01 March 2011

He would have been 21.

I’ve always felt that if you give me any general topic, I’d be able to talk non-stop for half an hour or write about 500 words about it without much difficulty. 

However, the one topic that I have always avoided is about my second son, Eric. 

Often I feel guilty that I am thinking less and less of him. I know that it is a good sign of finally reaching the last stage of the grieving process. Yet, I feel unwilling to let it go completely. 

When people ask me how many children I have, I always hesitate to answer because, in truth, I have had two children.

To say that I only have one child seems like I have erased all traces of Eric’s short life on earth. Not to acknowledge his existence doesn’t seem fair. 

To say that I had two children brings the next inevitable question of how old they are and then I have to say that one died. It then seems like I am looking for pity. 

It’s a tough call and I wonder how others deal with this. Do they have the same dilemma? Or is it only me? 

Today he would have been 21. 

(To be continued…)

From a special girl  Click to read


Small Kucing said...

sorry to hear that. My friend lost 3 babies one after another. Not that this would diminish your anguish. Your grief is as much as her.

STEEST said...

Small Kucing,

It's so nice to see a new commenter. Thank you for taking the trouble to do so.

Grief is very personal and unique.

I believe that one doesn't feel more pain than another. It is just pain.

I'll go over to visit you soon.


Stephen Felix Grosse said...

His memory continues to live on in our hearts. Forever.

Zaharan Razak said...

Dear Lita: First I apologize for not visiting your blog as often as I should. Hence I missed this one. Thank you for standing on your toes to peer over my fence to call me over. In that you have a bigger heart than mine. I regret not having shared this common loss between us earlier. But the spirit remains.

Privately, my memory of Ajai swings from studiedly ignoring it, quickly scrolling past his photos and words I've written of him to occasionally stopping, dwelling and talking to him.

Publicly, I tell the world I have four children but if pressed I'd matter-of-factly mention one died. All seemed to understand that I did not wish to to talk further on the subject.

The challenge here is to balance between remembering too much and seeming (to our own conscience)to totally forget, AND to balance between being too uncommunicative with people who may genuinely wish to share feelings with you - good and bad - even if wordlessly, and feeling as though we are seeking a shoulder to lean on.

Spiritually, we are also faced with the challenge of balancing between our human emotion of grief and sense of loss and our knowledge and faith that our beloved departed have gone on to the 'place' where we too will go. It calls for patience, a stoutness of heart, soundness of mind and the learned ability to see things in the larger perspective. At the end of the day we are telling our human hearts that we are spiritual beings made of the very same stuff/qualities needed to reclaim our rightful place which individually and collectively we have temporarily lost in the mysterious game called life.

STEEST said...

Dear Zaharan

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I asked you because you are the only one I know who recently experienced a loss.

For this reason, I felt your response would be most apt. Not only for me but for any other person who chances upon my blog post.

Your comment is meaningful and makes complete sense to me.

Thanks again.