Monday, September 28, 2009

Lite-Brite

I've been better lately.

My thoughts, my moods are lighter, brighter.

I'm able to be quiet again. I'm able to think about the future without sadness again. Not all the time, but sometimes.

It's starting to feel normal, his not being here. Four plates at the table. The empty bedroom. The drawer full of unused sippy cups that we can't seem to get rid of. Not good, not expected, but normal. The hole that he left is slowly being filled in by time.

I have little use for guilt. I think I struggle with it less than most. I feel like I should feel more guilty than I do, but I don't. I think that's ok.

We went to a family bereavement group last week. It's the first one we attended, and the girls enjoyed it. I found it equal parts useful and exhausting. Many of the parents there talked about guilt. About feeling so bad about moving on and feeling good that they force themselves to go back to the pain. One mom, who lost her son to a brain tumor 18 months ago, said "It doesn't get better, it just gets different."

For me it is better. I hope that's ok.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hopf Schwietz


I'm certain I spelled that wrong. My interpretation of how to spell "GO SWITZERLAND" in Swiss-German.

I heard it 1400 times in one night, at the Switzerland/Greece World qualifying soccer match in Basel Switzerland 12 days ago. Mr. Smak and I were there, with brauts, beers, and our bucket list.

It was pretty cool. The Europeans sure like their soccer, er...football. There was a swiss flag on every stadium seat when we got there, pretty cool effect when they finally scored. Sorry for the crappy picture, not sure why it is so bad.

Our vacation, just the two of us, definitely counted as grown up. Lots of hiking in the Swiss Alps, a couple of nights in Paris, and very sore feet (walking) and bottoms (biking).

It might have been too soon, too early, but it's hard to say. We missed the girls terribly (thanks, SOCKS).

In a weird way, I was surprised to find that when we got home Henry still wasn't here. Of course, I didn't expect him to be, but I had such joy and relief at seeing the girls, and it highlighted his absence. Our first morning back was hard, but I'm feeling more settled already.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Into The Wild

We watched this movie last weekend. It's a true story, screenplay adapted from a book written about a young, intelligent, accomplished idealist, fresh out of college, who went to find himself in the Alaska wilderness and died there.

I read the book a few years ago, I frankly can't remember when. I do remember enjoying it. Maybe enjoying isn't the right word. It's such a tragic story when looked at in it's entirety, but somehow inspiring in areas.

The movie, directed by Sean Penn, was really well done. Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam sings the sound track, and it's just as haunting as the story.

I'm trying to figure out why it is sticking so deep with me. It may be that I'm listening to the soundtrack, bringing back scenes and emotions from the movie. It may also be that the story includes the agony of the protagonists' parents as they lose him first to his wanderings, and then his death. Obviously the circumstances differ from my own, but the similarities remain.

Or it may be that I'm not too old to remember being that idealist, that age and station in life where I, wearing my insecurities like a suit of armor, was so damn sure of myself that I can understand why Chris did what he did. Didn't we all feel that way? Didn't we all do stupid things, sure that we were right in doing them?

I worry about my girls. Chris didn't mean to die, he was just stretching his wings. But I guess this something that we all go through, part of becoming an adult.