Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Mar 24, 2011

Five Years

Kathe Kollwitz, Lamentation 1938
It's barely comprehensible that it has been five years since my son Patrick died.  That five years ago today, we brought home his ashes.The hurt, pain, longing,'s all still here. It's with us every day. Sometimes it's just a low hum in the background and sometimes it's the loudest sound in our world. The loss of a child is indeed a grief like no other.

If I talk about it less, it's because I feel like people just don't want to hear it anymore. Or people will think I'm "stuck" (as I heard one person said about me), not moving forward. And when I don't talk about Patrick when I'm thinking about him, or when I'm missing him, then I feel less than authentic. My silence on this, my solitary tears, separate me from people more and more often these days.

So that's how it is, five years tending the grief garden. I'm not who I was before. I've learned to live with enormous pain and grief while engaging with a creative, healthy and joyous life. It amazes me that when I touch the grief place, it is as raw and painful as it ever was. It amazes me that I have moments of pure bliss and contentment. It amazes me that my being can be composed of such powerful, conflicting emotions, that I feel cursed and blessed at the same time. But that's how it is.

A poem I wrote last week:

tomorrow my son died.
today i hugged him for the last time.

this today my daughter texted
that she misses me.
i texted back
i miss you more

then cried in my cereal.
i ate strawberries & tears for breakfast.
i made that my facebook status.
i tweeted it.

i think i'm like Persephone.
i spend half my life
with the dead.

i think i'm like her mother Demeter.
i move through the land in disguise,
sorrow and stones weighting the hem of my dark cloak.

oh. please. i'm not Goddess in archetypal myth.

i'm a mortal mother whose child died tomorrow
like mothers' children do      every.  day.

tomorrow my heart cracked open,
its infinite capacity exposed
so everything started tumbling in.

tomorrow i began this endless poem.

i'm always imagining it is reposeful
under winter's earth,
how the withered stems of dreams
still dream in the roots below.

it's all in-breath.

and always - so far-
the day after tomorrow
the sun has returned
color rises
warmth kisses

out-breath begins.

Ah, we miss you, Patrick, and always will.  Love, love, love...

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At 3/24/11, 9:14 AM, Blogger walking the yarn said...

Thank you so much for sharing this lovely tribute. Your courage in the face of such a tragic loss is exemplary and an example to us all.

At 3/26/11, 1:50 PM, Blogger Reticula said...

I love you, 'Zann. If you want to talk about Patrick for years and years, you may talk to me. Loving and grieving your child's life can't ever...I mean called "stuck." Grrrr.


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