Friday, September 5, 2008

Hey, Mister...Can You Spare a Minesweeper?

It’s been a long, melancholy two weeks worth of convention-watching here and I’ve been feeling the loss of my girl quite keenly. Even in the midst of the Democratic convention, where it was easier to get caught up in Hope and Change and History, I wasn’t quite able to escape the sharp pointy sticks the speakers had no idea they were wielding: Everyone kept reminding me that we do this ‘for our children and our grandchildren.’** Well. Hmmm. Okay, then…I’m off the hook? Nonono, not really. And, yeah, I know I could read that as a universal “our” and yes, of course, I can do it for your children and grandchildren and I’m happy to, really, and yes I can do it in the name of Britt’s legacy …but, to be honest, I wish they’d find another way to describe the future, at least some of the time. Because even when you don’t see the sharp, pointy stick, sometimes…ow.

A dear friend recently compared navigating another’s grief to walking across a minefield. I know that she’s right and one of the reasons I love her is her willingness to walk that minefield with me every day. Most of the explosions are just as big a surprise to me as they are to anyone and often I’m shocked (and sometimes alarmed) at what brings me to my knees, what hurts, what enrages me. It’s often a struggle to maintain perspective and consider both the source and intent, - even though I know I should - especially when people insist on saying the most ludicrous things.

No, everything does NOT happen for a reason…some things are just random, meaningless accidents; and No, I do NOT believe this all part of God’s plan, and if you do then I most definitely don’t want to know your God as he is surely an evil, vile being and I'm not even sure I believe in God anymore so can we just give the whole God-thing a rest already?; and Yes I DO have a child, she just happens to have died and that doesn’t mean I “don’t have kids” and it Damn Sure doesn’t mean I’m willing to forgo taking time off around the holidays every year; and…you get the picture.

It’s exhausting and maddening and sometimes contradictory and absolutely like dodging landmines. Another thing I love, in a world where so many things are wrong, is how often my friends are right.

[**It also did not go unnoticed that there was precious little talk of “for the children” at the RNC; I can only assume they are taking care of their kids and you and your kids are on your own.]


Kaethe said...

I'm glad you have a dear friend to walk the field with you.

Jesse Wiedinmyer said...

A quote, from Anne Michaels' Fugitive Pieces...

The night you and I met, Jakob, I heard you tell my wife that there's a moment when love makes us believe in death for the first time. You recognize the one whose loss, even contemplated, you'll carry forever, like a sleeping child. All grief, anyone's grief, you said, is the weight of a sleeping child.

Debi said...

That's quite lovely, jesse. I wonder if I've read that?

Jesse Wiedinmyer said...

I'm not sure that I'd even recommend the rest of the book. There were three quotes that were memorable enough that I wrote them down. That was one of them.