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Such Small Portions November 2, 2009

Posted by johnbohlinger in Dealing with Grief after Losing your child., Death of your child, Grieving Parents, Guilt and Grief.
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August with the Fender Strat I gave him

“The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways — I to die and you to live. Which is the better, only God knows.”  Socrates

I was laying in bed last night,  exhausted but unable to sleep,  feeling that now old, familiar weight of depression envelope me and I heard my self saying, “Jesus forgive me, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”  I don’t know how long I was rambling away like that,  heart pounding,  body beginning to sweat, but when I recognized what I was doing I stopped and asked myself what am I begging forgiveness for?  What did I do?
Am I responsible for my son’s death?
Was I a bad parent?
I made some mistakes that I would give anything to do over,  but that’s just life.    I wonder how much time and energy I waste every week with these self induced emotional beatings?

I realize that I’m repeating myself;  guilt is a common theme when one grieves over the loss of a child.   Grief is beginning to seem like one long, repetitive series of the same tiny steps forward then back.  I guess there’s some progress or maybe it’s the illusion of progress. Did Sisyphus ever convince himself that his boulder was getting a little closer to the top of the hill  during his eternity of labor in the underworld?  He must have, other wise he would have just sat down.

Lately I’ve been wondering if this is it.  What if things never get better? Is that a life I can life with?  Socrates maintained that the unexamined life is not worth living.  At this point, I would like to stop examining life and just thoughtlessly live.

Woody Allen opens his film Annie Hall (1977) with:

“There’s an old joke – um… two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of ‘em says, ‘Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.’ The other one says, ‘Yeah, I know; and such small portions.’

This is about the best summary of life that I’ve found.  Life can be such a terrible mess, and yet, there’s still not enough of it.



1. Dillion - November 3, 2009

It’s hard. I don’t have any answers.

2. Roberts Mom Linda - November 4, 2009

“Grief is beginning to seem like one long, repetitive series of the same tiny steps forward then back.”
I know I am better now than I was at the beginning of this because my heart does not hurt the way it did then and I do not cry every day all day. But as you say those same feelings and emotions are always there always lurking just below, surfacing whenever they want.
God life is so hard now, it just is.
I so used to love holidays I was always so excited and now here they come again. I have to try for Austin but I know he can see and feel the difference and then I think how does that make him feel.
No matter how far I come the loss of my son goes with me that is something I don’t lose so how far can I really get?

3. elvira - November 17, 2009

Socrates was quite right and yet, his answer is such difficult one to understand! Lovely child. Good father. Such is life.

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