Monday, April 6, 2009
Be.Still. (Part Three -- Grief)
I had just seen him no more than 6 hours prior.
Playfully hugged him and
tugged at one of his locks while he sat on our couch talking to my mother.
He was gone.
That night still haunts my dreams...
...there were too many people in my room at once:
some gazing back and forth from my mother to me,
while others simply lowered their eyes to the floor.
My mother was struggling to explain something to me, but all I heard was:
I cannot put into words my initial feeling, but I do remember being confused.
It was if all of the logic and reasoning that I had was no help to me...
All sensibility and understanding that a 14 year old usually possesses did not come through for me in that moment.
All I know, is that I felt alone. Abandoned. And wherever my brother was...I wanted to join him.
I could not bear the thought of being left alone here.
Left to contend with the process of loss and mourning.
And having to watch those closest to me endure insurmountable pain.
I knew it the moment my mother's words escaped her lips that pain was promised.
So, in my head...I ran.
Full speed...away from the pain that pursued my soul.
The following year of my life...I lived in a personal hell where the flames could not reach me.
They scorched my family clean. Especially my mother.
I helplessly watched her cry and scream. Her grief hit her in spasms; at unexpected moments. In such sporadic succession that I walked on eggshells in my home.
I did not smile.
I did not speak.
...and I dared not cry.
I had to keep running.
February 28, 2000.
372 days after my brother died.
I sat on my bed, distracted with something that I was drawing.
I happened to gaze over at the picture of him on my nightstand.
I quickly looked away, but felt a throbbing in my chest.
I opened my mouth, and said to my empty room:
"I miss you Mike."
Tears followed the release of my words.
Many...so many tears.
I cannot remember how long I sat mourning on my bed.
Quiet sobs turned into loud, angry wailing.
When I could cry no more...I wiped my face and saw my pencil and notepad lying on my bed.
The silence in my room was peaceful, and the words in my head gathered and aligned.
I picked up both the pencil and notepad. Wrote my very first poem.
About my brother.
So grief taught me a very personal lesson:
Running from death preoccupies you from living.