I am having so much trouble writing. It feels a bit like at the very beginning, when there were so many emotions under the surface and so many changes flying around me that I just could not put my thoughts together coherently and the idea of cataloguing them was actually unattractive and a little frightening. But I am thinking about Joseph all the time.
We are headed toward Christmas and it is everywhere now. I am feeling strangely different than I thought I would. Yes, it is tremendously painful. But all those reminders have been ghosts around my head all year long...Joseph's ultimate end was fairly steeped in the Christmas season. So all these reminders are actually making me feeling much closer to him. There is a part of me sinking down into that like a warm, soothing bath. I can think about him all the time now. The sights and sounds bring him to me constantly, and it is almost as if all these things are giving him back to me. Its painful but it is wonderful too. Forevermore Joseph will be so present in Christmas for me. A whole new meaning to a very special holiday that has always been my favorite. I miss him so much. I get to thinking about him and the thoughts just tumble and jumble over and around one another, at times raging out of control in my head. I can find so much to feel guilty about. All the times he wanted to do something and I said no, not because what he wanted to do was truly dangerous but because of things that I feared could happen. All the times I secretly silently fantasized about the day not only he but all my children would be grown and gone and my life completely mine again, because I am a selfish being and was very unprepared for the sacrifices children bring. I don't have that thought anymore. If anything now I feel like my flailing hands are grasping at the air and smoke children leave behind as they zoom toward adulthood....too late now....too late now....like a solemn, mournful bell tolling in my head. And the one who will never get there. Who has disappeared completely, never to age past 13, never to grow up....at a time when it was just getting good, our talks, his thoughts, the wonder of listening to his independent ideas and the generosity of his desires for people on earth. I should have been more like him. I still should be. How I wish I knew if he knows how much I love and miss him..how much I have always loved him. Sometimes my desire to join him is so very strong, and I find myself yearning for some sudden event to carry me away and end the mystery once and for all. Where is he? HOW is he? I can actually get a physical ache in my upper inner arms where his thin shoulders would come into contact with me at the first exchange of warmth in our embrace. I can type here all the usual platitudes of how no parent should ever have to bury their child. It is true, but it does happen and more often than I ever realized until I joined those invisible ranks.
So I go through my days..carrying him with me everywhere, stealing every moment I can to slide off into daydreams and thoughts of him. I wish at times for hours in which I can just be with him in my mind, alone, no speech, no touch, nothing to disturb my memories and musings, which were silent for months after he passed and now which bombard me the second I open tha tdoor. What will happen when the one year anniversary of his death hits? Its almost here....what will happen when that day looms up bright and sunny and completely opposite of the cold, dark days that followed his death this past January?
I don't feel unhealthy and I don't feel like I am stuck in a quagmire of darkness. I feel sad beyond the measure of my own bones and skin, yet at the same time deeply aware of others around me whose loss would also bring me to my knees. I am in this in between place, anticipating our first Christmas in our first house together, looking forward to enjoying my boys while they are still young enough to enjoy me back and yet registering with every fiber of my being that there was another and that there still should be. I almost feel sorry for the families that will go through this holiday not even realizing the holes in their lives that are currently filled, but could be so devastatingly emptied in one strange twist of fate. If there is one thing I am grateful for during that time that Joseph suffered and that time just prior to his death. I have never in my life been so aware of my depth of love for someone. I am glad to know it is there. It is not gone. I feel it every day, in every lonely moment without him. I have loved greatly. No different from any other parent except perhaps in my awareness of the depth of it and the abiding nature of it. I loved him enough to let him go. It almost doesn't matter that I had no choice.