Bereaved Father's Group




Winter Tears

It's been five very long years now since Gareth died and the longing for him never ceases to fade. There is not a day that goes by without my thoughts focusing on him in some way or other. My heart broke the day his body failed him and despite the many efforts at repairing it the damage will not heal. I image my heart to be shattered into many fragments only held together by the innate will to survive. At times of deep depression the pieces are bonded very weakly and could disintegrate at any second. At other times the bonds are powerful and all act in a coherent manner making the heart strong and my soul vibrant. The phrase heartache takes on its literal meaning during these long winter nights. I feel my heart physically hurting with the sadness. What triggers these feelings of depression I hear someone asking, the answer is simple, my son is dead.

As we pass through this life I like to think we carry with us a ruck-sack. In that sack we place all our experiences, memories, etc. My memories of Gareth always remain at the top of my ruck-sack so I constantly see reminders as I delve in to retrieve or store new items. I have positioned them deliberately at the top since they are very important to me. I feel society would rather me place Gareth's memories at the bottom of the sack in order that they rarely get disturbed. That way friends would not see my pain and they would not feel awkward or threatened. It distances them from the reality of life and reduces the likelihood of them having to resort to a phrase like:- "Time is a good healer", "things will get better", "you will get over it", "I know how you must feel", "you must think of something positive to take your mind off things" I know they are all spoken with good intention and are meant to make me feel "better". Unfortunately they don't help.

I acknowledge that I am sinking in my own grief, but I am comforted in the knowledge that I will float again if I am given time and space to continue to grieve in the manner which suits me personally. I need someone to watch me through this process without criticising or condemning. I need someone to be there ready for me when I once again feel able to talk. I need someone with a shoulder that will withstand the certain tears once they begin to roll forth. I need someone to hold me, protect me during my weakest days. I need someone!

I'm lucky, I have that someone close who carries out this role. I am safe in the knowledge that I can grieve at home and be guided through it. My heart goes out to those who are really alone and whose grieving takes place in complete isolation!

By Ken Booker - Written five years after Gareth's death

© Copyright 1999 Ken Booker
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