always with me, silent in my heart.
For me, there are two kinds of Things in the World.
There are the Fixable, and the Unfixable. And really, it is as simple as that.
This month begins the anniversary of the ultimately Unfixable. Losing Silas is something I can learn to deal with or not, but I cannot ever change it.
I figure it is still essentially an even bet at this point. Odds might be slightly leaning in favor of mental stability and longtime survival, but I’ve only had a year to assess, and conditions could change.
I expect this month to be awful, but it won’t be as bad as last October. And at least I know what I’m getting into, on some level. But life is full of surprises.
Even the mundane can be surprising. That I can get out of bed. That I have not slipped silently to the edge of everyday life. That the sunset is beautiful every single time.
So I suppose I should not have been surprised when I got a call from Lu on Sunday morning that I could barely understand at first, because she was sobbing hysterically. She was a in a car accident. No one else was involved. She was fine, completely and totally fine, but the car was not. A spider had startled her and she veered onto the median and then spun out across the highway.
There was a period where she was traveling backwards down the highway, the driver’s side scraping against the right-side guardrail before being spun back out into the center of the road that is impossible to understand. Even more impossibly no cars hit her and she missed all those around her. She spliced into a wormhole and avoided unfixable disaster by an invisible thread of a spider’s web.
Should we feel lucky? I think so. Sure, it will cost some cash to put the car back together new, but really, who gives a shit? I would pay any amount of money to ensure Lu will always be safe. I would offer unimaginable sums to have Silas back. All of that is impossible. Fixing the car is not.
In a way I’ve become immune to the everyday bullshit that gets people down. Lu still feels beset on all sides by dangerous forces. She’s waiting for the good news to change everything about our lives. I’m amazed she still retains that capacity for hope and optimism. The very fact that she believes with all her heart that eventually things will get better proves that her spirit is unquenchable and forward-looking.
I don’t have that. Somehow through my pragmatic realism (read fatalist/pessimist) I manage to stay rather content and at times now even happy. But my baseline for success is extremely basic and direct.
My fundamental goal is to get through the day and not completely freak out because my son is still dead. Every time I do that, I fucking rock.
If I can actually do my job and roast a sweet batch of beans, or find a new account or put another piece together that improves my business and career, well then get out the fucking horns and strobe lights ’cause we’re gonna have a party.
For Interacting With Other Humans Successfully Without Revealing Disaster I give myself a delicious beer. For Making Necessary Phone Calls or Mailing Items At the Post Office I am rewarded with either chocolate or an hour with the paper, or both. For Getting out of Bed, I’m owed a Nap.
I’m not waiting for life to get Lucky for me. I’m have no expectations beyond more of the unexpected, all the time. I don’t think it will ever be better. There will be good times I’m sure, but I’ve seen the darkness. I’ve felt it pervade my being with a terrible and helpless truth that I can never unfeel.
Life is not just what happens to us, but also how we deal with it. I’ve learned, this year, that I can deal with almost anything, somehow or another. I can hold on to the core of my being when reality itself is being torn asunder. I hate the way it feels to be in this life, but it is pain made of up of truth and love and longing that is incredibly raw and real. I have to live extra because Silas could not.
That Lu came so close just the other day is beyond terrifying, beyond thought. Is it appropriate to feel as though something or someone was looking over her the other day? I don’t even believe in that in the least but I cannot help but think it. Can I do that? Can I put Silas in the spots where I need or want him? Can I fill in the mysteries and rare magic with his impossible presence? And once down that path, where does it lead?
Above all, though, there’s at least one thing more I have to know. I can’t get it out of my brain, from the second Lu told me in hysterical shock, when she spun out on 91 and lived to tell about without a scratch or a bump. I could not help but wonder…What happened to the spider? I’m sure it’s still alive. So is Lu. So am I. Some days, though, one year later, I really don’t know how.
I held Naiomi this past weekend and it was great. Didn’t break down or freak out or fall apart. I walked in, saw her in her baby chair, looked directly into her enormous blue eyes and picked her right up. There was no question about it. All of the previous times in her 6 months on this planet that I’ve been with her I devolved into a sodden mess or wigged out on her ultra-newborn-ness.
Now I can begin to get to know her and ensure that someday I’m her favorite.
All the babies I know born since Silas hold a special place in my heart. They are all the almost-mines. They are the what-could-have-beens. They are my surrogate kids.
That’s not to say the ones that came before Silas don’t count at all. In fact, those kids are all my friends already. They are easy. The more recent children take extra effort for me to accept and connect with. I must do it, though. To do otherwise is to nullify his brief existence. But it is so hard.
I hate that feeling, that I have to shy away from the best new parts of my loved ones’ lives. It kills me that I cannot share in the joy of their new children. And it is impossible to feel like that and maintain healthy relationships.
I need my friends. For me, friends are as essential as water and food and sleep. And family, of course, is the thick red of my blood and the invisible light my soul. Together they pull me along into every next day, where somehow, sometimes, it does manage to feel a little better than it did the day before.
That is today, though. That is right now. Tomorrow is a whole other story, and one I cannot even begin to get into until I’m through it and beyond.
I want tomorrow to be wonderful. I want to be free of fear and pain and sadness. I want to trust that the Universe will at least look the other way as we slip by into modest contentment and peaceful dreams. I want to celebrate the arrival of every new child and crush the jealousy and resentment I feel when I see everyone with everything I want but do not have.
