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Thursday, November 8, 2012

THOUGHTS: The Unjust Bitterness of Grief

On Monday evening, while I was doing my radio show, I wound up posting this as a facebook status:

"I miss my son. I miss him with parts of me that I've buried over the years with denial and grief. He'd be 7 years old in about an hour and a half, and my little boy Malcolm has already experienced over 7 times of what Tiberius had on this earth. It's not fair, but as much as I hate it, I'm convinced that Tibbs was one if the lucky ones that accomplished his mission in the blink of an eye. We shoul
d all be so lucky. God didn't take his angel back. He took my son, or rather, my son went to the next place, teaching in four short months lessons about love and joy that the rest of us will take lifetimes to understand. Tibbs, I love you, I miss you, and I'm trying to understand why you left, but I just have to trust that you made the right decision. I'll see you again, and I can't wait to tell you about your little brother, your mom, the dog we got, Alaska! (We moved to Alaska! How cool is that?!) You probably know all of this already, but indulge an old man, young by your new standards I suppose. I think about you all the time, son. Be good, and I'll be patient. I love you."

It was this weird catharsis of stream-of-consciousness that I really didn't feel like I had any control over.  I started writing, and I just couldn't stop.  I wanted to just put up a quick note, and I didn't even want to touch on the subject.  But I did.  I did and it was like the dam broke.  It just came pouring out, sentence after sentence, and I wasn't even aware of what had happened when it was all said and done.  I felt like I had blacked out, like the thought was there, and for a brief second, I actually felt it, and then it left.  It left.  It's gone.  Oh, I know it's there somewhere, hiding out in one of the dark recesses of my brain or my heart, somewhere being buried by the stupid self conscious that's trying to "protect" me from the hardship that is grief.  But dammit, I want to feel it.  I want to meet it and deal with it, because as it sits, it's just been looming in over everything like a storm cloud in the distance, ominous as it slowly moves and just sits over me.  I want the storm.  I want the wind and the lightning and the rain and the floods.  I want the earthquake.  I want the strife, something tangible that I can put my hands on and wrestle into submission, or at least let wrestle me into submission.  At least to have some sort of interaction with this monster.

Monday night was the first time I felt like I saw it's face.

The messed up part is that I don't often think about Tibbs.  I think about the grief.  I WANT to think about Tibbs.  I want to remember him, remember my son learning how to laugh, learning how to make cooing noises, learning how to roll over, but instead all I'm allowed to focus on in my head is the grief that seems to smother his memory at every turn.  Every time I start to feel something, it goes away, and I just become bitter.  I'll even do stuff like play a certain song, look at pictures, try to remember a smell, and all I seem to be left with is that empty, cold, disdain for what I should feel that's buried.

I don't want to say that I hate this thief of my son's memory, this monster that's taken its place.  I understand it's reason for being, and I'm accepting of that.  I just want to be able to coexist with it, to establish a relationship with it, so that, every once in a while, I can humbly ask its permission to move on by and go visit Tibb in my head, tell him about the life that his mother and I have delicately and brutally patched together for each other in the aftermath of his short and powerful life, and how painfully difficult and beautifully rewarding it's been for both of us.

Sigh... I just feel like I'm forgetting too much, and I loathe it.