Ten months on, death comes to our door again. The bearers of the bad tidings, relatives, stand, shuffling uncomfortably, on the doorstep.
They announce, the winding roads and big red buses of my childhood days, living up Wellington’s Strathmore hills, have been the scene of my second son’s accident. On the corner of a narrow road, blocked further by parked cars, the bus and his motorbike met head on. Unknown at the time, the helmet he is wearing has serious flaws and contributes to a broken neck.
Just past his twentieth birthday, the quiet sensitive one of the family, boarding with his Nana and enjoying a promising new job, after experiencing some troubles, has now gone forever. I am thankful for our brief Christmas time, spent together, enabling conversations to resolve some of our issues.
Exchanging the green dressing gown for funeral garb, again, so soon, is shattering. Gathered in a little wooden church in Featherston, to say farewell, I am surprised by the amount of grieving young ones that have turned out. My son has made many friends in his short time, some since leaving home, I don’t know, but obviously moved at his loss.
I watch, feeling like an onlooker in a movie about someone else, as he is buried up the row from the other plot, I can not bear to look at. I murmur under my breath look after him Baby Blue and return home, retreating to my bed again.
A few weeks later, nothing has changed, scared, I might be going mad, I come to the realization, I am in desperate need of help. Afraid to let on to anyone how I’m thinking, because of what I saw on my ‘Poirirua’ visits to my sister, I get the bright idea to seek help among the books at the library.
Climbing out of bed and getting out of the green dressing gown, I go to the library and search all the possible shelves for anything that might help explain, the black hole of grief and depression, in my mind. Loaded down with an assortment, I pick up a last one, titled, ‘Something More’, by Catherine Marshall.
Back in the safety of my bed, I read and read. The grief books outline differing stages but provide no answers for where I am, stuck in my pain, unable to cope, and fighting a desperate urge to exit the planet. Lastly, I read, ‘Something More’.
I remember loving the movie about Catherine’s husband, ‘A Man Called Peter’, and hope her grief at his death might have given her some answers. Her book is about God’s Holy Spirit and letting him into all parts of your life, good and bad. However, at the back was also a testimony from a person who had just figured out, church attendance and trying to live by the ten commandments was not what knowing God was really about.
There was also a printed prayer for handing your life over to God through his son Jesus. Dimly, I recalled having said a similar prayer at a Kid’s program once, but with nothing to lose, at the end of my rope, it was try God or leave. I knelt down by my bed, like a little kid and read that prayer out loud and finished up telling him, if he didn’t show up, I was done. Back in bed, I had my first night of sleeping through the night peacefully.