Someone once told me “The most broken of us are the most likely to change the world.”
If that’s true, I might just be destined for greatness.
I stand quietly amongst the crowd. I look around at the patch work quilt of family, friends and strangers, as they lower the last thread that tied us all together into the ground. The last piece that truly brought us all together.
My father shows no emotion. Why would he though? I wonder if they can smell the booze on him. I wonder if they can smell it on me.
My wife. My beautiful wife. My wife, At least for a little while longer.
I want to be angry that she’s here. I want to scream and yell but she loved her as much as I did, maybe more.
She places her hand gently on my shoulder, I turn and offer her the faintest of smiles. She returns the favour and hugs me tight. For a fleeting moment it’s like it always was. I inhale deeply, breathing in her smell and the memories of us.
I wish I could blame her for everything that happened to us.
We grieved together at first and I was strong for her but as she learned to carry on, I drifted further away. I found my solace in the bottom of a bottle. There was no genie, there was no wishes, there was no message here… only despair.
I was told there is no word for a person who has suffered the death of a child. I disagree, the word is Lost.
I was lost and I couldn’t find my way back to my family. I went through the daily motions but just barely.
Everything became about the drink and forgetting because every where I looked, I was reminded of my son.
He never had a chance.
She squeezed me tighter for the briefest of seconds before she let go. She runs her hand down my arm and steps back to my daughter side a moment and places a hand on her back coaxing her towards me.
My little girl steps forward quickly and wraps her arms around my waist burying her face in my belly and for the first time in a very long time.
She’s grown up so much in the last 3 years. I wish I had been a bigger part of it perhaps a better way to put it would be, a part of it at all.
I failed her just as I had failed my wife. I loosen her hands slightly and kneel beside her, pulling her close. I should have never let her go. This moment seems to last forever. I wish it could.
I’ve lost so much time.
There’s so much loss here.
I kiss her forehead. My daughter sniffles a few times and steps back to her mother. I stand and force a smile while I wipe my eyes with my suit jacket.
I open my mouth to say something. Anything.
My wife smiles sympathetically and says “I know”
I step towards the casket. The hole. I pluck a rose from the bouquet, closing my eyes I drop on the casket.
I turn and walk away from the crowd. I can’t watch them throw dirt on the casket. Throw dirt on her.
She deserved better.
Better then a dirt, better then a hole in the ground. Better then this world.
Better then us.
Two ungrateful sons and…
I look at my old man. Stoic.
Grinding my teeth. Vision blurry with tears.
I reach my car, fumbling with my keys. Drop them. Shit. I pick them up and after what seems like an eternity I get into the car.
I stare at the wheel and fall apart.
Not sure how much time had passed. I managed to pull myself together, at least for the moment. I reached under the seat for the bottle. I opened it and brought it to my lips, I inhaled deeply feeling the burn of my lungs from the whiskey.
Just a taste.. A nip… A sip… A shot…. A pull.. A draw… Just to take the edge off. To help me sleep. To take off the chill… To suppress… To smile… To remember.
All I had was excuses to find my way into the bottle. I pulled the bottle from my face. I closed it and got out of the car.
Bottle in hand, I walked towards that casket, through the family and friends. I stopped only for a moment to look at my wife and daughter.
It ends here, it ends now.
I dropped the bottle into the ground with the coffin. I heard gasps from everyone then just silence.
I turn and walk away.
My wife squeezes my hand as I walk by. I don’t look but I know she understands.
For too long I have let my problems bury me, today I bury my problem and start recovery.
Today. This day of all days.