Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Mixed Feelings--A Post/Kind of Poem

I started writing an article that morphed into a sorta-poem utilizing various scribblings and thoughts I’ve noted down before privately. It’s messy but grief is messy so I’ve elected to be open about how I’m feeling today and share it. Here is, “Mixed Feelings.”

Today is the second anniversary of when we lost our baby, Shalom Avalon Bitterbaum. Today is also the birthday of my Mother, Ellen. Plus, today is the day my Bubbie is being buried, but a memorial service won’t come till later that I and my family will attend. A day with so much going on in the present and when you consider the past gives one mixed feelings. I miss our son we couldn’t have. I miss my Bubbie even if she lived a long life. I love my Mother and wish she could have a happy birthday without it sandwiched between metaphorical bread loaves of sadness. 

Then I look out over a World on fire. Our nation especially seems to be refusing to douse its own flames, instead seeking out to only add fuel to its blaze. I can turn my television off to dull the roar of madness in the outside World to a faint growl, but I still just have worries for the future be it large-scale or small and personal. 

I want my Wife and Son to be safe and happy in that big scary world of COVID-19, unrest, and general dangers. I want everyone to be okay. It’s hard they can’t always be that way. My Bubbie was 96 and her mind was sharp, but her body was simply frail and tired. I peer out at a World full of conflict, a World interconnected more than ever yet so divided over even the least controversial facts, I see all this and realize how isolating grief is. We witness others posting sorrow about mass shootings, pandemics, and we struggle to grasp the true enormity of losing someone we love until it happens to us. Be it a parent, grandparent, sibling, friend, or a child you didn’t even get to have. 

I smell the cinders of our Country reducing itself to ashes to prove some kind of point and it is all so loud as we scream in the hope the loudest person is proven correct. Then suddenly my mind is somewhere quiet. Back by itself in recollecting so much loss. So many loved ones lost. With every new death or anniversary it’s like you think of them all anytime you think of one. I miss my Mother in law, Kim. I miss my Father in law, Matt. I miss my Aunt Martha. I miss my Bubbie, I miss Shalom and never got to even truly know him, that hurts so much. All that in less than two years, it’s just a lot.

Meanwhile, we just hunker down in our metaphorical and sometimes all-too-real bunkers. Things get worse, then they get better, then they just get messy. I’m sorry my thoughts seem to wander so far and wide here. I’m tackling far too many aspects of grief at once sometimes, processing it all the best I can through written words, meditation, mindfulness, and tackling the sensations of malaise as best one can. I think at least sharing all these thoughts helps me feel better. 

Love is scary, love is hard, love leaves us feeling empty sometimes when those we love leave at any age or even before we get to fully enjoy their existence. I’m just trying to make it America. I’m just trying to make it as a good parent and husband. I just want to make myself proud, frankly. To close, I don’t know how much I believe in a God but I really hope God believes in me. Somebody’s got to.

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