Sunday, August 29, 2010

Acts Of Faith

Friday, August 27th
I put Langston and Pallas on a bus today to attend Camp Erin, a weekend camp for grieving kids.
I drive away before the bus does.
And on the 10 heading west, in traffic (thankfully) I cry.
Putting them on a bus is..

an Act of Faith.

Faith that they will come back to me. Faith that I will not have to go and identify their crushed bodies at some retched morgue. Faith that they will come back to me as whole as they left me and hopefully full of an experience that will leave them more emotionally capable.

Every time I put them in a car with the sitter, a friend or drop them at camp, it’s...

an Act of Faith.

I know death. I watched it come and take Art. I know death needs no reason, it just comes when it wants.

My husband’s no longer life if proof of that or I can just turn on the news.
Saturday, August 28th
I wake up and death is in the house.
I feel it and it creates a vacuum. I’m afraid to either exhale or inhale for fear of the realization of what? That the day is not what it seems to be in my morning haze. Like the days upon days after Art died.

I fear my lack of control. I fear that two of my kids are not here, under my pretend “protection.” The protection I believe is mine to offer and dole out as need.

I suck in air hoping I will look back on today, even tomorrow and smile at my silly fears. At my need for faith in order to let them go.

And my friends brush it off, “Of course you have to let them go!” they say. Having no experience with the closeness of death, they don’t see it, sitting there, resting and watching.

Yes I know I have to let them go, but every time I do it, the urge to place my hands on their arms and bribe them to stay with a video game, their favorite dinner or ice cream rises. Sometimes strongly, most of the time represented only by a tiny yelp.

Ezra stirs next to me and I know if it were not for him, I could not bare being in this house that is as quiet and shaky as the days after Art died. The house feels airless, the sunny day false. I feel as if I am inside this bubble, unable to hear or touch and see things as they really are, just like after Art died.

I sneak out of bed, trot off to the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror

“Happy Birthday,” I smile at myself. I’m 46 today. It’s an...

Act of Faith

that I believe I will get to my 47 birthday.

I crawl back into bed and lift the covers to see Ezra’s chest rise and fall, reassuring me that it will continue to do so. His breathing grounds me, pushes the hysteria away.

Wednesday, August 25
As the driver is transporting the kids and I to the airport, an 18 wheeler gets cut off by a little black Mazda, the truck weaves into our lane, our driver weaves onto the shoulder next to the concrete divider. We are all moving, us wedged and I see the truck begin to jack knife and then

it corrects itself.

Other than a few “Oh God’s” I am steady and calm. After the moment passes, I remember it’s...

an Act of Faith

to expect we will all get home to LA in one piece. An act of trust and an act of ignorance.
Art and I once had a discussion how parents practice acts of faith every time they drop their kids off at school. His job was to make sure, to the best of his ability, that the faith is renewed every afternoon when those parents come back to get their children. He reminds me how ballistic parents get when that faith is shattered.

Since he has died, I know what death really is: random, disjointed, the essence of unpredictable. I feel how unprotected I am from those random, disjointed, unpredictable accidents. The kind that leaves those who hear about them shaking their heads.

And some days I rub it off of me like a few specks of white fluff on my black sweater and other days I wear it like a lead jacket.

I keep committing Acts of Faith. It’s easier to do when I am engaged, and busy. But on those days where I allow myself to be idle, where I allow a moment to see through all the doing, the

Acts of Faith

scare the bejeezus out of me.


  1. I completely understand the feelings expressed in your acts of faith. I really feel like this is waht seperates us from those who have not experience the loss we have. My 17 year old just started driving and sometimes she takes my 14 year old with her.I too almost have a panic attack. This age was the age my husband use to refer to as the killing time- between the age of 16-23, but I can also hear him saying to me you have to let them grow up. Often times I think that this journey through grief is just about learning to hve faith again, faith that life can be good, faith that we will make it through and start to feel secure with our lives. For now though things just feel more like a leap of faith, even everyday things most other people do not even think twice about. Also Happy Belated Birthday!

  2. The anxiety of the unknown, but we know. Doesn’t even make sense does it? Having our husbands die from cancer gave us a head start in the unknown. I can relate to feeling so vulnerable, not willing to trust that anything is “real” The other feeling I have grown to be best friends with…."just give it time, it will all fall apart any day now:, but it doesn't :),so with faith, I take a deep breath and trust that it will all come together.
    Truth is, the kids are probably having a great experience.
    One birthday at a time,we have faith that we will have another. Happy Birthday

  3. wow! this is a beautiful piece. I can feel it through my being...everyday I feel this way. At the end of the day, I sigh in my "pretend protection" giving gratitude that I have survived one more day. thank you for writing this.

  4. Oh Kim! Thank you for this post. I often feel sad and empowered by this new found understanding that death has no mercy and death has no sense to it, no order.

    It is so sad and yet in a way so fragile-this understanding.

    I cannot say I feel blessed to have this new awareness, in fact sometimes I feel really sorry for myself that I have it-I resent it.

    But other times I just cry-because I know it is true and somehow I know that we are lucky to know TRUTH.

    What the fuck do we do with this knowledge is what I want to know!

    It is not enough for me to just have it, and to suffer with it.

    I only hope with time that I will see it more clearly.