Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ezra's Pain

As my world stabilizes.

As I look forward, instead of back

As I feel the earth rooting me, it is exactly as the grief people said it will be.

"Many young children hold onto their grief until the surviving parent is able to cope. And then...."

.....hell breaks loose.

I see them, beyond me. They have changed from "one more thing to deal with" to "how can I help them."

Ezra, in my room casually throwing himself aggressively on my bed in that boy manner says,
"Mom, have you ever thought about suicide?"

My heart does not skip.

I do not turn to him, startled. I have been warned.

His bereavement group leader called before the holidays. "He talked about wanting to die. This is not uncommon. Some kids long to see the dead parent so much they think suicide is a way to do it. However, Ezra kept repeating it. I told him this was very serious and that I would be talking with you. I think this goes beyond him just wanting to see his dad."
"Can a 7 year old be suicidal?" I ask incredulously.
"Yes they can" she informs.
I am silent. I took the information in and let it swirl around in my head during winter break.
Seeing if he showed any signs of depression. Nothing till now.
Suddenly I have the mother self-conscious awareness of the power of my words, aware that I have to keep this open. Oddly I am not scared.
"Yes I have Ezra. Do you feel like committing suicide?" my voice even.
"Yes" he says. I turn to my closet, picking up a pair of shoes to put away. Do not make this seem like a "talk" I think. He is a boy, I must stay in motion.
"Why?" I ask hanging clothes in my closet.
"Everyone talks about daddy and I don't like it. I don't like talking OR hearing about him. I like pretending that I never had a father."
"Are the feelings that come up scary?" I can no longer resist. I sit on the bed and look at him.
"Yes, they are." he replies in a squished voice as he answers mid summersault.
"For me, I sometimes feel like I can't possible get passed them. I sometimes feel like dying would be better than feeling them." And I swallow because every word I say is TRUE!
He starts into another summersault, but glances in my direction. Searching? Seeing if I'm telling the truth?
"When?" he asks.
"On Tuesday." I reply reflecting how recently my grief seldom side swipes me during the day.
How long has it been since they have seen me cry over Art?
He looks at me and...
yells "Pallas, do you want to play...."
He leaps of the bed as if he just remembered there's bread in the oven and dashes out of the room.
I am left on the bed inbetween crying and courage, dumbfounded.
I am sure of only one thing I am finally grief-less enough to help him.


  1. Hi Kim.

    I didn't realize you wrote for this blog. I as reading some of your past entries on the other blog today, and have a great appreciation for the vulnerability you allow in your writing.

    I think the thoughts about how our children grieve can be difficult to sit with. As the parent, spouse, we know that we have struggled with thoughts of suicide, or wishing it all to end, but we don't want to believe that our kids are struggling on similar levels. I applaud the way he are dealing with this, and your willingness to share it. We all benefit from such open and honest writings.

    Ezra, and all of your children, will have such a significant reserve for dealing with all of life's difficult lessons.


  2. Intense. Tough. Downright unfair. I wish you the strength to deal with you child's grief and help him heal. I have not reached that point...yet.

  3. My husband killed himself a few months ago. My hardest moments are watching my children go through the pain of dealing with it every day. My first grader has found it often too difficult to discuss, but he will write about it. That has helped him tremendously. I try to bring up the happy memories in casuual conversation so that our children will know it is okay to discuss. Nothing about death is fair. I've often told my children that I'm not sure we will ever get over this, but hopefully we will get used to it and learn to accept it. Best wishes! Hang in there!