Untold Stories #4

Owen’s death anniversary passed recently – officially, June 2, 2017.  That thing about an official date of death when your child was missing prior to his or her body being found is a mind fuck.  We want to know – when did he die?  We may never know.  And, it still plagues us.  My spiritual beliefs tend toward an existential gap – it shouldn’t matter.  And, my analytical mind seeks answers.  Always.  Incessantly.  Obsessively.

It matters.  I still want to know.  Ten years later.  I want to know when, how, and why my son died.  Even now.  Ten years after.

Each day leading up to the 10-year anniversary, I thought about what I should write here.  I was flummoxed, and chose not to write at all.  Ten years, who would think we were still grieving?  Then, I realized that I was falling into a deep despair that I couldn’t identify, save for the connection with sharing stories about Owen and how we are all moving into the future without him.  I was not doing that thing I do – storytelling.

For parents of child loss, remember this – your stories are your connection to your kid.  It’s not only okay to say his or her name out loud and keep photos and sacred items visible, but it’s okay to share your stories of how precious s/he was, and how your life was enriched by his/her presence in your family.  It’s also okay and healing to tell the stories, because the stories may help someone else.  They may help you heal.

I hope my stories help others.  At the minimum, they help me, and that can’t be all bad.

An untold story about Owen: On his 14th birthday, while we were living in San Diego, CA, I took him to a driving range at a local golf course – his choice.  On the way there, we heard Hotel California, by the Eagles on the car radio.  This song was our mantra since making the transition from Northern to Southern California – it all seemed so surreal.  We weren’t sure why we had moved there, but we recognized that things were not always recognizable in the present moment, and waiting out the events and circumstances was part of this life.  We were okay with that realization.  We lived and loved every day as if it were our last.  (We didn’t know it would be so soon – or, I didn’t.)

Owen asked me after the song was over, “Mom, what if pink is really green?”  We talked about how “language is an agreement” for the duration of the drive.  While Owen hit the golf balls into the field, I sat in the car and wrote about him and who I thought he was at the time.  I don’t know where that journal is now, but it’s among the many in our house.  Mine and his.  We both wrote…a lot.

Well, I had hoped I could find a song by Ten Years After that could align with this post.  I remember seeing them open for the Moody Blues at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles sometime in the early 70s.  I didn’t much like them then, and, alas, I don’t find them very likable now – not my kind of music – not Owen’s kind of music.  So…

Dave and I went to a Celtic Festival in Sebastopol, CA, a few months before Owen died.  I bought a CD by Lunasa.  Owen didn’t want to go to the Festival with us, but he listened to the CD for nights on end when we brought it home.  I can still see him sitting at the computer, listening to the music he came to love.

Absent Friends, Lunasa





~ by Linda on July 15, 2017.

One Response to “Untold Stories #4”

  1. Linda. I worked in a sector that dealt daily with death and grief, never imagining for a moment my own family would be thrown into a similar scenario. I just want to tell you your blogs are bringing comfort. I can’t say much more as our horror has only begun. I went to visit another mother who I knew had lost a child A father too. He is 20 years down the line. I can see he lives but in an alternate form. I guess this is how after the numbness this will gradually become. Both parents made me realise we all will still exist in time but in a different way. You bring comfort because you are still here and I’m scared of the immediate present and of people I love not wanting to go on and I seriously don’t think we can handle another ounce of loss right now x Please keep writing xxx

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