Mothers of Time- March 3rd- Chris Ritchey
I have, over these many months, reached out and been reached by other mothers who have lost their young adult sons/ daughters to cancer. Our stories are varied but the ending tragically the same . We are fragmented, no longer whole and trying to find a way out of our hell. We share the horror of having to watch helplessly day after day as the life force slipped away from our child. We lived in hope of miracles, of cures. We endured hours and days and in some cases months of an emotional whirlwind which buffeted us , stretched us to near breaking , testing us and finally destroying all hope until the person we were crashed and burned as a heart stopped.
When reliving the death of their child some mothers will say:
they are so many weeks, months years OUT from the day of the death of their child.
As I read their words – the ones who are out – I envision them leaving the comfort of the home shores of a life they once had , the warmth, love and laughter- a lone sailor – embarking on an unknown sea , a journey hopefully one day coming full circle perhaps back to a place they left – a welcoming place where peace and laughter once more waits or perhaps they will find their world is flat and they will fall off the edge.
Either way they are so many days weeks months OUT from their previous existence, alone for the most part – no matter their faith- locked in a vessel whose sails are whipped by the winds of grief, the tides of tears, steered by despair, safe harbor elusive as laughter that was .
Then there are the mothers who refer to the days following the ultimate terror as being IN from the death of their child.
They too, bring a vision to my mind. I see them in a place, a forest of emotions and loss of hope .I see them as they claw and scratch their way through the briars and brambles of grief; every moment taking them deeper into the darkness of the forest. They too, are trying to move forward to the illusive spot of dappled sunlight which entices them forever to continue their journey “in” . Will they reach the meadows bathed in the sunshine? I hope a hope that is the case for to be trapped in the darkness without the warmth and light is a terrible prison.
Chris, I realized I haven’t thought of being – OUT from your death or even IN – I AM STOPPED! Yes! the days continue to become weeks, the weeks months, the months now years- they mean nothing – they don’t exist for me.
I have not moved- I am rooted – the day of your loss is NOW – time has no meaning – I watch and wait for dappled sunlight or the edge of the world to come to me because I cannot leave you. I am tethered by my love for you – that has not died- the tether is stronger than time – I am just here – it is time that moves – I am walled by a circle of life that cannot be broken