Saturday, January 19, 2013

Straddling Worlds

This is an odd time in my life- I think the fog descends and leaves at its own will. At times it is like your brain defaults to life before Perry, that all this never happened. Other instances I still wake up and expect him to be there, the pack n' play simply hidden by the bed.

At times I feel happy, Emily twirls and leaps in her 'powerful' dances. Meaning returns occassionaly at work, I feel satisfaction with a class that has never been taught before. I begin to take more interest in random things, and have started reading things again that are not related to death or the bible.

In other instances, life will never be simple again. I am reminded constantly of how abnormal my loss is by facebook ecards. I listen to Sunday School lessons and wonder if people really think life is so simple. Naomi isn't a cardboard bitter woman to me. They talk judgementally about her, but I see God's grace as she holds a newborn Grandson in her arms and she regains a little of normal future that was denied to her. Maybe years of hearing about other woman's Grandchildren by the well are erased as she finally has this too. She probably wondered if she would ever have any of this normality.

In some ways I feel like I am understood more by the 60 plus crowd. There is a generation that is facing and has faced loss, where my generation is still in the midst of baby showers and kindergarten school plays, or perhaps high school kids putting in college applications. Some of the 60 plus class understands closets of clothing with the person no longer there. While for many it may be parents, some have faced the very wrong experience of seeing children taken before their time. I think there also comes a better understanding of human nature and the short fluttering brevity of human life. I think Heaven has become more meaningful to them- a place of reunion and not theory. To many of my class, I suspect Heaven is not a longing for them yet. Wonderful perhaps, but a distant concept.

And here I am, straddling the world of the young and old. I know sometimes the older woman behind me probably looks at me and thinks I know nothing of loss as I stand in line holding my young daughter's hand. The young think I am bitter perhaps because they haven't tasted the sting of death enough to realize that I'm not really angry so much as I am just changed. Life will never be the same and I am a new person, better in many ways, but at a really high cost. But more serious and not as into play anymore. Somebody's joke, I know, is another person's tragedy- sometimes my own. I see faces more, feel other's pain more. Things you can buy in stores do not bring the joy they once did.

At the same time, I know I have a lot of life before me- which is a bit of the extra cruelty of a child's death... Because most people, by the time they taste a lot of loss, are closer to reunion. I do still go to  preschool parties and stuff myself in the tiny chairs. I live in the world of alphabet magnets on my refridgerator and art made out of handprints, kids toys in the floor. I have a child who loves holidays and pours happily through decorations with me in the craft store.

And then when we are done making our selections, I travel down the road and put them up on my son's grave. I still love and think about Perry daily, I just don't tell many people these things anymore as you are supposed to be over things. You get tired of being judged.

If you don't believe that people think a child's loss should largely over in a few months, you have only to tune into Ricky Lake where parents five months out are portrayed as frozen in grief. These are very normal parents actually, and I am saddened that instead of receiving the support of others they are receiving the judgement of strangers. They know, as they walk off stage, that perhaps they should have just pretended, or worst yet may believe her words and feel like they are abnomalities.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Stone Saga Continues

There is a bit of frustration that Perry's stone is still not complete. For reasons beyond our control, the angel is still not up. The artist couldn't understand the importance of the Oct 31st date (trying to get it installed before the 1 year anniversary of Perry's death). And now it is too cold for the special masonry 'glue' to set. Initially it was supposed be done while summer was still in full swing and has drug out into a year long process.

In some of this, it has been extremely aggravating for Chris. He is task oriented and it drives him nuts. At the same time, I feel like there is a boiling anger associated with the project that may be misdirected. I don't think he realizes it, but I think deep down he is angry we have to have a stone at all. He doesn't understand why my anger doesn't rise to match his at times, and it is because I think he doesn't always understand the true root of his own. He is upset because his son should be here.

I don't know it is what I envisioned, but at the same time it is much more than a flat stone. I am happy and yet unsatisfied with it all at once. Because I believe that deep down, nothing is good enough... nothing can fully express what it is we feel for Perry. And nothing short of the grace of God that we will only experience in heaven can bring him back.

The angel is waiting in darkness in the work shop for spring to release him.

I'll show you the full project then, which has a lot more to it than a simple base.

I wonder if then we will have a sense of completeness about it, or if we will be sad because that final check mark is done.