picture from here
Once again, I am stunned that my choice of topic for today's post was also the topic in Amanda's post yesterday.
I promise you, by all that is holy, we NEVER contact the other writers and talk about our topics. Never have. Never will.
It is what it is.
I wish I had a nickel for every widow who's asked me, "How do you get your teenage sons to talk?"
I'd have a whole lotta nickels.
My answer .... every single time: "You don't."
Not exactly what those women wanted to hear, but again .... it is what it is.
From the first minute I came home from the hospital and climbed into bed with first one son, and then the other, and gave them the news they never thought they'd hear ..... I've told them to talk.
I've asked them to talk.
I've begged them to talk.
I may have even threatened them to talk (though I doubt that).
I've cried while begging.
I've gotten angry while asking.
I've turned blue in the face while talking.
And none of it did any good.
At least, not on the surface. I have no idea what's going on deep down inside of them.
But I never gave up.
And fortunately, or not, one of my sons agreed to go to counseling with me last week.
For the first time ever. By the first child ever.
And it went well.
In my opinion.
I said "unfortunately" because for this child to agree to see someone, he had to have a complete and violent meltdown.
And he did.
And he saw that the anger that he showed was not caused by what he thought he was angry about, but because of one thing:
He has a dead father.
I know that all three of my sons have stuffed and stuffed and stuffed their grief down until there's not much room for anything else.
And when there's not much room ..... something's going to give.
And it won't be pretty when it happens.
So what's my point here if I can't give you the secret of making boys talk?
I guess it's just this: Never, ever, ever, ever give up.
Because silence kills.
It might not always kill a person, but there are other things inside of a person that can be killed.
Never give up.
And keep your eyes and ears open.
And be prepared.
Because one day ..... maybe tomorrow, maybe in 5 years ..... one day something will give.
And you'll be needed to help clean up the mess .... and to remember that when that moment happens, it's not because he's mad at what he's think he is.
It's because he has a dead father (or mother).
And that sucks.
No matter how much time has gone by.
P.S. A point was made in a comment that I forgot to include here, but meant to. I apologize. This "silence" is not limited to boys. I think that, over all, boys are less likely to discuss their feelings, but our daughters need to be encouraged just as much sometimes. Being silent is not limited to gender. Ask them, girls or boys, and keep asking.