Shades (An Original Poem)

Shades

The day is dim
Though the sun should be soaking us in a warm spring
This sky
is sullen, stormy, chilly,
weeping,

In memory of you.

This week,
the world struggles to recall your light,
your tall sunflowers
cloaked in a shroud of

The loss of you.

Those fires that destroyed you,
their causes unknown
linger,
their scent
caught up with yours
behind those doors we try
to keep closed
from

The loss of you.

I try and fail
not to replay that morning
on a loop in my head,
not to board that grief train.
Instead,
I find myself
grabbing a passing rail,
missing
falling
my heart
cut to ribbons under tons
of heartless steel
weighted down by

The loss of you.

The air
ripples in the darkness,
in my line of vision,
as I try to see the world
through

The loss of you.

Daily gratitudes:
Sleep when it comes
Getting accustomed to some hard truths
A successful truckload for the move
My great-nephew’s birthday tomorrow

Quote of the day: “Some people are just not meant to be in this world. It’s just too much for them.” — Phoebe Stone

The Sorrow of Today

Today, my youngest stepson would have turned 26. We lost him to suicide almost two years ago, another date that we mark with grief as we pass through the years. He was a complex and magnificent soul, with so much to offer. But as we all do, he found it hard to get out of his own way. The hopelessness and futility that feeling can engender became too much for him to bear.

M marks his birthday by dining at our son’s favorite restaurant, accompanied by his picture. He buys our son a glass of wine, and leaves it untouched. To date, M does not want me to accompany him on this modest pilgrimage.

I feel somewhat detached from my own grief about his loss. I think that’s defense mechanism that I have built, particularly around losing him. I have seen my hopeless, raging grief spill out at sunset by the side of a mountain river. I know it’s there. I just don’t know how to manage it, particularly in the face of M’s deeply painful, life-changing sorrow. My grief lives tucked away on a shelf so that I can be strong with him, for him, in the face of his.

Losing a child, at any age and regardless of the relationship you have with them, means losing so much more than just their being, their day-to-day existence, your interaction with them. It means losing the future. Your hopes, prayers, and dreams for your child vanish in an instant. You grieve that loss as well. I chastise myself for the opportunities I missed with our son, the promises I didn’t get around to keeping, the unintentional hurts I may have caused him. It’s impossible not to ask myself if I contributed to his choice. Or if there was something I might have done that could have prevented it.

His joy in his life was as real as his struggle. I hope with all my heart that where he is now, he can freely feel all the joy, and that the struggle is gone. As my belief supports, I trust that he and I will have a chance to get it right in some other life. In the meantime, M and I honor the day of his birth in our own ways, and honor him daily with remembrance, and prayers that his spirit has found some peace.

Daily gratitudes:
Jasper the Great Pyrenees
Two horses playing “I’m gonna eat your face”
Wind chimes
Having Ice Melt on hand for our upcoming snowstorm
Sending presents

Quote of the day:
“May the stars carry your sadness away, 
May the flowers fill your heart with beauty,
May hope forever wipe away your tears,
And, above all, may silence make you strong.” — Chief Dan George