Children have a strong sense of justice. Pretty much if a child says something is not fair, it is not. I am not a perfect mother but I never have and never would answer with “Life isn’t fair.” Life is not fair, but this is not an excuse to treat someone of any age unfairly or dismiss their feelings. Also, this is a rather bleak way to exist, to have such a phrase on the tip of your tongue. Life is not fair but in my home fairness shall be highly valued.
What would not be fair is for my son to go through life with anything other than a family where the parents are free to love and support him, and hopefully show enough enthusiasm to teach him that life is something to be enjoyed rather than suffered. As much as I am adrift, I have known all along that there are things I must not do. I will not avoid pain with substances. I will not act angrily toward others because of my loss. I will not hide my tears from my child or spouse, or really anyone unless I am at work or maybe trying to make some kind of business transaction (and I said maybe). When people ask how my family is doing I have trouble answering because I do not know. The question makes me think I have to evaluate us like a social worker with a clipboard. I do know that we do all we can to make sure that we do not hurt each other in our grief.
I read a story shortly after Susanna died about a mother who lost her young child in an accident some time ago. Her hair turned white, and she needed her husband to build a new house to live in immediately. This makes sense to me. No ways to cope really work, but you latch on to whatever one can get you through the day or the year or the decade. Obviously, I am a reader and I read a lot about grief. In contemporary medicine and psychology there is a condition called “Complicated Grief”. The symptoms include pining and longing for someone, not accepting their death or “moving on” after some specified normal amount of time, I think six months. This is all nonsensical to me, and I wonder who finds my grief “complicated”. Complicated for whom?
Like many people I spend a lot of time working and managing schedules and money. This is the part of the world of questions which have answers, problems which have solutions. Sometimes there is comfort there, routine can be beautiful music. Mostly though I am much more in tune with chaos and the world of no answers necessary. Although I look forward to a time likely to be less painful, I do not try to force it and I try not to wait for it. Last summer I wrote this passage, with inspiration from my wise and beautiful daughter.
During the New Age “Harmonic Convergence” event, foretold by the Mayans, I am in Cape Cod, buying and reading countless books about various enlightenments. I teach myself to meditate and open my chakras. As life goes on I am back and forth with such things but when meditating always return to the string of multicolor lights within my core. I see them eyes closed and breathe them, tasting and smelling them like a stack of Life Savers. At a later time I take many yoga classes in beautiful Park Slope locales, hardwood floors or soft mauve carpeting, chanting, spiced teas and peace. This is the point where I spontaneously do not need coffee anymore and my crown buzzes. It begins buzzing and goes on for days, warm and tingly. Once I have begun my terrifying new job, lived with Papi and had children, I am sure the buzz has left me but it still returns whenever I sit quietly and see the chakras. On this day when I have come by Sunshine’s benches I sit for a while and meditate. I allow the buzz and it spreads into the bridge of my nose. All open like a funnel, a humming tingling cone swirling into me from above my head. I wonder how to know when to leave such a state. I ask you, Sunshine, to help me and tell me an answer to my problem this week: How can I go on? How can I go on? The answer surprises me: You don’t go on. You just are. And at this time I know the new Sunshine is not only where I am but with me. We will help each other keep learning and being, and I do not have to wait until later.