Monday, November 6, 2017

Do you ever ask, did it really happen?

BUZZ goes the phone, and as I check for the message it’s a friend. He reminds me of the significance of a date (tomorrow) I already know — yet, suddenly, God has me go in on a journey. He shows me something surreal. It catches me by surprise.
I ask, for the first time I can recall, did this really happen?
It seems like it didn’t for the pure fact that all emotion is contained, dealt with, sublime. Unless, of course, I go in, as if to lift the lid. There it is, right there, again! Just as it always was. Preserved. Intact. The combination of a reflective moment, some choice photographs, and a special highly evocative song. Then it’s as real as it ever was. But it doesn’t overwhelm us.
It is healing? Or, it is denial? It could be something else, but at times it feels like it didn’t happen to us.
Tomorrow, on the third anniversary of his funeral, we bury our son’s ashes in a special pot we will plant.
I feel compelled to write and share. Yet I feel guilty at times sharing about Nathanael. I wonder if people think I’m trying to profit in some way by rehashing these stories. The truth is, I think, that grief is a fathomless pit of experience — and not all of it is harrowing. Some of it is reflective and good. Some of it teaches me about the voluminousness of life and wisdom and all there is to know by experience. Some of it is unbearable, for sure. But much of it is ho-hum, like it would be better if it weren’t this way, but it is. I know that some people would rather I didn’t make so much of our loss. I’m prepared to be unpopular if our experience helps even one person. What we’ve experienced must have meaning. Perhaps it’s those who are unattuned to loss who feel uncomfortable?
I don’t really want to bury the box that contains my son’s ashes.
But we will. We’ve been wanting to do it for some time, yet it’s safe and clean in our house at present. Isn’t it funny that I’d want material from my deceased son’s body kept safe and clean? Some of you at least would say, no, that’s normal.
Of course, it did happen, and we know it happened.
It’s a nice, safe feeling to know I can access my historically true sadness anytime. It is a treasured legacy of having lost our shining gift of God.
I suppose it’s a nice, safe feeling because we’ve always been thankful that we can remember him and his important place in our lives.

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