Again, life changes

I wrote about bats in my last post, and how Bat symbolizes death and rebirth. I had no anticipation of it foreboding something as literal as my son’s death. But Bat told true. Chris died, and we are embarking upon discovering a life without him in it, physically. I know my son is with me, now and always. He’s free of all the chaos in that beautiful head of his. And his gentle heart can love without conflict. No more pain in his leg, his foot, in his mind. Free, free, free. That is the word that keeps echoing through my brain.

I am not a religious person. I don’t believe in God or the Devil, in Heaven or Hell. Modesty may be for suckers, but I am not arrogant enough to believe I’m capable of understanding the universe and all its secrets. But there is a reason I write ghost stories, and in each of them is another facet of what might be, some facet I hold in the possibility of true. There is no one afterlife, just like there is no one existence in this physical realm. Maybe because I’m a writer, someone who doesn’t believe in one truth, I am open to those possibilities. I choose to notice, to find meaning, and to take comfort from little signs I get that he’s near.

Last week, my amazing friend, Diana showed up. She lives outside of Philadelphia, three hours away. Such love, all that way when she couldn’t even stay. She handed me a book and told me, “Before I left my house, I said, ‘Christofer, if I have something in my  home that’s going to give your mother comfort, show me.’ ” Her eyes went immediately to a book–A Year with Rilke. Ok, strange. But whatever. She opened it up directly to this poem:

The Departure of the Prodigal Son

To go forth now
from all the entanglement
that is ours and yet not ours,
that, like the water in an old well,
reflects us in fragments, distorts what we are.

From all that clings like burrs and brambles—
to go forth
and see for once, close up, afresh,
what we had ceased to see—
so familiar it had become.
To glimpse how vast and how impersonal
is the suffering that filled your childhood.

Yes, to go forth, hand pulling away from hand.
Go forth to what? To uncertainty,
to a country with no connections to us
and indifferent to the dramas of our life.

What drives you to go forth? Impatience, instinct,
a dark need, the incapacity to understand.

To bow to all this.
To let go—
even if you have to die alone.

Is this the start of a new life?

Coincidence? Maybe. I choose to believe it was my son fulfilling the loving request of my friend. There have been so many strange little things that I could put off as coincidence, or me wanting to see something to give me comfort. To that I say, so be it.

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27 Comments

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27 responses to “Again, life changes

  1. Love you, Terri. Embrace the strange little things that happen, and will keep happening. Chris will always be with you all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Never stop looking for signs. This poem is a beautiful example of how they pop up where you least expect them. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Chris loves you and knows exactly how to communicate with you, no matter where he is ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      A friend brought me a gift yesterday. A little turtle with “One Day At A Time” on its back. She had no idea he called me turtle. Cute, huh? I have more stories. I’ll tell you about them at lunch.

      Like

  4. Love all of this, every word. He’ll be with you always.

    Like

  5. Mark nelson

    Chills. Just. Yeah. Write.

    Like

  6. ❤ I've been thinking about you and your beautiful, sweet son and your family all week. And the thing that grabs my heart and head and won't let go is the immense, hard, bright ocean of mothering that you've somehow managed to do. Sending out that loving energy to Chris that you feel and understand his freedom from every kind of pain and chaos is like an infinite caress across the forehead. ❤

    Like

  7. He is free. And he used his freedom to find a way past all those barriers to communicate with you. I am truly in awe of his love for you. And in awe of you.

    Like

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      Diana, you brought me the greatest gift I would never have asked for. First, yourself. Second, that poem. It was like Chris speaking directly to my heart.

      Like

  8. Lysa Carter

    I am so sorry for the loss of your son. I love that in the midst of your grief you discovered some signs from your son. Sometimes I don’t know what to do with my grief. We are in a club no one wants to join, I will burn a candle & say a prayer for your family (I know you aren’t christian). Your post is loving and beautiful! xo Lysa

    Like

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      Thank you, Lysa. I’m sorry you’ve suffered your own loss. All acts of kindness, whether part of my own belief structure or not, are truly appreciated. It’s the intent that matters. Thank you.

      Like

  9. Carol Lovekin

    Like you, dear heart, I’m unsure when it comes to the universe; to what might be ‘real’ or can only be imagined. We can’t know so I tend to cleave to my quiet understanding that there likely to be something ‘bigger than me.’ I call it Goddess – Mother Earth. The perfect metaphor for what I witness: the grandeur of the land & the astonishing wonder of nature’s cycle & the certainty that presents.

    I do know one thing – I don’t believe in coincidence.

    Love in abundance, cariad.
    Carol
    xXx

    Like

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      We are, as always, of the same mind. I close my eyes and feel the world, the immensity of all I don’t know and can never understand, and I’m content with acknowledging it.

      Like

  10. Reading your words with a lump in my throat, remembering all our losses as we do when another soul departs, and comforted by the signs that somehow find us and bring us meaning. There is another world entwined with ours. His love will always warm your heart, but you already know that.

    Like

  11. Love you, Terri. I know Chris will be with you always, and that you will hear his voice in many moments and many ways in the years to come.

    Like

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      Love you back. I almost just called you. Something freaky happened, but I , for some reason, thought you were in school! I’ll tell you on FB.

      Like

  12. Dearest Terri-Lynne, I’m so sorry to hear about your son. It’s a difficult loss to deal with. When my son took his own life 4 years ago, I was devastated, yet I understood his psychic pain and his desire to be done with it, much the same way you understand that now your son is free. My son went to the depths of understanding his desperation to be rid of his earthly pain, and I think he realized what he was searching for was not in this world. Take care.

    Like

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      I have had you on my mind, Linda. My son might not have purposely took his own life, but he decided to no longer live when he started using again. He was shutting himself down, escaping the world that hurt too much to live in. Both our boys are free if their pain. As mothers who feel our kids’ pain along with them, we’re free of their pain too. We get a different kind to take its place, but our own pain is easier to live with than theirs. IMO anyway. Thank you, sweetheart.

      Like

      • I’m so glad you said that, because it’s seldom mentioned – we’re free of their pain as well. I grieve my loss, but the heartbreak (and fear and worry) of knowing my child was in constant turmoil is gone. The way he chose is sad, but his soul has found peace. I wish I could give you a big hug. xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • Terri-Lynne DeFino

        Consider the hug received, and returned. A big one.

        Like

  13. Pingback: Positives Pulled From a Negative | Modesty Is For Suckers

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