It is you

 

It is  rage,

Smothering, choking;

It is  night,

Drawing down light;

It is fear,

Haunting empty hours;

It is loss,

Permeating every moment;

It is  suffering,

Seared into memory;

It is tears,

Tasted on the cheek;

It is words,

Wept and sung;

It is moments,

Clung together;

It is setbacks;

It is hope;

It is resilience;

It is time.

Precious, precious time.

It is you:

Teaching me,

Trusting me,

Forgiving me,

Loving me.

It is you,

and it is you,

and it is you.

Wanting mind

The wanting mind, always present, always asking

for things, so many things.

Intricately entwined in our DNA, our genes,

part of survival, instinctual, incessant.

Comprehending it is relatively simple,

but hearing it, the ceaseless nagging of it,

wears away at any state of contentment.

That is it’s job, to keep asking and asking

for things it can and cannot have.

And ours to deny it, to soothe it like a troubled child

and to sometimes say “Yes,” this time, “yes.”

Solitude

IMG_2163.jpgSome grief requires solitude.

An interval to withdraw from social norms and attempt to heal in silence the breech carved through you.

Words, speech, even listening is hard. The effort required to perform simple tasks, to risk reaching out, even to your most trusted loved ones is unbearable. Because they know.

They know your heart is ripped open, gushing sorrow. Their compassion and love make it even more real.

For their hearts are also broken. They too have lost a beloved.

Love, how the ache of it’s loss can overpower you. The longing for it so deep and impenetrable. The absence that will forever be a companion for us now.

A part of me that was good and true, has vanished, but the memories of it, of you, Dan, are all around me.

Please forgive me my dear ones if you find me mute. My body needs time to regenerate, to weave a soft spot to fill the hole promised to me all those years ago. You know that I love you, that I know you are also in pain and with what remains of my tattered heart I am with you.

Gone

My SuperDan

 

Dear heart, my Daniel, born at home in a stock tank filled with water, you nestled into our family seamlessly.  Tucked into bed with me, your brother beside you and your Dad snuggled against him, you gave us one of the most beautiful moments of our lives.

And now you are gone.

Right after you were born your sisters had head lice and we spent countless hours picking nits out of their hair as you calmly sat in your car seat nearby.  Just as they loved your brother Al, and later, your sister Annie, they held you and you melted  their  hearts.  Lovely and gifted young women, even then, with far too much emotional stress to cope with.  But holding you brought them peace, as it did for anyone who knew you.

And now you are gone.

I watched you learn to walk, observed (amused) as you potty trained by watching your brother stand up to pee.  You wanted to be like him and yet you were so divinely your own.  Toddling after him (he was impossible to keep up with), sitting in Megan or Melissa’s lap to hear stories, to cuddle – always such a cuddle bug.  You gave all of your sweet self to us.  You guarded over your little sister like a lion cub, playing with her and soothing her when she fell and skinned her knees.

And now you are gone.

Every teacher, every nurse, every medical person who cared for you over the short 20 years we had you, fell in love.  How could they not?  You were made of love and it shined from you like the warm sun on a spring afternoon.  Your strength and bravery humbled us all.  You never complained and you never wallowed in self-pity.  You just went courageously from one challenge to the next, as if to say, “Bring it on bitches! You can’t break me.”

And now you are gone.

When Kevin and I were married, you walked down the steps with me, holding my hand.  You spent countless hours video gaming with him, playing scamper, telling jokes at dinner, and running to the edge of the field with your brother and sister when one of you burped at the table.  You and Kevin, your second father, who read you stories at bedtime in those tender moments before saying goodnight.

And now you are gone.

There were so many people who treasured you. Your grandparents, aunts (ring tone radio – check it out), uncles, cousins (Noah and Jonah helping you body surf in Lake Michigan) and especially Matthew Rush, your brother-in-law, who gave you such an indispensable gift by gaming with you over the internet those nights in the hospital, where you often felt so isolated and alone, after he put his children to bed, never mentioning his 4:30 a.m. wake-up call to get to work, never playing down to you.  Just talking “trash” like gamers do.  It was especially hard that you died on game night.

And now you are gone.

I fight the urge to smash every piece of medical equipment that remains in the house, the machines that both sustained and restrained you.  I am angry that A-T took you from us so soon.  When you were gone from those moments of pain and struggle, I removed each artificial device from your still body.  I wanted you wholly yourself again.  Humbly and with deep gratitude, I gave you your last bath and put on your favorite Dragonball shirt.  I promised you, my love, my heart, that I would bring you home.  Born at home, it was your deepest desire to return here before leaving us.

And now you are gone.

The agony, oh Dan, the agony of the silence, of your absence, feels unbearable.  If the depth of our grief is in any way a measure of the love we felt for you, of the unbreakable bond we shared, then know that with every beat of our hearts, with every cell that makes up these bodies, we cry out for you to return.  Just one more hug, one more joke, one more eye roll at my constant singing to you.

And now you are gone.

Be at peace darling one, and know that you are as close to us as our breath, and you will see, through the eyes of those who loved you, every precious moment of this life. We can never really be separated, we are a part of each other.

Yes, you are gone, but always, always you remain here in our hearts.  Our superhero, our Wolverine, our Dragon Dan.

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