Thursday, September 24, 2009

As the sky lightened...

...this morning, I stared at our kids as they slept. They tossed and turned restlessly, largely due to the fact that in a period of barely 24 hours, their entire world had been turned upside-down and they now found themselves sleeping on floors and couches hundreds of miles away from home.

I did the same thing early yesterday morning. I stood in our youngest son's room and watched him sleep. Peacefully, with that look of mixed contentment and happiness that he seems to carry with him every moment of every day. I secretly wished that I could slow down time, because I knew when he woke up and we told him what had happened while he slept, that look of contentment and happiness, that bubble of childhood innocence that I've long written about, would evaporate. I knew nothing would ever be the same for him, and I knew there was nothing I could do to change or fix it for him.

So I hovered, and tried to remember every last detail of what he looked like at that, fleeting moment. Of what that bubble looked and felt like before it went away for good. Or at least a long while.

And sure enough, as night turned to day, he stirred. And when he did, my wife and I were there to tell him what had happened just a few hours before. And he cried. Which only made us cry. So we held him close, our tears falling on his neck, and told him it was okay to cry. Because that's how nine-year-old boys, and their parents, learn about incalculable sadness and loss. About how despite a parent's seeming invincibility, there are things they cannot fix.

Today he'll hold onto his older brother and sister, and to us, as he attends his first funeral, his Zaidy's. I know he'll cry, as will we, for a grandfather he'll always love and always miss and always hear and see in his mind's eye. And tonight I'll hover over him again. And watch for signs that the bubble, albeit irrevocably changed and scarred, has returned in some form.

33 comments:

These Nine Acres said...

Oh, Carmi. Sending all of my love to you and yours on this sad day.

Jean said...

Carmi, I pray to God to give you all courage... Keeping you in my thoughts.

Jean

lissa said...

Carmi, your experience is carbon copy to when my mom died. She left us overnight and I had the same sad, impossible task of waking them in the morning with that news. Their tears increased mine, their sadness weighed on top of mine and yet my strength had to be theirs. It is never easy, but it is a learning, growing experience that, when we face it with loving kindness in the face of the storm, helps our kids to remember how their parents got them through the most difficult day of their young lives to date.

I'll see you all today, and be sending you positive energy throughout.

Love to you all.

snowelf said...

I'm glad you have each other in this time of saddness. Much love.

--snow

Anne said...

Carmi, you have my continued prayers and blessings.

Anne

Carolyn said...

I'm so sorry your children are going thru this Carmi. I know loss is part of growing up, but it's hard for them. It's hard for you too as an 'older' child also. Hugs and prayers to you and your family.

Hilary said...

You're all in my thoughts today.

Susan at Stony River said...

I'm lost for any words; just so sad for you and your family and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. At my Dad's funeral someone told me that time heals everything. Sometimes I still wonder if that's true because it doesn't seem to. I love my Dad more every day and somehow it feels he's been here all along.

Good luck and God bless in getting through the days to come, and I wish your whole family a safe journey home again.

Maria said...

Carmi,
The tears welled up in my eyes as I read your sorrowful words. May God give you strength and courage throughout this time of loss.

Kimmie said...

I'm so sorry for your children .... a grandparent is such a huge part of childhood. Blessings on this terrible day - I hope you have moments of crystal clear peace and joy in the midst of the grief.

S said...

My thoughts are with your family during this hard time.

Melli said...

Oh Carmi... I am so sorry for your loss, and for all of your family. To lose a loved one is hard when it's expected, but so much harder when it is sudden. I pray for God to comfort you all ... and yes, to return your little one's bubble.

Breeze said...

I too have been there..having lost my dad when my older children were your childrens' age and I ache for you and your family...thinking of you as words fail...with a heavy heart I send you my condolences.

Breeze

Mama Zen said...

This is a stunningly beautiful post.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Chris Tea said...

So very sorry to read of your loss. Sending thoughts today.

Thom said...

Carmi this is beautiful. I also had tears in my eyes as I read this. What a man you are my friend. AGain, my best to you and your family :) Much aloha and be strong

Marie Höglund said...

