Sunday, June 18, 2006

No Cheese Please

We painted the walls in our living room in January. Dalton and I did. It's only June.

I keep thinking about healthy Dalton. I think about him loading Iain into the carseat last April on the way home from the hospital. I think about our trip to San Francisco when I was 6 months pregnant and we walked from the theatre district to Cannery Row. I think about taking the convertible out last August to the Del Rae on our monthly date night. I think about Dalton packing his gym bag every morning with his running shoes.

These were just last year.

He can't be gone.

For today (and yesterday) numbness has given way to denial. I simply expect that Dalton is going to walk in the door any second and our life will be as it was. I want to hold his hand on the way home from church. I want him to swing Iain over his shoulders and give him a piggy back ride. I imagine him doing these things and it feels so natural. So much more nautral than him being dead. There is nothing natural about that.

We did nothing specific for father's day. I couldn't. Actually, we spent the afternoon with some friends, eating Thai and watching music videos. It was good, but hard. Our friends are happy. They should be happy. If they are reading this now, they need to know that they are doing everything right and shouldn't change any of their behavior. I am the one who has to realize that I am alone. That Dalton cannot put his arm around me or kiss me on the neck or do any of theose things that people do when they are in love. And every time I leave a social occasion, I feel like I want to run. Maybe if I don't have to be around anybody, it won't hurt so much. Maybe there is some way to escape it all.

Then I remember something else CS Lewis said about grief. After his wife died, he thought it was going to be especially difficult to go back to certain places he had previously been with his wife - the pub at which they regualrly ate, the hotel at which they often vacationed, etc. He resolved that rather than hide from these places, he would face them immediately and get it over with. What he discovered was profound.

There really was no difference in his pain. Her absence was no more noticeable in those places than it was anywhere else. It hurt because she was gone and it didn't matter if she was absent from his side at the pub or in their kitchen at home. It ws pervasive and inescapable.

So, what difference would it make if I ran? Dalton would be as absent in Montana as he is at our friends house in Los Angeles. And Iain and I would miss out on the love and friendship that we are being offered. So I'll stay for now even though it hurts. Maybe, eventually, this very long and awfully real nightmare will eventually come to an end and I can again hold his hand on the way home from church.

PS...Nobody better post the contrived cheesy comment that I will hold his hand someday in heaven, because right now that's not good enough.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for blogging! Many people that also go through this pain keep it to themselves. Yes, there are and will be thoughts like yours for days, months, even years. The fact that you are very open and share your experience with us is great! You are not the only one going through this. So many women and men go through this process but many keep it to themselves and I think it hurts more! I am constantly praying that God fill that emptiness and sadness that you feel. I know it will never be the same, but only God can help you go through this terrible nightmare. You are not alone.

7:00 AM  
Blogger 10apen said...

Thank you for sharing. May the Spirit of God be your Comforter in this difficult time.

3:53 PM  
Blogger AnnJay said...

Thinking of you. - One day at a time. If that is too much, one step at a time. Best wishes!

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Jane Smallin said...

Dear Tricia,
I hope, at some point in the future,you have saved this, to publish in a small book, to show the world that yes, we
Christians, suffer grief too. Love Story was a great book, but with out hope..........your grief covers the full spectrum of human emotion and frustration and fury with not being able to "fix it".But, the gift you bring is not only your openess, but you struggle with every day living, questions to God, dispare and,finally hope. Thank you , little one........I pray for you and for yours at this difficult and painful time
in Christ
Jane Smallin

4:33 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

You amaze me.
It sucks that Dalton is not here.
I agree 100% that no Christian-y words, thoughts or principles are going to help, although well-meant...
I am praying for you, Tricia. That's all the cheese I can muster up. :)

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Matthew Geyer said...

I can't even imagine your darkness.

I'll pray for the strength you'll need to persevere. Keep the faith.

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tricia,
I came across your blog, and so related to it. Thank you for that. My husband died 10 years ago, of a sudden and quick illness. I too dreaded the cheesy answers, felt nobody could know what I was going through. One lady actually said "The bible says there's a time to grieve, and your time is over now." I thought, "oh, really, because I still can't breathe." I'm glad I heard about ya, I'll be thinking of you, & praying too. P.S. The C.S. Lewis book helped me too.
Take care of you,

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tricia,

I have to say that my distaste for cheesy answers has never gone away. It has been 8 years since my brother died and I still don't like to hear cheesy answers or stories. I don't even like to hear them told to other people.

Answer: He is in a better place
Response: F%$@ you, I'm not

Answer: Someday you'll have him back
Response: I don't need him someday, I need him now

Answer: Remember, God loves you
Response: Then why did God kick my in the nuts?


2:35 PM  

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