Friday, October 21, 2016

Wounds, Scars and a Soft Spot

Today, in the wake of recent deaths and also some discussions about death, I was pondering grief. This is where my thoughts went:

A few years ago I had infection in my leg that caused a deep grievous wound in my shin. The Biker described it as a bullet hole. It literally kept me off my feet for six weeks. It was a long recovery. The  scar is deep. It hurt on occasion for a very long time.   

When Leroy died it was a deep, infected grievous wound that took many years to heal. I traveled a long journey though the dark winter of grief. The overwhelming emotions that came with his death, shock, fear, anger, pain, and confusion no longer weigh me down but they did leave scars. Scars that hurt from time to time. What causes these scars to hurt? Sometimes just missing Leroy. The wounds of grief can heal but the missing part never goes away. He will always be gone from this life and we will always miss him. Another thing that makes my scars hurt is thinking about the suffering of my kyds because Leroy left us all behind. Not only did they lose a brother and best buddy, they lived through some of the most crucial years of childhood with both parents lost in the wilderness of grief: broken, wounded, often without strength to cope or just be there for them. 

Secondary losses also make scars hurt. The fact that my grandsons will never know Uncle Leroy in the here and now of this life is one of those. The lost possibility of another beloved daughter-in-law and more grand children is another.

When I hear of the death of yet another child, it doesn't tear open old wounds but  Leroy's death left a soft spot that wells up with compassion for those left behind. I know there is a long, hard road of grief ahead of them. I know their life will never be the same. I worry about siblings. I pray in the night hours for peace, for sleep, for forgiveness for everyone involved. I also remind myself that healing will come to them. Yes, healing comes. And joy. After the long night of grief joy comes in the morning.

I love you bunches and joy in the morning,

Friday, March 11, 2016

What is life really like...

About a month after Leroy died, the ALC Fall Services were held at the Battle Ground High School. A man, whom I recognized by face but not by name, came up to me and asked if I was Leroy's mother. I answered "Yes". He looked into my eyes and said "What a tragedy." Only those words. They resonated deep within me and I have never forgotten.

A few months later Rick Wiinikka joined the Biker and I for supper on my birthday. As we settled into a booth at Denny's, he asked "So, what is life really like without Leroy?" Just a simple question but it spoke so many things. It let us know that talking about Leroy was not considered a taboo subject. It was a willingness to listen. It acknowledged that our life was indeed changed. Leroy's name was spoken. The honesty of the question gave us permission to be equally honest in our answers. I don't recall what those answers were nor any of the conversation that followed but I will always remember the question.

Until then, Richard E, until then...

Make a simple honest statement.
Ask a simple, honest question.
Wear red shoes for courage - Pat

Saturday, February 27, 2016


Words. Words at my house. "Is SISU a just a word?"  Words. Good words. Different words. Forays into philosophy. Types of government. Presidential assassins. Presidential candidates. The Scholar. The Reader. The Biker.  Bill Gates sandy white beaches. Calculator. Pentillion.  Folding a piece of paper fifty-two  times. EMP.  Lyrics. A song three times. Fat king. Google: cycle. Google: un.  "It's a frame of mind." 3:30 til 3 am. Iceland. Greenland. Too much shampoo . Kooky Cloud. "Is that Leroy?" Banana bread. Pizza Haven. Popcorn. Misfired twice. With his cane. Polynesia. Ewoks. Cubic inches. cc's. "I've never heard his voice." $100 bet. Doc said all went well. A sliver. Arthritis. Pen nibs. White grout. Iraq. Iran. The Listener.

"In three minutes I can hurt you with words.
 In three minutes I can love you with words."

Words and red shoes...  Pat