When do you miss him the most? Lu asked me last night.
"Alone in the car," I replied.
When I can't listen to the radio for another second and I'm tired of all the music I have and I'm just driving along quietly and my mind starts to turn, I feel him not-there so powerfully it makes me choke.
In the first months and years after he died driving alone in the car was when I cried the most. A new story about pregnancy, or that perfectly placed Modest Mouse tune, it would annihilate me and the car was the perfect capsule to scream as loud as I needed.
It is also why I will never, ever put up one of those fucking Baby On Board signs. I wasn't planning on running you off the road, but since you're rubbing it in my face maybe I should!? Strange that they don't make a dead baby sticker to add to those insanely annoying sticker families, either. Also, get out of the fast lane and learn how to drive! My typical rant makes Lu laugh.
What about you? I asked her, serious again.
"When we're around other kids, friend's kids, that would have been the same age as him. I always miss him, but that's when it's the worst."
Yeah, I agreed. Absolutely.
Three year old boys just becoming little guys with their dads running around the yard or walking down the street as alive and independent as only three year olds can be. I remember pieces of what it was like to be that age, but I will have no memories of Silas at this age. He vanishes to shadow every time I glance toward him.
In the evening, alone, I feel more alone for missing him, for never knowing him. The constructs and inventions to heal a day are insufficient to make sense of why we can't share the world with him.
His death added a bone in my body lengthwise through my heart, sliced my liver in two, blew my innocent vision to smithereens, twisted my ankles unwalkable, trapped my breath in poisoned lungs. I'm not the same person I was before Silas and that kinda sucks 'cause I kinda liked who I was.
More importantly, I was very much looking forward to who Silas was going to transform me into. (insert bitter laughter)
I am transformed absolutely but not at all how I wanted.
To be so wrong about how I thought things were going to go is profoundly undermining. What else will I get wrong? What other traumas await down the road? How can I trust myself to make any choices, to have any expectations about the future when his absence is devastating proof of how utterly foolish I could be?
Even worse is Silas's transformation from life to death. From potential to memory with barely a stop in between. From ours here to love and cherish and hold, to dust we cannot hug.
A thin, young, sliver of tree quivers in the evening breeze, under the stars of his name and they remind me silently of the never-ending-quiet blasting from his vanished lungs.
When do we miss him the most?
Always we reply in unison. Always.
Are there certain instances or particular experiences that most remind you of your lost child or children? Has that changed over time? Are there new moments that catch you by surprise?