Crying is Okay Here

SandySwensonCryingisok

A child has died. Not my child, but the child of a friend. Technically, he was no longer a child. But still, he was her child. She was supposed to have her child forever. Except forever didn’t last.

I didn’t know this young man. My friend’s son. I don’t know if he liked basketball or if he wore his hair parted on the side or how he preferred his steak cooked or on what day he was born. My arms don’t cuddle the memory of his tiny heft and softness as though years haven’t flown by since his birth. I don’t know the feel of his hand — if it was calloused or smooth — or the sound of his voice curled around the name Mom. Like silk. Or wind. Or leather.

No, I don’t know the things, the essence, the him that filled the space in his mother’s universe like stars, filling and fitting like only he could. But I can imagine.

I don’t know what dreams her child had for today and tomorrow, or what dreams my friend kept polished up for her son. I never looked through their window of hope to the future. But I feel the slam. And the crumble.

He was, now he isn’t.

His mother has to find a way to live with that.

This mother is a puddle of tears.

Sandra Swenson is the author of  The Joey Song: A Mother’s Story of Her Son’s Addiction . Her forthcoming book, Tending Dandelions: Honest Meditations for Mothers With Addicted Children will be published by Hazeleden in October, 2017. An accompanying app will be released spring 2018.

 

About Sandy Swenson

Sandy Swenson is the mother of two sons—one of whom struggles with addiction. Author of ‘The Joey Song: A Mother’s Story of Her Son’s Addiction,’ Sandy lives in the place where love and addiction meet—a place where help enables and hope hurts. Sandy is a voice for parents of children suffering with the disease of addiction, putting their thoughts and feeling into words. Sandy lives in suburban Austin, Texas, where she has just finished writing her second book—to be published by Hazelden in the fall of 2017—and an accompanying app to be published in the spring of 2018. When she isn’t writing or traveling to speak with other parents coping with the disease of addiction in their family, Sandy volunteers at a local maternity home teaching the girls to cook healthy family meals. Sandy also loves to garden, read and travel.
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