I live a secret life with my dead son Silas.
It's nothing freaky, no crazy eyes and too-loud whispers to someone that isn't there while everyone else moves away awkwardly in a crowded bar on a cold winter night. Nothing like that. Our secret life is subtle and private.
When I can't handle life without him I just sigh and look around. I take a deep sigh, from the gut, from where the Pit used to live all the time. I look around and sometimes I make an effort to be slow because the speed of his death still terrifies me.
Everything was crazy and amazing, and then everything was worse than crazy and more wrong than human tolerable limits allow. Moments became dense with fear and my world collapsed.
Now I hate the feel of time pressing on my skin and shoulders. I hate its weight on the back of my hands when I'm moving fast and time's breathless vapor is in my lungs as I'm trying to catch up to what is getting away from me, quickly, right now, now gone.
He's gone and that is everything, but that basic truth is hidden in my skin and folded into my heart. The hole in my soul is utterly unspeakable.
I can't tell most people about this secret life but you know it already, from the way yours looks and feels. You know the aching absence in my arms.
The torrent of humanity flows from the vaginas of women all around me and I'm drowning in other people's babies.
There is a particular type of future for the vast majority of families and I am shocked by how distant that life feels. I expected nothing less and nothing more than the chaos of kids running through my home.
To this day I can be ambushed by a bulging belly or new wide eyes blinking at their fresh take on life. I thought I would be better by now, but I'm not. It's as simple as that. I'm not.
My secret life with my dead son is mine alone. It is the whispers in my head in the night when even I'm not awake. It is crying in the car because of beauty from the radio or the light of the trees. My secret life with my dead son is the absence of memory. He and I share the shadows of all those living kids and I cannot tell you about it because I can barely believe it is still so fucking true.
The Earth cast its shadow on the Moon last night. Like a secret passing through the Universe, like the whisper of Silas's brief life, like the piece of his soul that orbits the ventricles of my heart, this spectacle is dark, subtle and private. The shadow of his death dims the light in every room I enter, even if it is the big one with the giant furnace hanging in the sky, and everyone is there, and we are having fun. Even when I'm having fun, I'm having fun for him, too, and I need to turn the lights down. The world is too bright without him and not nearly bright enough.
No one else but Lu knows, though. He's our little secret. We smile to each other in a way that means everything and it is just barely enough. Silas is my son and I will always feel the light of his life even though we live in the shadow of his death. Last night was the longest night of all I'm looking forward to longer days and brighter light and the possibility of hope somewhere down the line.