Friday, August 28, 2009
What they told me...
Yesterday was pretty much a shit day. At least the first part of it was. It would have been their first day of school which made reality all too real. I spent the morning thinking about what we would have been doing...what they would have worn...what I would have packed in their lunches... if they would have been nervous or excited...how proud I would have been of them...how happy and sad it would be to finally have both kids in school full-time. It was, by far, one of the most difficult days I've had yet.
Last night I went to see the movie "Inglourious Basterds" which proved to be a good distraction. In addition to feeling temporary relief from my sadness, I left the theater with a slight change in perspective. While I'm not sure a Tarantino perspective is a healthy one, it certainly is different from my usual take on things.
What I realized (once again) while watching the film, is that I'm not the only person in the world who has experienced a tragic loss (the movie is about the Holocaust). I'm not trying to minimize my situation at all, but it became clear to me that there are many, many people who have dealt with even greater tragedy and horrific situations than me, but have gone on living productive lives. Though this realization may seem fairly obvious, it's not usually in the forefront of my grieving mind.
As my outlook on my situation shifted I wanted to find some shred of positivity to embrace. If other people can deal with tragedy and loss, I should be able to as well. But I have to tell you, it's not easy to come up with something positive about this whole situation. Fortunately, that's when I remembered what they told me.
About two weeks ago I went to the site of the accident. I needed to spend some time at the place where my kids crossed over to the other side. It was interesting and difficult and helpful. At first I was struck by the quiet beauty of mile 476.9. There were trees and flowers and butterflies and a little stream, right next to the busy interstate highway. Weird. As I stood there and cried, I talked to my kids. I told them that I missed them, that I was sorry I couldn't have done something to prevent this and that I wished there was some way I could join them wherever they are. At that point I heard them say, "not yet, Mama, there's too much for you to do here".
Now when I say I "heard" them I don't mean that I actually heard their voices audibly, though I wish that was the case. It was more like listening with your gut, or intuition, if that makes any sense.
My immediate response to what they said was, "I don't care what I need to do here, I want to be with you!" They instantly replied, in a very wise and loving way, "you can't understand this from where you are now, but your time here on Earth is sooooo short in comparison to the eternity that you will spend with us." Those words came through so quickly and so clearly I know it had to have been them.
I miss them more than I can say, but I am fortunate to have had a few experiences where I feel them with me or "hear" them talking to me. It doesn't happen often and, because I am a skeptic, I sometimes doubt whether it's real. I know in my heart that it's real. It's obvious they have a much greater perspective on life than I do. When things get really bad I know that if I can hang onto what they told me I'll make it through.
Thank you, Kate and Peter. I love you.