I can feel it coming on during the first part of November. I find myself overcome with a magnitude of sadness. It feels like an emotional invasion intensified by all of the seemingly blissful families surrounding me. It’s a time when the little things bring sobs and a sense of normalcy is missing.
It’s the holiday season.
Losing a child is a sacred journey I never wanted to take. My son’s father is on the same journey and has not been spared the shattering loss either. His grief is always right under the surface of his other emotions, even happiness. Perhaps it is the bond of love which we both had for our son that makes us so sensitive to each other’s suffering. There is a strong feeling of compassion and acceptance between us, even though we haven’t been living together for over ten years.
I have learned it’s the human connection which enables me to move through my grief. Reaching out to others is my life line, and at the same time it’s an ongoing battle to balance the pain of living without my son. At every corner comes the family celebrations, and I deeply feel the separation from him trying to sabotage my happiness.
I am constantly holding grief in one hand and a happy life after his loss in the other; an equipoise not entirely attainable.
The following poem by e.e. cummings seems to comfort me. My spirit holds fast to a mother’s love so deep I am never without it. I love the image of cradling Cody’s heart and soul, like I did when he was a baby. (Lower case was e.e. cummings’ trademark way of writing his poetry.)
i carry your heart with me
by e.e. Cummings
i carry your heart
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
The deeper the love, the more grief after the loss. I thank all of you who have stood shoulder to shoulder with me as I endured the pain of this loss. It hasn’t always been pretty; anger at Cody, rage at God; guilt it wasn’t me, but it has been the truth of my experience for all of you to see.
Now on to surviving another holiday season by carrying his heart with me.
Mary Cucarola – November 23, 2016