No Words


Kincaid Park, Anchorage, Alaska
Kincaid Park, Anchorage, Alaska

“How are you doing?”

There are no words in any language that are sufficient to the task of expressing what I am experiencing.  That is why, in some cultures, the women wail when someone dies.  Even wailing is inadequate.  There are some things that cannot be halved by sharing them.  Grief is one of those things.

I am injured.  I am alive, but I am injured and in a lot of pain, though the wounds are not visible.  And it isn’t hard for you to cause me additional pain without even realizing it.

Like when you kiss your little boy at the park and I see you do it and I remember.

Or when you stand there behind the cash register at the hardware store, young and strong and smiling and very polite and handsome like my Hans.

Or when you do not seem to remember him at all.

You have nothing to say about him, no memory of him to share with me so that I can know that he really did exist and it is not just my imagination that I had a son.

I just love to hear his name spoken.  I love to hear things that you remember about him.

So be gentle with me.  I cannot speak my feelings without losing it.  My faith is strong, and God is good.  But the pain is staggering.  Do not ask me about that.

Don’t ask me how I’m doing.

Shattered Ice

Excerpted from Trainwreck
Originally published September 27, 2016

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