This Sunday, June 2nd is my son, Robert’s birthday. This will be the seventh birthday without him. Robert was an only child so his birthday became a week-long celebration in our house. This week I have been remembering those days along with Robert’s infectious smile as a toddler and his big booming voice as a young man. There are few people who can understand why I still need this time to stop and honor his life, and yes, to cry. The tears are different now after seven years, somehow. They are not the searching, frantic tears of early grief but are now the slow, knowing tears of loss and love and meaning.David Sheff, a professional writer, wrote a book about his experiences with his son’s drug addiction. In the book, called Beautiful Boy, Sheff writes, “We are connected with our children no matter what. They are interwoven into each cell and inseparable from every neuron. They supersede our consciousness, dwell in every hollow and cavity and recess with our most primitive instincts, deeper even than our identities, deeper even than ourselves.” This was my experience as a mother throughout my son’s life. The unconditional love and connection that was there when he was alive continues even after I am left to live without him. For that gift I cry.
I leave you with this quote from Washington Irving, “There is sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love.”