Here is where I write about my life in a totally freestyle way without editing. Kind of like an online diary, I guess. What I say here is usually not interesting enough or cleaned up enough to be sent out as a post to thousands of readers. In order to read it, people have to want to.
And to my shock, some do. Or they used to. Before my life blew apart by the tragedy with my son. In the old days, I always felt safe writing here, as if it was a secret I shared with just a few people. I thought I’d give it a shot again, since I’m not blogging.
April 6, 2017
It’s a rainy day in New York City and the first day since we got back from Portland where I feel like I have time to try to connect with myself and God. It’s been such a busy time. The trip to Portland was good but stressful. Being in Oregon among family always makes me miss Noah more.
In the past five months or so, I’ve completely shifted my approach to life and God. I’ve given up trying to connect with God or to have a real spiritual life. I think it’s partly because I’ve felt angry at God, but also because to get close to my soul is to get close to my grief. After that first year of daily wailing and horror and shock, it’s like I gradually stopped crying and stopped trying to grieve “right” or to “be right” with God. And then lately I recognize that God isn’t affronted or worried. He’s still got me, and for the life of me, I can’t shake him.
It is impossible to know sometimes whether I’m healthily avoiding going to that dark place–or whether I’m unhealthily avoiding pain. Where is the line between wallowing in self-pity and healthy indulgence of feeling my pain? I know at any minute I could cry–could turn on some of Noah’s music or look at photographs and come undone. But why go there? And yet, sometimes during the day I realize it’s at my throat, about to spill over.
I wonder if there will ever be a morning in the rest of my life when I don’t wake and feel shocked all over again. When i don’t wake and go over it all again in my head. We live right near a major police station here in mid-town, so most often I awake to sirens. Sirens all day. At first, after Noah, I couldn’t stand the sound. It brought back the sirens I know seemed endless in Colorado Springs that morning. And it brought back the sirens that wailed that first night when I was on my way to the hospital–to the psych ward. I got the news at night, alone, and had no one because Dave had flown to the Springs. I went crazy with grief.
But then one day, I realized I had to reframe the sound of sirens. I got to thinking about what they really mean. Someone is hurt or in danger somewhere–and other humans are racing to help. The sound of a siren is the sound of love, you could say. The sound of caring, a reminder that as a species we reach out when someone is in crisis. This comforts me now, even as I hear sirens while writing this.
Yesterday I had therapy and my shrink was pointing out that I’ve come a long way in terms of letting Noah take the blame for what happened–his choice to get off meds, his choice to smoke pot every day and his choice to take an illegal amphetamine he got from overseas all of which combined to kill four people, including him. The part he couldn’t help, the part that drove it all, was his bipolar disorder. He was mentally ill, and innocent of that, but he also made terrible, dangerous choices. And all the ways I try to take the blame and punch myself for not doing this or that… some of the power of that guilt has lessened the longer he is gone and the more I can see clearly.
I have often said I would pay a million dollars for five more minutes with Noah. And I would, I would cry and touch his face and cling to him and who knows what. Then, the other night I had my very first really clear dream of Noah. He had come back and I was beyond excited–but he was angry at me. He had returned as the sick Noah, the one whose last words to me were to call me a bitch in a text. It was excruciating to dream that dream. It made me angry at Noah and at God. As I talked it through with Dave, we realized it was a classic rejection dream and I just haven’t gotten over the way Noah treated me in the end. I don’t know how to heal that, except to remember with great intention the REAL Noah, the Noah who loved me so much and who often said I was his best friend. The Noah who would never hurt me that way. I am begging God for a new dream, to send me a dream where Noah loves me.
Crap, now I’m crying. See, this is what happens when I go there. But I’ve known I need a good cry, so here we go. Let it flow. Feel the pain. Ask God to rub your heart where it hurts.
March 27, 2017
Well it feels great to finally get that book out there. I hope it can sell enough to pay my sister back for all her hard work–even her son helped. It’s also emotional getting it out there, having to write that post. My heart is bruised today.
Yesterday we bought a house in Portland–plan to move here in a year or so. But wow, we woke up with the jitters. The realty market here is so bizarre as every has gets multiple offers and bids and you have to be willing to jump fast if something fits. We were talking this morning about how we feel lost–for many reasons–and the result is that it’s hard to want anything. I’ll speak for myself. It’s hard to get excited or have that kind of fun anticipation anymore. So decision making is even harder.
It was a wonderful serendipity that my son Nathan and his wife Kelsey happened to be here in Portland from Bend for the weekend. Such great conversations and family love. Yesterday I got to see my granddaughter Nova, too. She’s a little over a year and just to die for.
Tonight we get to have dinner with dear friends Tracy and Casey. Being near friends is always healing. Breaking bread and talking. We need this more, especially in New York.
Don’t know how much I’ll write here in coming days, but truth is that right now it feels like a good halfway out thing. Like connecting but not in a way where I have to feel subconscious. I wonder what people will think of me putting Noah on my blog–that pic. But for me it felt right and maybe that’s all that matters. I need to keep remembering that boy, that wonderful young man who suffered his demons bravely, but in the end, wrongly. So wrong. Anyway, time to sign off.
March 22, 2017
What I’d like to do is back on a better track with God and my faith. I have through phases. One where I hated God. One where I hated/was mad at Noah. And lately, I’ve just been ignoring them both, and I suppose they understand. Mostly, what I feel right about God is hurt feelings. My inner little girl fees like she thought she was living one story–and it a was a good story with a happy ending. It was all about redeeming the past and giving away what you’ve found to others. No where in my wildest dreams was story going to take such a tragic, senseless cruel turn. And dumb as it sounds, it hurts my feelings. Like my father who I thought cherished me forgot all about me. It hurts my feelings. I remember my friend Anna writing in Rare Bird about how she was disappointed with God more than angry. Now I understand what she meant. It’s like you’re standing there in this horror and loss and you look at God and say, “Really? This? This is what I get…?”
Another thing I say is how plain old mean the entire thing was. The way it went down with Dave and Nathan a day too late, me alone in NYC when I got the news… the brutality and senselessness of it all. SO MEAN. I had long worried about Noah taking his life someday…. had tried to trust God in a way that would allow for that. But it’s like God took my worst nightmare, the one I dreaded my entire time as a mother–and made that nightmare come true–with a special, sadistical twist that I could never have thought of in a million years.
Okay, so I’m rambling.
We are thinking about going to OR to buy a house to live in eventually, when we’re ready to leave New York. Our house in CO sold. But the problem is Portland. We can’t afford to live in any area that’s desirable. The prices are outrages unless you go way out in the suburbs. What a shock that is going to be. From the heart of New York City to some rancher in a suburb. Yikes.
So I should be doing laundry in case we do take the trip. It’s up in the air because Dave’s not sure he can go because of work. So we’ll see… Anyway, thanks for reading if you are. Pray for me.
Oh yeah, one great thing is I turned in my revisions on my novel yesterday and I think next up is copyedit. SO hard. I lost confidence in the book. But hopefully it will come back. I have a great editor, Kara 🙂 at Penguin Random, and also a great one I get to sleep with. Dave has been so helpful.
Okay, signing off.