©2013 390 words
“Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it—every, every minute?”
Thornton Wilder (“Our Town”)
Dear Dillon; Dear Son,
I have always believed that words have power—the power to traverse great distances, the power to break or heal the human heart. That is why, despite the events of last week, the dream from which there seems to be no waking, I set these few symbols loose in the ether hoping that I’ve not been mistaken all these years. Hoping that somehow, some way, the meaning embedded in these modern-day digital hieroglyphics will find you where you are. Wherever that may be. And that they will bring solace. To us both.
Dillon, I want you to know how profoundly you are loved. Still. And how many times we have all—your sister and Mom; your friends; your Daddy—wished you back again. I want you to know how we’ve wished that the people who passed you in that Seattle park where you lay unconscious last Saturday could have recognized you as someone’s dear child—the longed-for consequence of your parents’ love, of all our hopes and dreams. Not a nameless throwaway street person. And I wish that you’d not been there at all, that the illness that caused you so much suffering over the years had not driven you to that desperate place. And yes, Dillon, I want you to know that I wish I had done more to keep that from happening. Because the father in me knows that there was. More, that is. Always more that could be done. So I wish for your forgiveness, too.
But most of all I wish you to know what a privilege it was to be there when you took your first breath—and your last. I wish you to know, as a dear friend has so eloquently written, that despite “the grooves of anxiety and worry that spun the record of [our] relationship…” I count it a gift to have been—to be—your Dad, and that I wish you whole and free at last from suffering, having awakened in some happier place. And that if life is truly but a dream, then I wish someday to rouse there too. And find you waiting.
Oh, how the heart does break. A surgeon once told me that in the place where a bone breaks, it becomes stronger upon healing. I think the same goes for hearts.
You do write so beautifully, Jack. There is nothing I can say except the same old platitudes – how sorry I am, how I wish things could have been different, how much I grieve with you.
Beautiful and eloquent. So very sorry. Sending love your way.
Linda (friend of Tobi’s)
As parents we do our best. Our best is the actions that we take at a moment…As bereaved parents we will dig until we find something to feel guilty about. Be kind to yourself. You did your best.