Smoldering ache of loss
When I first found out about each of my children’s deaths, an explosion of grief consumed my heart. Each time the intensity was significantly worse. Each time the raging fire lessens with time but is never extinguished. A picture may cause the fire to rekindle. A memory may land on the coals and ignite. Apprehensive friends choose their words with caution hoping to keep the fire at bay. They do not recognize their timidity is kerosene.
I might go a while without the fire consuming every moment but it remains. A constant ache, a persistent reminder I am not whole. A piece of me has been burned and the smoldering ruins of what remains is being consumed.
So much of me is gone I am barely recognizable. I was an energetic man who became quick friends with everyone and had an optimistic outlook. I have no energy. Being with people causes anxiety and optimism is a chore. The fires have consumed large pieces of who I was. I do not like who I have become yet I can embrace who I became despite all I’ve been through.
Photo of Caleb Lloyd, by David Lloyd