mercredi, décembre 25, 2013

Logs -- and the current

I'd forgotten what this kind of grief was like, how it claws at your insides and renders you mute, or crazed, or afraid.

But under all of these emotions is a deep sense of helplessness, and one of incredulity.

Over and over again, I go over the steps that led us here, and wonder what I could have done differently.

Having lost a sibling when he was young, I am acquainted with the kind of loss that changes your life forever.

After my brother died, I decided that, as much as I could,  my life would be bent towards hope, and open to possibility.

Every Christmas since the one in which he did not come home to see us, his New York family, I have learned, as one using a prosthetic limb, to navigate more easily, with less pain and fonder memories.

But not this one. For reasons which I cannot share here, this holiday has become a festival of horror.

Family splintered.

Relationships sundered.

And over, just over the horizon, the spectre of illness and of potential loss.

What hubris to think that I could create a happier home, and fill it with wisdom, temperance and laughter.

Those aren't my gifts to give. Or perhaps it's fairer to say that they are, in my hands, fleeting and volatile.

It is possible that being a parent will break me, I think sometimes.

My struggle to rescue my fading relationship with one of my children has already broken my heart.

In the wake of the devastation of the past few weeks, no choice seems right.

There are moments when I am free to laugh, to listen, to question.  Blessed with a natural, or perhaps an unnatural degree of curiosity, there are times when I can lose myself in my work.

Is all lost?

I wish I had an answer to that question. I wish I knew if, even if one child is lost to you, it is possible to walk again towards healing -- or if I will limp so much that people will often notice.

One thing is sure -- I am blessed in my friends.  Though I cannot share with all, I have been compelled to alert a few.

They have been wonderful.  Finding the right word at the right time, they comfort me and challenge me to keep forgiving, keep moving, look ahead.

Most of all, they find something worthy in me when I look on the floor and see broken shards of a life I once dreamed could be redeemed, and even, in some small way, redemptive.

It is your words, my friends, that get me through the long darkness of the nights -- and give me strength to face the morning.

If this is indeed grace, and I assume it is, I wish I didn't need so darned much of it.

Not that I am turning help away.

Every step I take in the roiling water is due to God's mercy and the log a friend puts in my path.

Else I should be lost.

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