Seth called at 3:52 am but I didn’t hear the phone.
I played the message this morning and he was crying. Sobbing really.
Through tears he said, “I’m alright Mom but I wanted to talk. A good friend of mine died. I don’t know what to say but I hoped you’d hear the phone.”
Oh, god. I hate to make this about me, because he’s the one that’s suffering. But for a moment, until he and I have a chance to talk, I want to make it about me. Let my pain for him slide out onto this page so, when we connect, I can be there for him and listen. Just listen. What answers are there? “This is life”. No kidding, and it’s the sucky part of life. A young person dying. Shouldn’t happen.
His pain was palpable. I am crying for him. You never want your child to feel pain. Never, ever. Damn. I wish we lived closer together (he’s in TX, I’m in VA) so I could hold him, cradle him in my arms until he drifts off to the healing power of sleep.
Bringing Back Memories
When I was slightly older than Seth (he’s 29), my boyfriend was killed in a car crash. He was on his way home from the hawk banding station, the same place we’d gone together to for the 3 Tuesdays prior his going alone.
I still remember the phone call, the unfortunate friend who had the job of informing me . The same guy who had been contacted to identify the body. I don’t know why I wasn’t called for that horrible job, Tom & I had lived together. But thankfully I wasn’t.
Denny didn’t want to be the one to inform me.
He didn’t want to hear the screams over the phone.
He didn’t want to be called back, with me asking “Are you sure it was him? Maybe you made a mistake.”
It was awful on so many levels.
Tom had donated his body to the Philadelphia Anatomical Society; I was his signature witness. So the body, my Tom, was whisked away immediately. His parents chose not to have a service. It was then that I learned why people have viewings and/or funerals.
It’s for closure (of a sort).
It’s so you believe that the other person is really dead.
It’s so you get to be with other people who are also filled with pain.
I kept seeing Tom in crowds after that. Suddenly he’d appear and I’d run to see him to talk to him, but of course, it wasn’t really him.
I started thinking maybe there is a place people go after death because I wanted to meet-up with him, be together again. I worried he’d remain the same age while I’d die at an older age and so we wouldn’t get together again. Weird what you think of. Well here I am at 62, alive and well. I don’t think he’d want me as his partner anymore because there’s such as age gap. But I know we’d still be friends. That we’d still be able to laugh together. My sense of humor and enjoyment of laughter hasn’t changed; his wouldn’t have either. I just know that.
It sucks that my son is learning about death out-of-its-time.
But I’m so glad he’s alive to tell me about the loss of a friend. I’m glad it’s not a friend of Seth’s calling me to tell me Seth had died.
Selfish on my part. Such real and natural feelings. No one wants to have their child precede them in death. It.Should.Not.Happen.Ever.
I love you Seth. My prayers to you and your friend’s family.