The last time I posted here it was as an announcement for a book I wrote called Finding Nine. At the time I told myself and others the book was not about the son I lost. And in fact it was inspired during a road trip with his daughter long before he was even ill. My loyal readers though seemed to know the truth while I continued to find pleasure as I continued to write surrounded by my own denial. The kind of denial that stays with a mother long after her child has died.
This month I’m once again writing in the NaNoWriMo 50,000 word count rough draft challenge. As I write it comes to me there is no way for me as a newbie writer to write anything that I do not know. So in goes an overheard conversation, a detail taken out of my own life, a stolen vignette from someone else’s, a piece or many pieces of my son’s story. His life, who he was, who I wanted him to be, the man he became. Little bits and pieces here and there making up for his absence in my real life. In fiction he is always by my side. I write in a character by his name during the rough draft, changed later on. But while I write it is him who comes to life on the page, or parts of him mixed in with someone of my imaginings.
He is beside me. This is what I forgot recently while I sat ensconced in the weight of misery. Putting off writing until I felt lighter and less alone. But he is here, right here with his voice whispering details in my ear. Thank you Jason, Write on!
Happy Mother’s Day to you. This was another first for me – being without a child of my own to get a hug from. (Sadly not even our grand girls called or came by…. a topic for another blog perhaps). The week leading up to Mother’s Day was actually fine. I knew what to expect but when the day was here it was like being in a rudderless boat.
Now I should say here, Jason was not the most reliable when it came to pinning him down for a visit on Mother’s Day. He always called though, and came along sometime during the day. In his youth he brought along a bouquet of flowers, picked en-route, regaling me with a verbal picture of the amazing garden he had swiped them from. Pleased to see him and to get the flowers we would talk gardens and I would provide food, I loved to watch him eat!
When he had children of his own it would be an early morning stop for pancakes allowing the girls mother to sleep in. Last year he came all on his own, I’m not sure if it was exactly on Mother’s Day but it was our Mother’s Day visit; by then he was sick and on chemo too. He drove us to the beach for a walk and talk, this was one of the last times he drove me in his truck, he was wearing an orange T shirt.
This past weekend was spent travelling to a memorial tea for a friends mother, Rose. Each time word of a death reaches my ear I am griped in an almost physical hold so tight I can hardly get a clear breath. No matter the age or circumstances my heart breaks for those left behind.
While Jason was ill he asked me not to weep, saying it (his illness) was about him, not me. He asked me to keep a clear head so I could be cheerful and offer support and speak of him as a man who would live forever. And I did and in my heart he will be with me forever. Well now his departure from my life is definitely all about me.
Each of us who grieve for him hold our grief as separate and personal to us alone. We are in one big house called grief; separated by the walls of the rooms we are in. We hear each other grieve and the walls we have erected prevent reaching out enough to touch or lend comfort to one another. Our pain is our own and moving beyond it to find joy, that is the challenge. Doing all the things that once brought smiles and quilt free pleasure. Taking a step, moving in a forward motion, making a start and Getting past go…