Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dumpster Diving

Dear Luke,
Wow, so there are so many strange things that I've done after your death. Things that no sane person would do. But if you've been in my shoes, it suddenly seems normal - not crazy at all.

I went to your grave today. I wanted to retrieve your Christmas tree and check on the wind chime we'd put up. My stomach dropped to the floor as I entered the cemetery and saw all of the decorations cleaned off. Your tree was gone. So was your wind chime. I wanted to bawl.

I know it's silly to be so attached to these things, but I am. They were for you. I have so little of you; how could it be gone? So I marched up to the cemetery office and asked where they dumped the decorations that were now gone. I'm usually not so confrontational (actually, I am SO not confrontational it's pathetic really), but today I felt like I'd been violated. Your things were gone and I was MAD!

That is how I ended up behind the cemetery looking through a massive pile of Christmas decorations. But of course, I didn't find it. I did start talking to another man there, an elderly man whose wife is buried close to the Angel Garden where you lay (he too was hoping to find his thrown out decorations). His wife was buried the same day you were and I see this man there every time I go to the cemetery. I've seen him as he's wept for his wife. He's seen me as I've laid on your grave sobbing and praying to be with you. This man and I talked for an hour about his wife, about you, and about how much we miss and ache for our loved ones.

As I reflect on this past hour I have spent, I can't help but wonder at what I have become: a dumpster diver who pours her heart out to a random passer-by and feels better because of it. Strange how going through the loss of a child can make you cherish even the littlest of things or open up to someone else who hurts as deeply as you do. I don't even open up to family anymore. They just don't get it. Sometimes I don't think they want to get it (not that I blame them). Grief is a very heavy burden to bare and I think we'd all rather not carry it if we don't have to. So I find myself seeking out others who are already familiar with the pain and aren't scared to talk about it or feel it with me.

And that is the story about how I searched through garbage for you. Just one of the millions of sacrifices I'd be willing to make for you.

That is how I made friends with a widower whom I had never met before.

Hm, isn't it interesting who we become when life throws us into the fire. We never know how we'll react until we are truly there. I have to say, despite the dumpster diving moment, I like who I am becoming. I feel that I am being worked into some marvelous piece of art. It's rather excruciating at times to be in this fire, but I can see that all of this pain isn't for nothing. It's molding me, shaping me, and turning me into something better than I could ever imagine myself being if I choose to let it. And I choose to let it (what other choice do I have?)

Love you tons my boy!

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