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My friend also has a blog, and she often writes about her 20 year old son, who was found dead, floating in a river. There are young people who were there the night it happened, and they know things. Things they refuse to reveal. And it is so frustrating for her to know that they know. Can you imagine? I can’t.

We often chat back and forth about various things she writes. She is a wonderful writer. And tonight, I was trying to express what it’s like for me, learning to live without my loved ones. (I am not trying to compare my losses with the loss of a child. But we understand that. They say that the loss of a child is the most devastating loss anyone can ever experience. I was the Moderator on a Grief Board for awhile, and when I visited the Child Loss Board, I could see that this is so profoundly true. There is no consoling a parent who has lost a child. The void is forever present-every moment of every day.)

But what we do have in common is loss and grief, and anger and frustration. These are some of the thoughts I wrote to her tonight.

“Learning to live without our loved ones is such a sorrowful task. We do go on, at least we go through the motions. We know it’s not fair to others to not even try, and so we try. But there is a hole the size of Texas in our hearts and soul.

Grasping for some way to get my dad into our Christmas celebration, I bought a red golf club bag ornament. He was an avid golfer. (My brother even drug in his golf bag, and placed it by the casket at visitation.) I placed the ornament on the counter, with the other decorations surrounding the food. But looking at it, I can’t honestly say it made me feel better. It tugged at my heart so much, I fought removing it at times. (My family is not one to light candles for departed ones, or to go through other rituals.) I would be inclined to be more ritualistic, left to my own designs. (Not “spooky religious”, but ceremonial.) But it seems my family chooses mostly, not to mention my dad very much. I find that I am the one who brings him up the most, though my mom will talk of him a little, now and then.
And so we go through the motions, pretending that life is like it once was. But it isn’t. When I am alone, or writing, I feel the true loss. I feel the sharp pain that takes my breath away. I feel the stress and emptiness of life without him, and even still, the unbelief that he is really gone. But where would he have been for so long? Sadly, I have to admit he’s never coming back, and it hurts like hell. And if it was just that, it would be enough. But this (and other) losses have left me not trusting life. Not trusting who’ll be here tomorrow. Not trusting anything, really. I do not want to give in to fear, but I think I have certainly given in to paranoia (at times.) Maybe it’s because death is an enemy that I don’t know how to fight. I feel I can’t win, and his bony cold fingers will always take what (and who) they want. I know that Jesus defeated death, but I guess I don’t understand then, why people still have to die. A person can recover from most anything, but death. How do you ever recover from death? You simply don’t; you simply can’t.
I too, have some unforgiveness that sometimes haunts me. Against the hospital, against some nurses and doctors. And I want the outcome to be different, because I know they had the power to make it different, and they didn’t. That is where my anger comes from. They let my dad die. No, they killed him. (From carelessness, neglect, and a failure to recognize how sick he truly was, until it was too late.) It simply wasn’t supposed to end that way. If I really thought it was his time, I think I could deal with it better. But I guess I haven’t accepted that it was his time to go.
Linda, I can’t imagine losing a child, and to lose a special friend and companion like Owen…there are no words. I understand your feeling angry, and frustrated. I think for you, if you just knew WHAT happened, it would help immensely. I know it wouldn’t change the outcome, but it would answer some questions. For now it’s “the more you know, the less you understand.” (Just like the song said.) You deserve to know. I can only imagine my own frustration, and my desire to shake the truth out of anyone who might know it. I guess I would go insane if I thought they knew, but they wouldn’t tell. I’m sure you have felt crazy at times.
I can only say that to go on at all is courageous, and yet I know you wouldn’t want to be called that. I just think you are. Because you loved Owen so deeply. That is so apparent. I pray some day there will be answers…”

No matter who we have lost, we have to learn to live without them, and how do we do that?…



  1. Thanks, Lonnette. I love this song, love The Notebook…read it when it first came out and never forgot the beautiful love story of an undying devotion. I remember every day to hold and protect my love for Dave, as he is truly a devoted husband.

    Owen was a devoted son and brother, and we are so fortunate to have had him in our lives, and to be able to share him with the world. Finding you has been such a great part of losing him, and I’m grateful.

    Happy New Year,

  2. By the way, you posted this on what would have been my mom’s 80th birthday – one of the hardest days in recent months because I couldn’t share it, or Owen’s loss with her. What happened to him (whatever that was) would have shredded her, and it would have been hard for me to endure that, too. But, she would have stood by me, and I feel her every now and then by my side, walking with me, arms limked together, when I think my legs will fall out from under me.

    Love to you,

  3. Yep, there it is again, that typo staring at me, and my English-police-self wishing it away. …linked…

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