Standing still, in the moment, has presented me with a few challenges recently. As great as my faith is; and, as firm as I thought my faith walk was, perched upon a huge pointed spinning apparatus seemed to be my place of residence. My son, my first born, died. And, although we had “time to prepare,” no amount of preparation, I feel, can prepare one for the moment your child ceases to breathe. Footwork-(the work of burial; memorial service, calling folk, etc.), thank all that is sacred, for footwork. This, is what initially sustained me. But what does one do after all the footwork has been completed? I still don’t know after several months. I wake up; conscious that I am breathing. Eyes blink. “Okay, God, do your stuff.” Take a few deliberate and intentional breaths; alternating between deep and shallow. Somehow someway, I find myself performing routine hygiene functions. Bathed and clothed it is time to partake of some form of sustenance. The silent message: “Why should I eat? There is nothing left to live for.” Then, I remember the folk who still breathe. And, remember the smile on my, now dead, son’s face when he stilled breathed. And, his words of caution, when such similar happenings have occurred: “Come on Oh Girl-(his nickname for me) you got to keep moving. You got to keep living.” I error, though, THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A SIMILAR HAPPENING SUCH AS THIS!!! No matter who has died before. My child had always been alive. My commitment, in honor of myself; those who still live; and, my son is to tap into and Live My Purpose. And so I put one foot in front of the other. Sometimes very haltingly. But nonetheless, ambulatory; in movement. And, with that in mind…I remember, and to the best of my ability Live what the poet Rainer Maria Rilke in his Duino Elegies reminds us of:
[VALUE OF SORROW]
Someday, emerging at last from this terrifying vision, may I burst
into jubilant praise to assenting Angels!… May a new-found
splendor appear in my streaming face! May inconspicuous Weeping
flower! How dear you will be to me then, you nights of Affliction!
…We wasters of sorrow! How we stare away into sad endurance
beyond them, trying to foresee their end! Whereas they are nothing
else than our winter foliage, our somber evergreen, one of the
seasons of our interior year, – not only season – they’re also
place, settlement, camp, soil, dwelling.