The day my son was hospitalized for suicidal ideation, he was wearing a graphic t-shirt. It features a pixelated video game character he loves, frozen in a jaunty pose. The shirt went with him from one hospital to another, along with his … Continued
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan, Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone; Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow, In the bleak midwinter, long ago. ~ Christina Rossetti, “In the Bleak Midwinter” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ … Continued
My father looked through me as he died. His coffee-brown eyes blazed with an amber-like illumination. They glowed. His black pupils were the size of peppercorns and appeared to be suspended in the petrified grasp of ancient sap. My sister and I turned to the nurse and insisted, strongly, those were not our dad’s normal, everyday eyes. It was desperately important—to me—she understood the forces at work in that room at that moment…read more
I thought I understood grief but I don’t.
I’ve grieved for miscarried babies and all four of my grandparents. I sobbed and I screamed. I was incredulous and surprised. I sank into sad music. Mundane annoyances became personal affronts. I was wounded. I was broken. When my dad died, I expected all these elements of grief to invade, but on a more acutely intense level. My father is gone, forever. I will never hug him hello and goodbye again. I will never again hear him sing to me on my birthday. He will never visit my home for a weekend. I won’t have to explain to him, again, how the remote works or how to override the coffee maker’s timer if he gets up before it switches on…read more
As my dad died, I had violent fantasies about severely beating the next person I saw with a cigarette hanging out of his or her mouth. I told my husband I was going to kick them in the throat. He thought that was an uncharacteristically mean thing for me to contemplate. I couldn’t help it, though. My dream of pummeling smoking strangers was most likely a way I dealt with my anger toward my father and his precious cigarettes, which were responsible for his Stage IV lung cancer…read more