Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It hasn't been a while

"I know it's been a while, but..." People say that a lot. It's a clarification. When about to discuss something horrible, distance becomes important. Talking about the thing itself, with all of the reality that entails, is challenging.  There is not a "light" way to discuss the death of your child. It simply doesn't work. So people employ a variety of strategies to distance themselves. "It's been a while" is perhaps my least favorite. Because it hasn't been a while.

That is not necessarily factually true. It has been over a year. October creeps up, and with it James' birthday. He would have been two. Today was his due date, fixed in my calendar last year for months. I don't look at that calendar very much anymore. He lived a third of what would have been his actual age,  a fraction that becomes increasingly lopsided as the months roll by. I wish I wouldn't keep track but I can't help myself. There are  lot of mental tics like that I wish I'd do away with.

A lot can happen in a year, indeed a lot did, but the time itself seems insubstantial. On some days I can close my eyes and I'm back at the hospital, fighting with doctors and trying desperately to do, even though never was much to do. Random memories pop into focus. James lying in bed in the PICU the night after his craniotomy. It was one of the corner rooms, an oddly shaped polygon with uneven wall lengths and an awkward, poorly planned corner. The sleeper couch was in the corner of course, farther away from James' bed than in other rooms. It drove me crazy all night because I was just far enough away that I couldn't quite make out the reading on his cranial pressure, which we needed to watch. I dragged the couch closer and spent the whole night just watching him and the number climbing and falling on the monitor. I'd been so afraid they'd take all his hair in the operation, but he still had so much. I remember how proud of him I was, how hopeful. None of that feels very far away. If anything it is alarmingly present.

So it bothers me when people tell me it's been a while. I do not like consigning James to the dustbin of memory, neatly tucked away in a filing cabinet somewhere inside my mind. I refuse the implication in its entirety. The passage of time does not make what happened less important, and it can have no impact on the way I think and feel about James. That is not to say that I expect or want to spend the rest of my life doing nothing but grieving for James- I don't, and I think James would be tremendously disappointed if I did. That said, this is not one of those things that eventually just becomes something that happened once upon a time, like graduating from high school or college. This is something that is forever happening, because James is forever gone. It is an ongoing event, because I will always be James' father and I will always love him, not a while ago, but each and every day.

Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers.

20 comments:

  1. Been thinking of you especially since James' birthday is this month. Prayers and hugs.

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  2. I pray for you often.

    DeeDee
    www.KidNeedsAKidney.blogspot.com

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  3. Perfectly said. Prayers for this even harder month

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  4. It was nice to hear from you. You and Kara continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. I thought what you wrote here was incredibly insightful; that losing James is not something that happened once upon a time. Your missing him will forever happen and I am sorry for the pain and anguish that causes you and Kara. I do think you are doing an amazing job working through your grief and that James would not be disappointed in you, but proud. He is proud of you, the father you were to him while he was here on Earth and the father you continue to be as he waits to be reunited with you and his mommy in heaven. I will not grow weary praying for you and Kara. Your friend in San Dimas, California.

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  5. It hasn't been a while for me- I think of James all the time and hope that you and Kara are ok. I almost thought about writing a letter the other day to let you to let you know that he is still very much in my thoughts, and I never even knew him or you.

    I admire your love and continued good parenting of him.

    I always hate the time that passes after someone dies because I want to maintain that connection.

    The sentence where you write that he lived a 1/3 of his life is very moving.

    He knows how loved he was and is.

    You probably do not want to be an Inspiration but you are.

    I will never ever forget James and your love of him. x

    x

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  6. We continue to pray for your family every evening. I think of you and Kara often even though we have never met - You are a inspiration and James knows how much he is loved and missed until you can see him again. Thoughts and prayers from Ohio.

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  7. Still thinking of and praying for you both. My heart continues to ache for you. Hug each other close for support. Blessings for eventual peace and healing.

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  8. He is always apart of you, he made you a father, Kara a mother. No matter how much time passes that will always be true. The time that passes Isn't what matters but keeping your connection with him, keeping his spirit alive. Still moving forward with life but always remembering him, that's what matters. He was truly blessed to have the two of you as parents, even if it was only for a little while. I'm sorry for your pain, but thank you for sharing the memory of your beautiful son with us. Your love for him is inspiring.

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  9. Yes you will always be James' father and the best one he can have and Kara is the perfect mother to your incredible son. Keep visiting your memories and soak in his presence. He will never leave your mind.

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  10. I would like to make a piece of art for you and Kara to have and honor James. I would like to include memories that are special to y'all. You can email me and we can start working on it together. Praying for y'all always...especially this upcoming week.

    emily@hlkn.tamu.edu

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  11. Always thinking of you too! From St Louis

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  12. From someone unknown and maybe far away...I just wanted you to know that the impact of James' short life continues to inspire others to do good. Thanks for writing.

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  13. Thinking of you on James' birthday.

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  14. I have been following your blog since James was diagnosed-I think I saw his name on a prayer blog. I still check back a few times a week for any updates. You are the most eloquent writer. I don't think I have ever felt a father's love so raw and honest. I pray for you and Tara and I hope writing about your precious James gives you peace one day. What a legacy you are making in his memory.

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  15. Good luck, I always pray for you.

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