This I Believe

Roy - Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Entered on February 11, 2008
Age Group: 65+
Themes: death, family

This I Believe

Grief shakes all of life’s foundations. The very roots of what we held as beliefs are fractured. For nothing previously understood, applies to the loss of a loved one. We are as the homeless, in need of any foundation on which to build. Emerson said, “Sorrow makes us all children again.”

Unlike children though we have a sense of self, learned from life’s experiences. None of which now applies to the anguish of losing a child. But indeed we are child-like, having to learn how to live in a frightening and different environment.

Learning anew is fearful, for we hold tightly to old foundations no matter how fractured. Security, possessions, social status, self worth and spiritual beliefs are all reduced to rubble. The disbelief of what should not have happened shakes the certainties we held before tragedy.

And a tragedy it was, losing my son. For sixty-five years, my life made complete sense until that phone call. I was not prepared; we can never be. The horror of his death overwhelmed me. I had no idea what to do. Nothing made sense anymore. I was shaken, my heart shattered. How will I ever recover, find meaning again.

Rebuilding new foundations, based on the love I have for my son is the only thing I can do. Although not easy, remembering his suffering and his courage uplifts my own sense of self. The perspective of reviewing his life from beginning to end is bringing new purpose to my own. A more meaningful purpose and a better knowledge of the capacity of loving are the beginnings of a new foundation.

I am grateful for this; but I do miss him so much. Finding a truer meaning of life’s purpose is a painful lesson for me, but leading to more stable foundations and more complete fulfillment. This I believe, as I rebuild and heal. For all this pain has taught me how to love more fully.