it’s just all out of order around here

I just scrolled down to check, and sure enough, I didn’t post anything about the anniversary of Ward’s transition this year. It was in late July.

(I still don’t want to know exactly when things happened, with regards to the initial plunge into the water and the days in PICU, although we mark July 28 as the day we lost him.)

Once again, our friends and family brought flowers and cards to our porch to show us that they remember him and know we still hurt and miss him.

I still can’t really believe it happened sometimes, but it did, without a doubt.

It’s stranger, really, than anything I could have imagined. It beats, Honey, we’re moving to Uruguay! and Holy cow, there’s a flying saucer in the backyard! any day of the week. It’s this unexpected and life-shattering thing that happened to us.

There it is.


It’s okay, though, in a way that probably only other seasoned grieving parents can get. It clenches my heart in an iron fist sometimes, but whatever. There’s still laundry to do and dinner to cook, homework and basketball practice and diapers.

I thought about it today on my walk with Rainbow, the grief thing. I like to think in metaphors, because, well, I just do. I like to unpuzzle things that happen verbally and symbolically in an effort to make sense of them.

I thought about grief as a ball and chain that gets plunked in your lap. One day, you’re traipsing around, unencumbered, and the next, you have a fifty pound ball attached to your ankle.

You sit there for awhile, holding this heavy lump of iron in your lap, and don’t even know what to do. Standing is hard, walking is impossible, and forget dancing. You’re jealous of the old you and of people who don’t have this thing attached to them. It’s not fair.

And you eventually get off the couch and do what you have to do, lugging this ball around with you.

Clink, clink, clink.

It pretty much sucks, but there are hidden benefits. Like, you get a lot stronger, for one. Lugging it around makes you use muscles that never got exercised before. You’re tougher. Plus, you develop an eye for seeing the balls and chains that other people have to drag around. It’s a bummer of a club to be in, sure, but it’s sometimes nice to compare notes with other people in your boat.

(What do you do about ankle chafing?)
(Where do you put it in your bed so you can sleep?)

And that maybe you can even get to a point where you can do stuff with it. Swing it in a circle like a flail and release it up into the air. It goes like a comet, dragging you after it to a place you’d never have gone otherwise.

(i.e. meditation, deep prayer, for-real discussions with the kids about the meaning of life)

And, yeah, I don’t know. Grief isn’t fun, no matter how you try to pretty it up with metaphors. I miss him so much.

I’m just committed, as I have been since it happened, to having his existence make a positive imprint on our family. He was/is too pure, too sweet, too beautiful, too adored to have anything ugly attached to him. I will acknowledge the horrors, but I will celebrate the gifts. The gifts are much more important.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cousin kate
    Nov 17, 2010 @ 00:12:30

    Love you.

  2. Betsyallisontant
    Nov 22, 2010 @ 01:21:29

    Wow. Beautifully written and a gentle reminder of the pain the you so bravely carry. Love you.

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