The “Bear-ing” up in an unreal reality
Chris’ immediate family – those that have been part of his world since the day he was born – have yet to have their closure. Will the pain ease when we have been at last able to say goodbye?
Just as the last 22 months of waiting on decisions and times tables of others that took over my son’s life – removing us from the equation of life so it is we continue to wait once more being removed from the equation of our final goodbye.
I came home last Thursday to a house that I had not been in for over two months. I had spent weeks in Texas with Chris to be with him during the SGN 35 trial and the past 14 days living at the Cleveland Clinic. When not sitting by my son’s bedside I called an hotel room home for three and four hours a day – a sanctuary for sleep that never truly came.
My home welcomed me with an avalanche of reminders of my son- through my tears I saw the candles he gave me for my birthday a few weeks before- the last Christmas present , his hand print from nursery school hanging next to his sisters – the plethora of mother’s day gifts presented with pride from chubby little fingers.
The primeval scream of utter sorrow caught in the back of my throat- the shivering cold that permeates the very bones- not finding any release or warmth in a place that had always given peace and shelter.
I wandered about the house finally ending up in his old room, now decorated to hold guests and spied the little Harrods Bear he gave me when he returned from a soccer tournament in England. He had sat on his little perch for 14 years dusted but ignored for the most part. I had thought of eventually giving him ( with his little England shirt) to my new grandson.
I picked up the little 10 inch soft cuddly bear and pressed him like a compress to my heart. He managed and continues to be a hold on solace – helping to stop the pain that threatens to burst forth from me at any moment . He is becoming my constant companion- me this silly old lady clutching a little stuffed toy and holding on for all I am worth to this unreal reality that has become our life.
I watch my husband , who has aged 20 years in the past few days- needing his goodbye to reclaim his son torn from him by death and legalities- his head permanently bowed -his step that has become more a shuffle- eyes that leak silent tears.
Nana -who has braved so much in her 90 years- her dark circles hidden under concealer- looks like she has been in a boxing ring .
My daughter who clutches her child close , confused , angry, scared – her brother and unconditional supporter in all things no longer there to laugh and make mischief .
We sit waiting in her home – sharing the food sent by friends – the baby discovering his world beneath his first Christmas tree, a fire lit for a warming of the soul rather than for heat- each of us locked in our unreal reality and clutched to my bosom a small brown bear……