It is difficult to contain the complexity of this longing and sadness and love and laughter and depression and brittle strength, and resilient weakness, and despondent determination, and resolute indifference, every day, all the time.
Sometimes I forget how fucked up I am. Sometimes I even feel okay.
I thought holding Naiomi proved that I had transformed and stepped forward. But then the very next day my oldest and bestest friend appeared with his weeks-old-son, and I nearly ran screaming into the woods. I knew they were coming. I was glad they were there. But Henry in his harness and the brutal reality of his beautiful presence was impossible for me to experience.
Even from forty feet away I could sense his newness, and it reminded me inexorably of all the moments I never had with my son Silas.
I want a new way of doing things. There is a serious lack of community in my life that the TV cannot complete. I get it here and there through my work, and I love that part of my life, but the people of my tribe are far too far away.
You should be forced to hang out with people every single day. You should be put in the presence of others so that together you can each figure out what you like to do. A tribe of two is not enough. It’s a start, but it is only that.
We need more than that, anyway. We need the blood of our kin and the love of our friends. We need to share meals and fears, hopes and horrors. We have never been able to do this on our own.
A hawk flew low across the highway, nearly pulling my car off the road with the gravity of its flight. I twisted in my seat following its unfolding path but I didn’t crash. It vanished into my past and I wondered what that could have meant. Some would see portent in the flight of that hawk. Or maybe instead by the murder of crows that rattled far above only moments later.
Maybe the bloom of a flower is a signal for good things to come.
It would be so much easier if I could believe in any of those things.
But if I was part of a tribe there would be the Shaman to sit me down and tell me how to view the World. There would be a Prankster to take me out into the juicy night. There would be a Crowd and a Ruckus, there would be the Rituals. There would be answers?
Instead I know too much about how much I don’t know. Why the flight of one bird out of all the birds I see fly, why should that one have weight and grandeur and depth? Or why not accept the tenet of a Flawed Man, and all the Original Sin we are supposed to carry? Easier to blame forces beyond my control than to accept responsibility for what happened to Silas. I did what I thought was right and that’s all I have to stand on.
So then, perhaps my life is punishment for doing things wrong. All things. Every bad choice I’ve made, here it is laid back on me, stark and utter and raw. I’m a bad person that did bad things and my punishment is never knowing my son. But I refuse that possibility just like I refuse blame. The Universe doesn’t have the time or inclination to pay that close attention to me anyway. And really, I’m not that bad of a guy. Maybe if time flows backwards and I turn out to be a total and complete badass when I’m seventy two then this punishment may start to be deserved, but all that is unlikely at best.
And then there is the Meant To Be crew, and I just can’t get down with that at all. No matter what kind of major douchebag Silas turned out to be, or how contentious our long father-son relationship was, or any other permutation of What Could Have Happened, it is always better if he was here with us tonight. So this was never Meant To Be. This didn’t Happen For a Reason. This happened because sometimes things like this happen.
There is no why. There is only: What’s next? Once I began to start thinking again, a few weeks after that terrible day, I realized the only thing I could do was whatever was the very next thing that needed to be done. I’m better than that now. I can plan ahead again. But when the terror spins up and the grief overwhelms me my focus always comes back to the exact next thing I need to do to make myself feel safe or calm or incrementally better.
Tribes are good for that. The Prankster tricks me out of my maelstrom. The Confidant leans in to listen. The Shaman points at the hawk on wing on the blowing, invisible wind and I wonder if she is telling me something is coming, or if that Silas is here, or just that he is gone, as he is every day of my life.
It would be easier if I had something to believe in and understand implictly, but all that makes sense to me is that they all seem so arbitrary and contradictory. So I concentrate on the facts. We have each other. Our Tribe is robust but spread far and wide. Silas is gone and we will never have him back. And, it is a fact that when I feel the World turn slightly to me and bow, that I take it as a sign that something is definitely going to happen and I better be ready for anything. All the time. That’s my role in the Tribe.
I want to grab ahold of the World, turn it upside down and shake everything loose. I want the sad, depressing, difficult parts to fall away, to vanish into the ether, so that when I turn it all right side up again, all we’ve got left are the good pieces. The thing is, I’m not even sure if I could figure out which was which.
I can’t get my arms around the World, either, and I’m not strong enough to lift it. Besides, the vigorous shake I would give it would do nothing more than rattle everything around. Probably break a few things in the process. Nice things like summer days would end up cloudy and muddied. And I’ve had enough of the rain to last for a good long while. Best for me to just sit here, nearly motionless, my only action the turn of the page of the newspaper I hide behind like a shield.
Ensconed by the fences of our yard I choose to enjoy the warm air and sunlight. With an almost-imperceptible effort that is oh-so-familiar to me now, I decide that today’s beauty will not cut me to pieces. It is a choice, though. It is all too easy to let the grief and despair dominate.
This doesn’t get easier. It’s not better today than it was any yesterday. In some ways it is even worse, because now there’s been all this time to think about what happened, and to more fully realize how deep losing him goes.
He is gone but we are still here waiting for him. And everyone we know is looking back at us from their bright and lively futures. I don’t feel that sense of future. It is all just one long, brutal Now that started the moment we lost him. Because that cannot and will not ever change it is difficult to feel that anything has changed at all.
Now I am exactly montionless, because even reading has stopped. Only my thoughts remain moving as I twist around and around how today the World is the same because Silas is not here. Tears flow down my cheeks but I don’t wipe them away. There are still so many more to come and I have no where to go.
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.