Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Giving A Damn, Whatever You Might Have Thought

This has to be said and I will say it forcefully. There are many who scoff at the ability of the electronic communications structure to connect people in meaningful ways. My family has sustained a horridly tragic occurrence, we are in pain. Around 6 PM nearly 150 people had commented on my memoriam to my son and closing on 100 emails have come in. These people took time out of their day to read something they knew was going to make them sad and then took the time and emotional energy to write condolences. There is not a much lonelier position to be in than parents who have lost a child to suicide. People have flooded our life with care, people want my wife and myself to know that they are touched and that it matters.

If it meets some sociological thesis of yours that the internets corrupt and degrade human communication you need to read So Long My Boy and scroll through the comments and educate yourself. If this does not qualify as a high degree of humane behavior then come and see me so I can slap some sense into you.

There is nothing shallow or phony about the comfort my wife and I have taken from the expressions of caring by our fellows. It touches us and assures us of the nature of people. We will carry the memory of these people with us for a very long time, these folks have given of themselves to people they know only somewhat. They have given and they have taken us into their hearts, people have struggled to express what is beyond our ability to express - beyond the implication of the heart.

We are grateful and we are humbled. The intellect understands what has happened, the rest of the brain does not accept that, it is outside experience and it is outside of expectations - it is flatly wrong. This war between the intellect and the lizard brain hurts, imaginary scenarios keep trying to work their way into play. The what ifs, if only's, why's keep requiring pushback. There is no answer to why, if god himself came down and stated a reason it would be rejected. This is why the condolences and even the thanks hold so much meaning, they are a part of that firewall.

The funny snarky iconoclastic lefty crew from Balloon Juice is mixed together with the hard core car guys from the Novalistserve, and politicians to help with that firewall, to give. You folks should give yourselves a standing ovation, if not yourself - then your fellows. The applause should be deafening...scattering bytes like windblown butterflies.

9 comments:

ferg said...

Well Said CB - I wish I had been able to be as articulate as that when it was my turn to attempt to express those feelings to others when I felt them the most.

Thanks for that.

I will offer only another thought - as to the what if's and why's etc. - I have come to accept for myself, at least, that if my son was going to spend the rest of his life with someone, and that someone was NOT going to me, then who better to spend it with, than the only person that could possibly love him more than myself? His true Father, his Father in heaven - I'm not, nor is anyone privy to His plan - but I accept it as just - and my son and Nick as well, are at peace, and in His loving arms.

I hope they hook up and can turn some wrenches together in heaven

God bless you and your wife CB - again - I'm out here if you need.

ferg....

Laura W said...

Chuck, that was gorgeous. You are an eloquent and elegant writer when pouring your heart out.
In all cases of loss and immense grief, nothing ever takes away the despair, confusion and sickening sense of emptiness.
However, it does help alleviate a tiny bit of the pain to know that one is not walking through the hell all alone, and that others do care.

I am glad that you and your wife were secure in that knowing.
Laura

Svensker said...

Glad each little fire fed the flame. You know from your help to my friend, MC, how the internet really does connect people, and I thank you again for your part in that.

Best to you and, as the Quakers say, holding you and your wife and your beloved son in the Light.

Krista said...

I'm glad that we were able to offer you some measure of comfort, even it if was small. I really can't add a whole lot more to what Laura W. said, but I will add this: when time has passed, and our condolences are long since archived, and you're wondering how it can be possible for the world to keep moving on -- we're still here for you anytime you need to vent, or grieve, or rage or cry, or laugh about good memories. We won't forget, and we'll always be here when you need us.

Grandpa Eddie said...

Chuck,
We did what we needed to do.
We gathered around a fellow father/brother/human in his time of need, and I don't think there is a time that one needs friends more than when a child is lost.
You needed someone to reach out to and we were here, and I am so very glad we were.

Take care my friend.

Anonymous said...

Well said Ferg

"I will offer only another thought - as to the what if's and why's etc. - I have come to accept for myself, at least, that if my son was going to spend the rest of his life with someone, and that someone was NOT going to me, then who better to spend it with, than the only person that could possibly love him more than myself? His true Father, his Father in heaven - I'm not, nor is anyone privy to His plan - but I accept it as just - and my son and Nick as well, are at peace, and in His loving arms."

Well said indeed......

Joanne Miller said...

You are truly an inspiration. Thank you for your words, and for thanking others for theirs.

Love to you and yours.

Joanne

Spiny Norman said...

Came here via John Swift. All I can say is that I can't imagine your loss, but I do admire your courage and the openness of your heart, and the love you have for your lost boy is obvious and searing and heartbreaking.

Peace to you and your whole family.

LanceThruster said...

Chuck --

I've been lucky in that when doing net searches for my comments to see if I've missed responding to someone, I come across some real gems. This post of appreciation by you is certainly one of those.

It provided me with much reflected warmth (and a good deal of tearing up - a healthful response IMHO).

In that spirit, let me share a comment from an old HuffPo piece (before I was banned for....whatever).

It is good to touch lives as you have managed to touch mine. We are certainly not islands.

Sincere regards, my friend.

From: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/LanceThruster/the-gorges-of-cornell-uni_b_498656_42456191.html


LanceThruster

04:03 PM on 03/17/2010

In my darkest moments, the desire not to cause loved ones pain is often enough to get past the despair. For me, the worst was not when one's emotional state was he lowest, but when feeling more or less OK and having the lurking anxiety that the cycle of sadness and despair would come again. Meds help and the cycle's frequency is greatly slowed, but there's rarely a time when I am not well aware that an "out" of last resort has been contemplated. Strangely enough, there's even a certain amount of strength and comfort derived from that. For me it means remaining focused on what will help keep me from spiraling into that emotional state in the first place. Finally, one needs to be reminded of one's ability to help others. That sort of caring helps reconfirm the notion that others need you, just as you need others. Know that if you truly reach out, you are never really alone.


wholden

04:13 AM on 03/30/2010

I never imagined that someone would articulate my flirtation with suicide as thoroughly as above. I never attempted suicide because, as much as I hated myself, I knew I was loved and I could not bring myself to hurt those who loved me. I instead daydreamed about taking my own life, picturing myself committing the act, and imagining the immense relief that would come. I have since sought help; however, I continue to fantasize about suicide almost daily. As someone who does fantasize about suicide, the convenience and beauty of jumping into a gorge is appealing and, while I don't believe that suicide can be prevented simply by making it more inconvenient, creating barriers (both literal and figurative) to common suicide methods does force those contemplating suicide to pause and put more thought into their decision.


LanceThruster

04:30 PM on 04/03/2010

I am glad I went back to look at older posts as it caused me to find your generous comment. One other thing that is worth remembering; we would be outraged at the thought of someone murdering someone we love. How much more painful it would be for those left behind for the victim and perpetrator to be one in the same as a result of self-murder.

Though I do not see the emotional difficulties those of us with brain-chemical imbalances, or other emotional traumas carry, as "temporary"; I do feel there is much wisdom in this saying:

"Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem."