A small bird, a junco with a gray topside and a white underside, in a triangle of sunlight across a snow-covered pond

The Shape of My Grief at 5 Years:

“For Here Now, I Stay”

For Here Now I Stay

And so where from here?

For here now, I stay
For here now, I breathe your love
For here now, I am with you always

So many days, so much time having passed and yet, and yet, still as it has been still these past 5 years.

It is sometimes, Dylan, as if I am in some kind of fog, a thick can’t see clear kind of fog, a fog where I don’t know if what I am and what I see is real. 

Were you? Are you? Where are you?

5 Years Out: The Shape of My Grief

I am five years, 1 month, and 14 days into this journey that though, not chosen, has become the construct of my life.

Five Years, 1 Month, and 14 Days

My life is a paradox. I live in time that marches obediently along in increments of seconds, minutes, hours, and days, calendar years. I know it is 2017, late summer in the midwest, and a perfectly temperate day; and yet, and yet, all of me is not, in fact, here. I live undone and yet somehow caught still living, the ache between my limbs, my joints, tissues, and fibers where yet still, I am Dylan’s mom.

But it is through a haze, a blurring of what is and what is not, of what is here and what is not, a sense and grounding of what is tangible and what is not, that I now navigate. I know, I know. . .I should be writing about hope, that my life has been redeemed, reclaimed, re-invented, renewed, re-invigorated, resilient. but just for today, I don’t feel resilient.

And so I wonder, where from now this? For here now, I stay, linger, and yet to what cause? I have passed through so much. And I am utterly depressed.

Gray, Black, and White Digital Abstract Wall

The Shape of My Grief at 5 Years

“For Here Now, I Stay”

For Here Now I Stay

I do not know why time passes this quickly now. Yes, when we are young, the world is ours, old people are static and staid, our moms and dads are just that—moms and dads. I think with familiarity we miss the gradual stripping away of our youth years, and frankly, in youth, we are so inward-turned that it’s difficult if not impossible to usher forth compassion and awareness towards others, especially those from whom we see ourselves as being most far apart.

Change is inevitable. Death comes. Tragedy besets us. And really, and this I only realize in the hindsight of the wake of Dylan’s suicide, our lives are much more about sorrow and our response to enormous loss and impossible circumstances than our capacity and ability to feel and to cultivate joy.

How easy it is, in the moment, to feel exhilarated and high on wings of flight that sail only blue skies drenched in sun. But storms come what will, torrents of rain, ice, and hail pelt us from all angles, and skies black as nights without stars cover us with a darkness whose duration we cannot know. There is no presumed joy, though those around us want to garner false belief in this when we travel such dark skies. 

How’s it go? The deeper the sorrow, the greater the love. Yes, but love stripped violently from our hands, touch, hearts, bodies, lives always casts shadows that will forever travel with us.  Our bleakest nights do not bring greater capacity to feel joy, to feel the warmth of the sun, to see in color.

These dark, incessant droning on of days, months, years, and most sadly of all, a lifetime, more so carve in us (should we choose and choose we must, for grief is not so clearly delineated in its outcome), a strange capacity to integrate both a lesser joy and a deep sorrow.

Losing Dylan has changed everything. Yes, I am to the point of feeling the highs of life again, though never so sweetly as to silence the ache of my heart that beats still for my son. 

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By Beth Brown

Rememberer of dreams. Whisperer of gardens green.
At the whim of "Most Beloved" and a hot cup of tea.
I live life between, straddled here now and then,
My continuity through writing--
Pen dripping ink, mind swirling confused,
Love lingering still, and Most Beloved's purring soothes.

Blogger at "Gardens at Effingham" (where cats do the talking) and "My Forever Son" (where a mother's heart runs deep after losing her son to suicide)
Musician. Writer. Literary Connoisseur.
At the whim of a calico cat and a strong cup of tea.

One reply on “A Mother Reflects on 5 Years of Grief After Child Loss: “For Here Now, I Stay””

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