Somedays I think I have made it so far, that I have maybe found a path in the darkness. Most days, I crawl from the swamp and claw my way up out of the mud to the light. I dream every night about him. I have never had the types of dreams I have now. So bizarre, and yet so real. And when I wake, the residue of the dream flavors my day. And the first thought is, “he is not here. He is really gone. The worst possible outcome has come to pass”. And I think, “how could this be? how could my beautiful son be gone? how did this happen?”
And I roll over clutching for my husband in pure panic. And he is sobbing in the dark, thinking the same things, feeling the same way, overcome by his own dreams and reality. His best friend, his business partner, the extension of his right arm – is gone. He dreads going to work because it means he will have to come full on with the reality that his partner is gone. GONE.
And our beautiful daughter is so overcome with grief that she can’t make it through the day. She curls up in a ball and cries and blames herself… for what? For loving him. For not being there in his hour of need. For not loving him enough. For not caring enough. And her life has come to a stand still. Her sanity is at stake.
I am normally a very optimistic person, the cup is not only full, it is overflowing. Still the same, only the blood of his life and mine flows over the edge of the glass and pours on the floor. My days used to have vibrant color, a swirl of life, love, happiness, challenge, satisfaction and vibrant vibrant 3 dimensional color.
Now it is a dull shade of grey that weighs on me like a heavy wet cloak. Is this what life will be like from now on?
And still I come out kicking and fighting, saying NO darkness and despair, you can not win. I will not let you take us. I will find a way to fix this, to set it right. I will find a way to save Chuck and Katie. FIGHT, FIGHT. FIGHT. Don’t give up. You can not have us. You can not take us too.
And it is night time. It is time to go to sleep. My eyes hurt, my heart hurts. It is really time to rest. But, I know that if I close my eyes, the dreams will begin. And I will be caught up in a story I can not control or narrate or stop. And when I awaken, the first words I will think are, “it is real. It wasn’t a dream. He is really gone. He is never going to come back. Nothing you say or do can change that. You will never hug him again, or hear his laugh.”
So, fight this for me, because I can’t today. Fight this for Katie, because she can’t pick her head off the pillow. Fight this for Chuck because he sleeps all day in a deep depression and can’t fight his way out of a paper bag.