Sunday, May 27, 2012

May 27th




May 27, 2002

It is 3:00 pm and you are dead but I don't know that yet. Mary calls again, this time begging me to check on you, but I don't want to. I'm afraid you're mad at me, still. I'm afraid you'll yell at me. I'm afraid I'll see the pain and anger in your eyes.

Mary and Jackson are in Pennsylvania, visiting her father. I am in bed, drained from working the overnight shift - a shift that you needed to cover after you fired the regularly scheduled guard for sleeping at his post.

Mark, Lindsay and I were midway through the movie The Others when I got the call that you were late. I half-hazardly threw on forgiving stretch pants and my favorite sweatshirt, grabbed my car keys and a note pad, and rushed out the door. You arrived less than fifteen minutes later.

Fifteen minutes... What if I finished the movie, picked a more suitable outfit, packed a snack, called a replacement other than me, your mother. Would you still be dead?

I could tell even before you got out of your car that you were mad at me - steaming mad. Your white knuckled fists clutched the steering wheel. Your lips were pressed straight. Your bloodshot eyes ignored me.

You yelled so loud I worried someone in this elite, gated community would hear us.

In feirce frustration you took your dinner, your frozen box of Elio's pizza, and pitched it hard. It hit a blooming lilac tree and burst into mosaic chunks of red and yellow.

My gut told me not to let you go, so I held your car keys in my right hand, tucked tightly behind my back.

It didn't take long before my embarrassment overshadowed my instincts, and I released them. Slowly... ever so slowly, I released them. I see, feel, hear it as plainly now as I did then. The weight - the jagged, cool cluster pressed against my palm, and then... slowly, I extended them forward, against my all knowingness.

Arm straight, palm up, I opened my hand, and they were gone. And I will never see you grasp at anything, ever again.

You won't answer your house phone or your cell phone. You won't open your door. It doesn't matter how many times I call or how long I let it ring, or how hard I knock.

And I will forever hate the smell of lilacs.



I don't know how parents cope with the loss of a child. Truly I don't.
If you figure it out, please tell me.  



34 comments:

  1. Intense moments etched in your memory coming writing out again...I am a parent so hope to never go through the hell your heart has been. Still makes me wonder where anger comes from and why we cant wash it away ...sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the strange thing is...... you THINK you wash it away and then it hits you hard, when you least expect it.....

      Delete
  2. ANGER COMES FROM A DISCONNECT OF THE HEART......I think, buy hey, I'm numbing myself in a big way

    ReplyDelete
  3. Loss of child seems like insurmountable grief to me. I can't imagine. Anger? Hurt deflected. That's my take. Depression is hurt turned inward. Anger is hurt aimed out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. and OUT is soooo much better than IN xoxo

      Delete
  4. You are in my heart, and your Kerry is in my heart, too.

    I think we find a way to walk through the impossible by simply walking, and sometimes crawling, and sometimes laying still face-down in the dirt, because there is no other choice, because, because while a great love has gone, there are others who need our love (and whose love we need) still here. Because we aren't done with giving our love to the world through our relationships and our talents and our lives.

    All I can say is that I am sorry you have gone through this. I am sorry, so sorry. And all I can do is hold you in my heart and let you know that I am out here, thinking of you, thinking of Kerry and wishing you peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you EM...... thank you for putting Kerry and his mother in your heart!

      Delete
  5. Shannon this hurt me inside, to even feel from the periphery the pain is horrible.
    I wish I could share with you the trick to recover from a part of your soul being
    Lobotomized, but I cant.
    I am so sorry for your loss my friend...

    Wander

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris..... we share a deep connection to love, pain, struggle, joy, triumph.... !!!!! I salute us!

      Delete
  6. Someone played "Blackbird" at a party today, and I almost cried. It was Michelle's favorite song. I have an idea about how you felt when you wrote this.

    ReplyDelete
  7. One of the many reasons I am a fan of your writing is because it is blistering. Sometimes it feels like standing very close to a huge fire, close enough, the heat warms me deeply, almost to the point of scorching my hair. It is scary standing that close, but life affirming, it reminds me that I could go up in flames at any moment. It reminds me that I am alive. It reminds me that I could die. It reminds me that everyone dies. It makes me glad to be alive. It reminds me of this moment.

