They say time heals. That’s crap. Time doesn’t heal; time doesn’t give a toss one way or the other whether you heal. You learn to live with the pain. The pain is like a disability, always there. Sometimes it doesn’t affect your life too much and you can trick yourself into believing you are doing well, that it is resolved but it is always there. Waiting! Grief is patient if nothing else. It can outlast you, it can outlast your thoughts, your “dealing with it”. It just sits, waits and then knocks you sideways.
So Matt, I am back in this vortex of pain. People ask me why? Why do I feel like this? I look at them, like they are from another planet. Why? Why??? What sort of stupid fucking question is that? Why am I in pain? Because I watched my son die, because I thought I was going to have you back; because I sat by your bed for 3 days listening to you trying to drag air into your lungs. Each breath more painful and raspy than the last, the silence between those breaths growing longer and longer. Because I couldn’t speak to you as each time you heard my voice you rallied and tried to come back to this place when we both knew you had to travel to time beyond this time. Why am I in pain? What a fucking stupid question.
Then people tell me I am in pain because I feel guilty! This of all comments makes me angry. No, anger is too mild a word. I feel rage. I would like to let my fingers rip their eyes out and listen to their howls of pain. Guilt? I am a father, I would die in an instance so you and all my children can live and yet I had to go the doctors and tell them to switch to palliative care, your brain traumatised by the fall, infection and too much surgery. Do I feel guilt for that? No, if truth be told I am grateful you were spared the indignity of brain damage. Does my gratefulness make my rage any less? Of course not. The thing I find so offensive about Christianity is that God let his son die! No father, willing allows their children to die. Don’t talk to me of a loving heavenly father who allowed his son to die. That is no love that is an abomination.
Matt, I am filled with rage. I would howl my rage to the universe. I love you and yet I am also filled with rage towards you my young pup. You, who thought you, were so invincible the laws of gravity would hold you. You were invincible yet you weren’t! I remember the nights we ran together, then walked and talked. I remember the feel of your hand in mine that last Christmas. I remember driving down
Beaufort St one night to collect you at 2am because you were lonely. Your friends had gone of drinking and you didn’t want to join them. You felt so alone. Now you have gone and I remember. I love you and yet I rage for what you did, a simple mistake with disastrous consequences. Can love and rage co-exist?
It seems they can and there is no resolution. Perhaps rage is simply another form of grief, another facet of this thing I now live with. Perhaps, Matt I do people a dis-service, I sometimes wonder if people think we have accepted something if we can see a higher purpose, if we can integrate the experience into some meaning. I suppose that is why often religion flourishes because people want meaning. Yet, in your case I don’t think there is some higher meaning or purpose. It was just an accident that had life changing consequences. Perhaps there is no meaning, it just was and I have to live with that. Does it make me any less angry at times? No
So Matt, I am angry, no I am filled with rage. Somehow in admitting this it is okay. I can be filled with rage at what happened and that doesn’t change my love for you or me missing you.
Tomorrow is another day, another day when I can choose to acknowledge my rage and find beauty in life. Another day, when I can choose to accept this gift of life and acknowledge my pain and the fact I miss you.