August 28, 2003

// March 22nd, 2010 // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

I did a terrible thing to a friend today.

I hadn’t seen Wendy since the end-of-the-school-year picnic last June. At that time Steve was sick but we didn’t know what was wrong with him or that he was dying. Many of my friends had been praying for him, including Wendy. Today was the first get together of the new school year for our homeschooling group. We met at the local indoor rock climbing gym. As Robyn and Jae set out to scale one of the man-made rock walls with a dozen other kids, I joined Wendy and Tracy at the chairs set up along the wall for the spectators. As as I sat down, Wendy turned to me and asked, “How’s your son?” “Much better…” I told her but before I could tell her why her face lit up like a beacon. It broke my heart to continue, “…because he passed away” and watch her expression fall.

Actually, he is much better, right? According to the platitudes I am greeted with. According to the messages I hear. “He’s in a better place…” “He’s not hurting any more…” “You’ll see him again someday”. I know all that and whole heartedly agree. The moment Steve left his body I understood all of that.

But, how can a life cut short be better? He still had so much to do. So much to see. Two young sons he wanted to introduce to a wide world. He wanted to be able to go to work every day to support his family. He wanted to invest in real estate, to own a boat. He wanted to spend a month in the desert riding his Banshee all day or all night, without needing insulin injections or tubes hanging out of his belly that he would use to connect himself to an exchanger each night to clean his blood because his kinneys couldn’t. He wanted to eat a banana split without the worry of spiking his blood sugar or overloading his system with potassium. He wanted to stay with his family and grow old with them. But instead he had to die to find peaceful rest from a body that failed him.

So I didn’t really lie to Wendy today. But in hindsight it was a cruel way to tell a friend of my son’s death.

I won’t do that again.

One Response to “August 28, 2003”

  1. Shereen says:

    You are an incredibly talented writer. 🙂

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