Saturday, July 24, 2010
It goes without saying that today is an emotional day. In a way, I relive the shock of Gunnar's death. Grief memories and gratitude intertwine and overlap. With that in mind, I wrote this letter to Gunnar.
Dear Gunnar, I miss you son. Such a huge part of my world is gone. As I sit and write, I cry and smile at the same time. I cry because missing you hurts. the grief is understandably fresh, so I cut myself some slack. I hear your reasuring voice, "It's OK Mom, you'll be alright." I smile as I remember all the laughter we shared. I love our time sitting on the couch watching "B" science fiction movies, making fun of the dialogue and the meager special effects that accompany such endeavors. I never minded you coming home late at night and stopping by my door and saying, "Mom, guess what happened." It seems your best thoughts came to you between the hours of 12:00AM and 1:30AM. The list is endless, son.
Your friends have shared many stories about you with me this past year. I have listened with a heart full of satisfaction.
I am reminded of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's words,
" Nothing will fill the gap when we are away from those we love, and it would be wrong to try and find anything. We must simply hold out and win through. That sounds very hard at first, but at the same time it is a great consolation, since leaving the gap unfilled preserves the bond between us. It is nonsense to say the God fills the gap: He does not fill it, but keeps it empty so that our communion with another may be kept alive, even at the cost of pain."
Friday, July 16, 2010
I thought about Gunnar and Hayden's friendship this week. They were devoted to each other. Each approached life differently. Gunnar preferred the "take the bull by the horns." approach while Hayden employed, "Let's negotiate." tactic They were devoted to each other. Gunnar, A highly kinetic individual, enter into Hayden's sedentary world of cancer. They manage to blend the two in a way that left me in awe at times. Part of Hayden's cancer treatment involved receiving daily shots, mind he is four at the time--not excited about needles. He wanted to be brave but ...So big six year old brother step up, "I'll give myself a shot too, Hayden." And he did. The memory makes me smile and cry. There is such a beauty when one person chooses to enter another's pain. At many levels, we are solitary beings, meaning we are unique and experience life on a unique level. That's the beauty of relationship, entering into another's world. I watched my six year old blend his world with Hayden's. For example, there was a period when Gunnar like football and would choreograph his own football games, complete with a sports announcer. Hayden wanted to play football too. He was fragile, his double lumen line was in place and a significant portion of his skull missing, so participating in a high contact sport like football may not be in his best interest. So what solution did Gunnar and Hayden come up with so that both could play football?--- Slow motion football---brilliant!! Together, My boy's forged a beautiful friendship despite hardship. Their beauty inspires me daily--Thank you G and H!
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
I am not a huge journal writer. I jot my thoughts on scrapes of paper. When my desk drawer and nightstand reach overflowing, I collect the scrapes and read my scribbled thoughts. I read and am moved by memory to places past. Here are some thoughts of mine from August 2009.
“Grief is a violent reworking of the deepest part of my being. I wake up to a world with no color—only sharp contrasting edges. The music is gone. It is as if all the notes have fallen off the page and all that remains is blank sheet music.’’
The contrast within myself is exhausting. I have often thought, “Grief doesn’t really begin until the heart figures out what happened.”
My mind can understand the mechanics of death—rebel cancer cells that refuse to yield or scare tissue preventing the sinoatrial signal from traveling to the next cell in the heart wall. Such is the language of my mind. My mind needs understanding—the facts—the who, the what, the where help bring order to the chaos—the new world—that I really do not want to know.
My heart finds no comfort in facts. It protests at an ear piercing pitch in response to the loss. I think of Strider from JRR Tolkien’s book, Lord of the Rings “Memories are not what the heart desires.””
As of today, the protest of my heart is quieter. I know the color and music will return—not the same but I welcome the return whatever form it may take.