Your words are beautiful Carmi filling my eyes with tears. I can only imagine what you and your family are going trough now. So again Carmi, my thoughts and hugs to you and your family. Marie on Carpe Diem, Sweden.

Sara said...

Carmi and family,

Sending you love during this time of sadness.

Your insight made this a touching post...

Gallow said...

I had tears when I read your post. I thought back to the closeness that I had with my Grandfather. I still miss him today, 25 years later. I also wouldn't trade the memories of him for anything.

Thank you for sharing your very difficult time in such a moving way.

My prayers are also with you all.

g said...

Oh, Carmi. Very sad. My thoughts are with you and your family during this very sad time.

Nikki-ann said...

I'm sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. Remember the good times :)

quilly said...

I sit here crying for you and your children. I did not know your father, but I know that he was greatly loved. I hope that in time the memories of that love can bring you comfort and peace. My prayers are with you and your family.

NJ said...

This is heartbreaking. My kids were 10 and 7 when my mom died and teenagers when my father in law died. In both cases it wasn't a sudden thing so it was easy to explain that it was a blessing.
Hang in there!

Cheryl said...

The bubble bursts... Last fall, we got the phone call, that Grandpa had died. My then 12-year old son overheard the phone conversation and knew what had happened. As I told him the sad news, he said "I know Mommy. I was just pretending I didn't, so I could hold on to one more minute of my life without someone I love dying." Oh the wisdom of a child.

May you find comfort among the mourners of our people.

Cheryl
(you may remember me from a project we worked on together with Aviva a couple of years ago.

Pesach said...

Baruch Dayan v'Emet. You have our deepest sympathy and condolences. We'll talk when its convenient for you.

All the best, during this difficult time for your family.

Pesach

Amanda said...

Carmi your sorrow has affected and entire virtual community.
Love and prayers!

kcinnova said...

Many people prayed for your family today.
Hold tight to love and one another.

MB said...

I haven't stopped thinking about you since I read about your father's passing. I keep seeing the picture you took of him at the cemetary earlier this month and how reflective it is about life and death.

I continue to keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Heather said...

Oh Carmi, this is so beautifully written. I am so very sorry for your loss. Praying for peace and comfort for you ad your family.

Mojo said...

Strangely, or perhaps not, it will most likely be the youngest one who brings something like normalcy to life again for all of you. In the not-quite-understanding of youth, which I think makes up the largest percentage of that bubble you speak of, there's a resilience that allows them to see life in a way that's... not as grim as the prism we view it through.

As awful as this is right at this moment when the grief is fresh and raw, it will be the collective love you and your family have that will return the balance to your lives. And I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it begins with that fitfully sleeping bundle of energy that is Noah.

I'm calling in all the karmic markers I can asking peace for you and yours.

Pamela said...

my grown daughter Amanda commented last year that we had a "lifetime of funerals."

And so it has been, is, and will be. That is why it is so important to remember the time in between.

Recently I posted about Amanda visiting and asking about her grandma's overnight case. She'd saved it in her room for several years and brought it out and sniffed the two sweaters she'd stuffed in of it when we cleaned up my mom's house.

We found it in our storage area that evening, with the two sweaters still in there.

Our daughter opened it, and then sniffed it...and cried. It's been 16 years since my mother died.

torontopearl said...

"Today he'll hold onto his older brother and sister, and to us, as he attends his first funeral, his Zaidy's. I know he'll cry, as will we, for a grandfather he'll always love and always miss and always hear and see in his mind's eye."

Carmi, this passage made me cry for it is right out of my journal...when my father passed away in March, three days after our youngest, Noam's, 9th birthday. His beloved Zaidy passed away in March, and his beloved Savta passed away last June...

I hope you help your children work through their feelings, and I hope that they are able to bring you much comfort in these difficult times.

Hamakom yenachem etchem b'toch sha'ar avelei Tzion v'Yerushalayim. May your father's memory be for a blessing, and may you know of no more sorrow.

Although the shiva is not a week-long, because of of the onset of Yom Kippur, I am happy for your family that you are able to sit for at least a few days. It does make a difference, and as you wrote elsewhere, makes you aware and appreciative of the many people in your present and from your past.

Irene said...

I am so very sorry.