Sunday, February 28, 2010

Scar Tissue

Last week marked a year that he's been gone.

I didn't know what to expect of the day. We made plans so as to keep busy, keep moving, which helped. But eventually we quit moving, and I was overwhelmed. It was easily the worst day I've had in 6 months. Many significant days have come and gone since Henry died; most of them have not been as bad as the anticipation of how bad they were going to be. I don't know if I let my guard down thinking this would be the same...but it wasn't.

What I realized is that I have not healed at all. There is no scar tissue coating, covering my wounds. It is still a horrible gaping hole.

The shock of his death is gone. The imbalance of a family with a missing member has with time assumed a new balance. I thought that time had healed my wounds.

What I have learned to do is to put him away. The wooden box in his bedroom that holds his ashes is a fitting metaphor for where he exists in my psyche. This is what I have to do to continue living my life.

Last Thursday I opened that box. Got it out of the closet, unwrapped the blankets, opened it and looked inside. Nothing had changed.

Henry was gone. My arms ached to hold him. My eyes ached to see him, my ears to hear him. All of the things he would not do bounced around the box. My family's grief, my daughters' losses, my pain and despair poured out of the box.

Nothing had changed. Nothing will. Next time I look in the box he will still be gone.

21 comments:

rlbates said...

{{{hugs}}}

Kelly said...

Thinking of you.

JudithNYC said...

Un abrazo (hugs).

Arlene (AJ) said...

Hope you feel the hug I'm sending your way dear....he'll always be in your heart feeled with happy times and love shared with him, hope it helps to bring some comfort to you.

Katerina said...

I am so, so sorry for you, and for your sweet boy Henry, and for your family.

I only hope that the spring, with its eternal promise, will make you feel more at peace (when it finally arrives).

Snickollet said...

So, so sorry that he's gone. And that it will forever suck.

Hugs, hugs, and more hugs.

Kathy said...

I have heard time and again from the unfortunate circle of friends I cultivate that for many if not most, the second year is worse than the first. Maybe because the shock and drama has worn off and it's really about getting down to living with the loss, with less support from friends.

Sending love and healing thoughts to your family.

Pien said...

My heart goes out to you and your family... You don't know me, but I am thinking of you and Henry. You write beautifully of your beautiful son.

Cindy said...

I am so sorry. I think of your family often. Although I know it is not possible... I continue to wish for a way to help your pain. What I do know is you have an amazing family. You surrounded Henry with love and affection that is beyond words.

Lots of hugs

Annapolitan said...

You have been very much in my thoughts.

Sybil said...

Henry has not gone...he is still there every day..in your heart and in your mind...It's just that as the days and months and then years go past he gets just a little further away...until one day...all will be well.
God Bless..
Much Love Sybil xx

Resident said...

Oh, Dr. Smak, my heart aches for you and your family. I wish a thousand wishes that this didn't have to be your story. Thinking of you.

ADB said...

We are all with you, Dr Smak, not in person but certainly in spirit. A year is but the first step. Yes, Henry has left you. But not in spirit. You have him with you always, even if you cannot touch, see or hear him anymore.

Jeanie said...

My heart goes out to you and your family.
May your pain become more tolerable as time goes by so that you can remember him with a lovely smile on your face.
God bless.
Jeanie

Anonymous said...

I am tearing up at the poignancy of your words. I know any "I'm sorry" I could say would not be enough, would not bring Henry back, and would not heal your wounds...

But please know that I'm truly sorry - that I hurt for you as you try to manage an unimaginable loss.

I don't know if the wounds will ever heal, but I hope that someday, somehow, your heart finds peace.

twinmom said...

I cannot say it any better than those above. Tears welled as I read your post. I've been waiting, as we all knew the year was upon you. I have a 6 year old son and I see his face when I read of your pain. I cannot imagine how much you must miss Henry. HUGS to you, Dr. Smak.

Kath said...

I came over from Guido's message at Call For Support.Know you are in my prayers and may the Good Lord give comfort to you in your pain at this time,no one can take away your wonderful memories.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

...tom... said...

...

"If you want to learn something,
read about it.

If you want to understand something,
write about it.

If you want to master something,
teach it.
"

—Yogi Bhajan


I think all of us here are somewhere on this continuum. I think we all are tackling the hardest 'subject' of all; some of us more intimately than others.

I know that I learn something every time I read here. I am glad you have the strength to write and, in some small way, teach all of us.

I hope this sharing does, some day, lead to some small feeling of mastery of your experience.


...tom...
.

A Doc 2 Be said...

just some cyber hugs from my family to yours.

Cathy said...

Wish you could feel all the hugs you get from so many people. I'm so sorry Dr. Smak.

rach said...

Doc,
I think of henry everytime I hear jack johnson's "upside down". And I think of you and your family, your bravery and heartache, and hope and the love...

I know the comment's a little delayed, but I hope that each day brings you a gift - whatever that may mean for you.

Thinking of ya

~rach
(Rachelswideworldoflunacy@yahoo.com)