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Monday, August 03, 2015

Grief and throbbing

My child died.
Riley flags in our yard
Imagine petting your dog through rubber gloves. Imagine kissing through a sheet of plastic wrap. Imagine showering wrapped in a rain poncho. Imagine trying to smell freshly baked cookies with nose clip. Imagine listening to your lover while wearing earplugs. Most of the day, I’m wrapped in this numbness. My world is a spectrum of gray; colors covered in soot. Numbness fills the space between each throb when grief grabs me and strangles me for a bit. It throws me down and for that period, I feel everything. All the numbness disappears while I’m overpowered by a current, a rawness, the force of every ounce of grief bound together as a bus that rushes me at 110 miles an hour. It flattens me, leaving me breathless and weak and feeling even more broken. When it passes, numbness returns for another moment or few hours or days, depending.

This is grief nine months in. It’s like throbbing--the punch and the space in between. My 11 1/2-year-old son has been dead longer than it took to grow his beautiful, imperfect body.

* Want to make a Riley flag for our garden? Use any bit of plain fabric, any color you like about the size of a piece of paper. Decorate it with anything you like on one side only--Sharpies, glue, sequins, other crafty thing you can think of--bearing in mind that it will live outside. So if you glue stuff on or use markers, try to use ones that are designed to withstand a washing machine (or Mother Nature). Please leave about an inch at the top undecorated, as I'll need to sew the top so that we can thread it onto our line. When your flag is ready, shoot me a message and I'll give you my address. You can mail it to me or leave it on my porch if you happen to live nearby.


  1. Elizabeth Ruben9:38 AM

    Sending peaceful, healing energy....xoxoxo

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