Today is Memorial Day 2010, a day to remember those who have served and died in the armed forces. The day was rather melancholy, I don’t know why. I didn’t feel much like my usual hyper-active self. I chatted on Facebook with a childhood friend who is over in Iraq working as an electrician. He says it was over 100 degrees and there’s no shade anywhere, just sand and sun. I haven’t talked to him in oh, probably 30 years. It was weird, yet familiar and pleasant. I wonder if I’m sad today because I can feel all the other saddness of other parents who have lost their children. With so many people remembering their loved ones, I think it just made me miss my son. I just watched an old movie, Signs, with Mel Gibson, and I couldn’t stop crying. I can’t watch anything anymore because I’m so sensitive. My dad was a veteran and he died in 2008, three weeks before my son, Carmen. I haven’t gone to visit him yet at the cemetary. I wanted to go today because it was Memorial Day, but I didn’t feel well, so I’ll have to go some other time. I did visit my son twice today. I go up there and even though it’s been almost two years, I am still hoping that his grave won’t be there. Then I take the corner to go down the avenue where he is buried, and sure enough, he’s still there. I drive up really slow and look out my window at his headstone, yeah, that’s him. He’s still here. I wish it was all a dream and that he’s really not dead. “How can my son be dead?” I ask myself. But there’s no answer, it just is and I have to accept it. I try to pretend that he’s just away right now and that he’ll be coming back home or that he’s going to call me, but then I remember that I visit his grave and so it isn’t like I don’t know where he is already. He’s up there, in the ground. Not his spirit, but his body and the humanness of him. It’s buried about a half a mile from my house. I miss touching his face and reaching out and putting my arm around him. I miss hearing him talk and laugh and yes, I miss argueing with him. I miss teaching him and sharing with him and cooking for him. I miss everything that made him human. Now I have to grieve what I’ve lost and yet I also have to learn to be in this new spiritual relationship with him; one where I can’t touch him, or have a conversation with him, or see him and yet continue believing and feeling him near me. He’s an angel now. He’s a bright white light of energy. He doesn’t even look like Carmen anymore. I am so grateful that I was the one who got to mother and love him. I grew him in my belly and pushed him out into the world (I almost died during labor, too).
I wrote this song a couple of months after my son died. It is the first song I ever wrote. I hope someone finds comfort in my words.
“I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE GONE”
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