December 3rd- End of Days- Chris Ritchey
I haven’t had the strength of will to write this blog since November 11th. I use this place as therapy, as a way of documenting the rights and wrongs , the history of the place on the planet I find myself on any given day. There are over 60 categories and nearly 1,500 posts since I began in 2008. There are 59 draft posts in waiting….. but I am spent. It will take everything I have to write this post – not to do so would be “giving -up” in my world fraught with conflict.
I am not alone in the terrible place losing one’s son to cancer – watching hourly as life slipped away – the dying days – scared to sleep , scared to leave your son’s side just plain terrified of that day you know is coming when his strength gives out, fighting back those thoughts and ignoring your own eyes as you wait in the hope…. . Helpless as “so called” medical professionals in a teaching hospital used your son as a lab rat, the distancing from reality.
Then the terrible aftermath – the walking zombie like for days- your brain fighting against reality, not knowing how to function in the world you find yourself – your body trying to recover from the days of hopelessness, the anger toward those that in their selfishness and hypocrisy took away dignity, compassion in their need to control.
Pleased that you have more of your life behind you than in front of you – believing in your heart of hearts you will not survive for more than a few days the terrible gutting pain of grief- how could anyone bear this agony for any length of time ? Grief is a terminal disease of the heart and mind but with any chronic disease one finds ways to deal – some medicate, some use their faith as crutches, some choose counselling , some just exist and wait, some write……..
I have managed to get through your dying days for 5 years- the tricks of the grief trade coming to my aid when in public, the knowing where triggers lay, the avoidance of anyone or anything that can bring me crashing to my knees at any given moment . You deal with the grief of being, crippled , unsure still questioning. You survive the daily onslaught and live your life, not as imagined, but as it is.
Maybe it is because for the first time the days match up with the dates of your end of days– Chris. Starting with Nov 11th – the days leading up to that Thursday of Thanksgiving when a Dr. found me alone in the waiting room to tell me you were dying- the hope on the Friday as the nurse told me
she had no such information and she would have been informed- back to hope
– the dreadfully ignorant people who flocked into that waiting room with their recipes, food and cackle. Looking to your father for strength, he , who was as helpless as I . The knowing I couldn’t physically keep up the vigil I had been keeping by your bedside for the two weeks – the sound of the vent- they visit me waking and sleeping.
Has this change to the cycle added more to my pain and remembering? I do know this year is the hardest yet and unbearable resurgence of the pain of being. . Those first weeks there was the anesthetic of “disbelief” this was happening . , the hope that I would wake from the nightmare and an anger that kept me upright.
Could it be that this “real world” where religious beliefs, differing across the planet, causing more mothers to weep , the zealots crying out once more – “test their beliefs before we show kindness and compassion”
In a spell-binding speech before a crowd of French knights, Urban exhorted his adherents to win back “the land of milk and honey” and avenge the Turkish atrocities allegedly perpetrated against their fellow Christians. He cited several of the gory details sent to him by Alexius Comnenus and ended by bidding them fight “for the remission of your sins, with the assurance of imperishable glory.” No matter his actual words, “Kill Moslems indiscriminately!” is what the crowd understood him to say and chanted back Deus le vult! Deus le vult!” (“God wills it! God wills it!”)
four men armed with assault rifles and shouting “Allahu akbar” (“God is great!
““You’re a Christian – I mean, you can prove you’re a Christian,” he said. “You can’t prove it, then, you know, you err on the side of caution.”
Have these cries of intolerance, the platitudes spewed in the media and social media brought home the ignorance and hurt caused to your family by those that pray and prey.
Those who preach and ignore basic doctrine of human kind. Could it be it has played a part these many “end of days” .
What I do know is that for some reason I am “remembering ” hours and happenings that I had pushed into the deepest part of me, they are surfacing and with them the rawness of the time. Could it be I am more able to deal with these memories now, does my body and brain think I am stronger now- it is time for me to “deal” with them as they surface or is it that I am worn so thin in my defenses I can no longer hold them back?
Reaching out in the months after my son’s death, I found others of my ilk and I have borrowed words from one who articulates the grief from a place of knowing… a mother’s knowing …..
” the real horror of this “grief process”…It is not a process at all–it is a state of being; it only looms larger, more all consuming as time passes–not the reverse as we are led (told) to believe. The emptiness more glaring, the loneliness more overwhelming. Who could ever understand the way this nightmare grows and covers everything? Who could even admit this? “
I have only been able to write this post in stages, tears blur the keyboard and the screen , I can only hold my breath so long before the welling in my heart is unbearable and the body goes into “save mode” I need to gather strength from your sister and nephews in order to write. I need to see the laughter, the innocence and tangible love that remains…
I love you and miss you Chris with all my broken heart and body……..
Entry filed under: blogs, Chris Ritchey, death, grief, hell is other people, Love, religion. Tags: Angela (Lombardi) Ritchey Murphy, Angela Murphy Westlake, Chris Ritchey, Christopher D. Ritchey, christopher ritchey lorain, death, grief, Lombardi-Lorain, Love, mothers and sons.