Time heals all wounds. He’s in a better place. At least it was quick and he didn’t suffer. That’s just a few of the things people say that I don’t want to hear. So far as I can tell, time hasn’t helped one bit. My pain is as fresh and raw as it was October 2nd. And a better place? The best place is with me, or at work, or hanging out with his friends. Anywhere but underground. Quick or slow, the end result is the same. My son is dead.
But as much as I don’t want to hear those same sad platitudes, its better than the alternatives. The “friends” I never heard from again. The ones who act like nothings changed. The insensitive ones who complain about how busy they are with their kids.
I can count on one hand how many of my friends have stuck by me. I know its not easy. It frequently takes me days, if not weeks, to respond to texts. Some days I don’t have the energy to do more than feed myself and walk my dogs. I’m not the same person I was. But I also don’t have the plague. Grief is not contagious.
While I have a very clear grasp on what I don’t want to hear, its harder to know what I do want to hear. Probably because nothing will help ease my pain. I do know that I enjoy a quick phone call to share a funny story (thanks Joey). It makes me smile to get tagged in a witty meme about books (thanks Amberlee); to be invited on a getaway (thanks Amy and Shae); to be checked on and worried about (thanks Angela and Gail and Mom). Most of all I appreciate being told to take the day and not worry about housework and stay in bed; and being forced out into the world on a regular basis so I don’t drown in my own depression (thanks Tim).
I guess what I’m saying is that its not easy to be a friend to a grieving parent. We don’t let it be. I don’t know how I feel moment to moment but I do know, all the time, that I love and appreciate the people who make a point to stay a part of my life, no matter how difficult I make it.