This I Believe

Timothy - Powell, Ohio
Entered on October 19, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: death, family, legacy
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in grieving

My son was killed on June 8th 2007 in Indianapolis when he was struck by a car as he walked on a highway to a gas station after running out of gasoline. The Chaplin words as he explained what happen hit me with tremendous force. I had never felt such pain, either mental or physical.

It is close to five months since my son’s death and the pain still lingers. I have been wrestling with whether I am odd or normal as I go from day to day. People tell me many ways to handle it and advise me to move on. Many people either ignore me or pretend it didn’t happen. I assume and hope this is a defensive mechanism but still am hurt by it. I am not sure what I want those people to do, but their silence confuses me.

Grief is defined as a deep and poignant distress. But that is about it. There are no rules or guidelines for grieving. All people are different and move to a different drummer. The books and Web sites on grieving are interesting and seem to repeat axioms generally known by most people. I find them sometimes helpful, sometimes cold and unfeeling, and many times couched in such psycho babble as to be unreadable.

As part of my coping process I plan on making some life changes, such as a new job and going back to school. I need to make a shift in my life in order to escape my distress. Others who have sustained similar losses seem to do the same. I will know that by doing so my son will know his death has been a catalyst in my life, much as he had been before as when he was born, when he hits his first pitch, and when he rode his bicycle for the first time.

My grieving at my son’s death will take the form of loving my family and this earth more than I have previously. I will be more tolerant and try to spread happiness rather than stimulate worthless debates. I will try to learn more and be a better person for the remainder of my wife. I grieve by doing those things in honor of him. Because that what he was, a giving, caring young man with much to live for.