    Your ability and willingness to share your experiences, hardship, and humanity is beautiful. You are a great writer; just keep putting it out there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pinky... I will forever remember our first burn... that shade time when you told me you read me before you met me and how I cried. I still cry when I think of it. I love you Pinky!

      Delete
  8. I hate Memorial Day weekend, saddens me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish we could deal with it better. love, laugh, cry, openly.... instead of pretend to be okay

      Delete
  9. Shannon, this is SO powerful. When you give voice to your pain you do build a fire and it does scorch my hair, as Pinky says. I'm so sorry you lost your boy, and so sorry for the lasting pain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) thank you.... its a pain that festers but its not a concrete thing......it drifts in and out... but yes, its powerful

      Delete
  10. Speaking from forty years of experience, you don't cope, later in life grief is a transformed gift. Not a happy one, but a retreat none the less, from when you say this is not as bad as that WAS, and you notice you don't curl up in a ball inside you. Just saying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are my hero by the way.

      Delete
    2. :(((((( Mudge... that means a lot coming from a strapping young lad such as yourself. --- clever, clever, man

      Delete
  11. Thank you so much for continuing to share what's in your heart Minkey. I'm so sorry for your pain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love YOU my bunny love ! thank you for loving me!

      Delete
  12. I'm so sorry. I can't imagine the pain you must feel, but maybe through writing about your pain you can begin to heal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. km... it does heal, it does spread, grow, evolve into things bigger, deeper... but it also sucks you back because .......maybe I missed something along the way...

      Delete
  13. You use life tragedies and challenges as writing fuel better than anyone in the blogosphere.

    All I can do is read in awe. And pray you have a little less fuel in the decade ahead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ahhhhhhh Katy....... thank you!!! its very dot, dot, dot, plop, plop, plop, to me... but if it makes you feel I am happy

      Delete
  14. The only revenge against death is life.

    Your son is gone and obviously you blame yourself for that. I say that because of your shoulda or woulda or coulda thinking. Or is it because blame has to be assigned and you are your easiest target for that assignation?

    I don't know you, probably should not make comment but then that is not MY nature.

    Your son is asleep in the house of your ancestors, asleep and comfortable covered in the warm breath of an understanding spiritual being. Yet at the same time he lives on in the minds of all who knew him, saw him flawed or perfect and especially cared for him. And he will live on until a generation arises that remembers his name no more.

    One copes by living, living in calm and peace ever moving forward while not clutching to the unchangeable past, remembering yes, holding it tightly until it suffocates you, no. I do not care for that which is behind me beyond the memory, for today is the day, now this heartbeat, is the moment of life--the only moment we are, any of us, guaranteed so conquer death by living this moment well filled with love that transcends time.

    Find your peace.

    Be Well

    mark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you know Mark..... i thought the blame was gone.....but it finds its way back when you expect it and even when you don't .... thanks for reading :)

      Delete
  15. Shannon, I can't get over your picture with baby Kerry. I think it is amazing that you have such a picture.

    I am a Muslim, and this is what we would say, from our Creator we come and to Him we shall all return, there is no power but His.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know!!!!!!! what a gift it is to have this moment captured.

      Delete
    2. Oh, Shannon. I have been thinking of you and remembering your boy. How can it be 10 years already?! Your post was so well written and a beautiful tribute to your beautiful son.

      Delete
    3. It's hard to believe its been ten years indeed. Ten years since we lost our sons, since we met, since we began our journey through grief. I miss you Bev! Someone mentioned Omega yesterday... just sayin'

      Delete
    4. I miss you, too. Is it time for Rory's??

      Delete
  16. I noticed that I had a particularly difficult time with tense in this post. I don't know why that is (other than I'm dense).

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for encouraging my JOY of writing. By reading and commenting you are feeding my soul, stroking my heart, and in the end...making me a better writer.

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing
greenmonkeytales@live.com

Shannon E. Kennedy

***

Photo by Joan Harrison