Thursday, October 21, 2010


I'm not OK.

It's been two months since my Mother died. I can walk around without falling because after the miscarriage I learned how to pretend there was solid earth beneath my feet. I learned to work through the sensation of plummeting down the pit. It is an act. It is a conceit. I try to time and confine the worst despair to the rare moments I can be alone. I fail often at this. It still comes at random moments. Those are the easy times. Knowing what brings it on is the scary thing. It was the "O" word that got me. Orphan; the word folded me up like a cheap lawn chair. I am a Parent. I know about bottomless love, the unquenchable pride. The people who felt that way about me are dead.

I miss being a son.

Do I sound angry? I am. But if you sit with me a while I will only be sad soon. After that I may be happy for a brief time that my mother is no longer imprisoned a body that tormented her. After that I will be very quiet; when I realize again what that means and curse myself for it. I will be quiet for a long time.

Don't tell me it will get better. My Father died nearly three decades ago and I miss him every day. It gets worse because I understand more about my loss. I can add up all the things that should have been.

If there is one thing all the living can share it is grief. The feeling is exactly the same for the poorest child or the richest man. Know this. When you look into the eyes of stranger, behind whatever expression the eyes can veil, there is loss, infinite longing for someone they still love. If there isn't, there will be. If knowing this is not enough for you to treat each and every person with all the compassion you can muster, then Hell cannot damn you. You are damned as you walk this Earth.

Please forgive my anger, it will fade. In a little while I will smile, then I will be quiet.


BarelyKnitTogether said...

Such beautiful writing! And I can only imagine this grief of being an orphan, but it will be upon me soon enough. Thank you for opening your heart so wide as to share this.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how I found this post but it is so beautiful, all I could do was sit and cry.I lost my mom 6 months ago, and my dad 2 years ago. The pain never gets better, it never goes away, it just becomes a part of who we are.

jakdedert said...

I vividly recall those unguarded and unexpected moments in the months and years after my brother died, when the grief would nearly overcome me. Reading your blog was almost one of those moments. It's a normal, natural impulse and nothing to be ashamed of. That said, those moments became fewer and fewer as years--decades--passed. Obviously, they never left me completely.

The last thing your late loved-ones would want for you, is for the occasion of their departure to be your undoing. Honor their memory by honoring their lives--including the end--and living, right up till that inevitable moment of your own passing.

You will be missed, but surely you want your own survivors to did those whom you now grieve. Mastering and demonstrating this lesson in your own life will be a tremendous benefit to those you leave behind.

Good luck with that, and if there's anything I can do to help, let me know, brother.

G-31 Toastmasters said...

Dear Rudi, I am a friend Rowena's. I am Esther from RI. Maybe you've heard my name. Anyway.... around here in Ri there are two groups I would recommend. One is the ongoing berevement support groups offered by The Samaritans. I cannot remember what they are called but if you ohone The Samaritans I am sure they will point you in the right direction. The other group is Emotions Anonymous. Like AA but all about complex emotional challenges like grief. I hope this hlps. You and your lovely family are in my orayers. I know you guys prayed me to sanity when my brother died in 2003. Warmly, Esther Paris in RI