Wow, this guy is good. Kelly Farley, while writing from a father’s perspective for other grieving fathers, is singing the same song that I am. His latest blog entry “Reality Check” discusses moments that he realizes will never happen for him with his own kids. They will never get married, never go to homecoming (Yes, I’ve already began grieving this one seeing the pictures, etc.), never do so many things. Seeing the pictures from fall break have really gotten to me. One of Erin’s best friends is currently at Disney. Erin wanted to go for Halloween this year, on fall break, and we had promised her that when she got better we would definitely go. So many memories that will never happen…it’s crippling to think of.
I decided to read Kelly’s “My Story” page. Wow, I’m telling you this guy is in my head because I could have written that. One of the most striking things he said was:
I refused to give in and was determined not to let this define me. There were days I could have easily thrown in the towel. For the first time in my life there were days I didn’t care if I died. I wasn’t suicidal, I just didn’t care.
He put it so succinctly and I’m sure clearer than I managed to when I spoke about the same feelings. I am not suicidal, but I don’t care. It’s a subtle difference and one that I’m not sure you can understand unless you just “get” it. But oddly enough, I also refuse to give in. Giving in does not honor Erin’s life. She died, and believe me if I could sell my soul to bring her back I might just do it, but she died. And so if I also give in (die just because I don’t want to live), then it was for nothing. I have to make something out of the rest of this shit wad of a life.
Anyway, if you haven’t looked at Kelly Farley’s blog yet, go read it today. And if you know a grieving father, or mother for that matter, send them the link. This guy has a gift and I’m so glad he shared it with the world.
It seems my entire life has been made up of “nevers.” I never had a father, never had a mother who gave a damn, never had wealth, never had a lot of control over or a secure environment to rest easy in…I never had anything good or decent (except a few friends) until I met and married Shaun. I actually never wanted kids, and then came Erin. And I never wanted to part with her, and look at how that turned out. Now I too will never have grand kids, never see her grow up, never experience a complete motherhood, never see who she becomes. And I feel pretty certain we will never know what killed her. We will never be the same without her.
The word never is pretty final, and pretty powerful. They say never say never – I have learned this. I said I would never move to McMullen Cove and here I am (I won’t say something like that again for fear I end up somewhere I don’t want to be!). I’m sure that was some cruel life-lesson, even though we have lovely neighbors and a lovely neighborhood. But I can be sure I will never see Erin again, not in her last “human form” anyway. And I will never have another child. I will never stop grieving her or missing her. I will never stop longing to hug and kiss her or hear her sweet little voice and laugh. I will never forget her, but I also won’t forget the traumatic images from her last days that replay over and over in my mind. This is the much crueler flip side of never, and I will never escape that until I am released from this body one day.