I cannot fathom that at this very moment…, as I type these words…, 2 months ago…, my son died.
I held him, telling him to stop fighting to hold on, that it was ok to go to his rest.
It’s not ok.
He should have stayed with me.
Shit. As soon as I think about him the tears well up in my eyes…
My precious Anthony…. I miss you.
4pm on February 11, Anthony was extubated. I knew the end was here.
I don’t want to break down and cry now, so onwards…
Nothing will bring him back, however he sent me a song that I now play 4x a day to keep him with me.
How did he send me a song? I just so happened to be listening to one of my stations on Amazon Music while I was going to the cemetery. This song came on and as I listened to the lyrics, the tears fell with a ballistic force.
Wherever You Will Go by The Calling
When I got to the cemetery one of his friends had added the picture above to his headstone.
Look at Anthony, crossing the East River, Brooklyn Bridge in background. How many times have I shared a photo of the East River in my postings… New York City is our place. Quiet Serenity in the Big City.
Anthony is with me, wherever I will go…
In the 2 months that have passed, we have made progress as a family in handling our grief.
Notice the emphasis on the word handling. Grief is not something you manage, you handle IT. You hold your head up straight when IT allows you too. You give in and break down in tears when IT dictates.
If your children are in a rebellious mood, extra sassy mouth, you don’t take IT as gospel. If your spouse is extra argumentative, you try your best to make a good point (for a good hour at least). If, after that, you’re just broken down, finished listening to them and exhausted, end IT and walk away. You simply handle IT.
IT is grief.
Handling IT is a singular process for everyone. That is the one major thing to remember. It is also the hardest concept for others who are in your direct line of sight to understand. There is no ONE process to make IT go away. There is no be-all-end-all cure for IT. Grief must be handled. In whatever way or timeframe IT wants.
Grief is not to be managed. There is no Harvard Business Review course on Management of Grief. Sorry friends. Sorry family. There is no way to be an exceptional Grief Manager. There is no instruction manual or training course.
You won’t get a performance bonus at the end of the year or get a Manager of the Month photo on the break room wall.
You handle grief by trying to remain as unscathed as possible through the day. The hour. The next minute. Each one unique. Each moment at grief’s direction and discretion.