Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Terrible Two's

No, not the days that a child goes through around the age of two. For me it is the days surrounding the 2 year anniversary of the death of my son, Lt Ken Ballard.

I thought life would be "better" by now, but I am convinced that life will never be better, it will be different and that's about it. We've all had difficult times in our lives, whether those times are financial, affairs of the heart or illness. I've had my fair share, not less or more than the average Jane. While I was recovering from any one of those difficult times, I would tell myself, "in 6 months, things will be better. You won't know how you got through this, but you will" It always worked like that before.

The other day Oprah said, when she was having a crisis, she always knew there would be something better on the other side. I know that to be untrue. A broken heart? yes; a job loss? yes. An illness or death, I don't think she can say that for sure; I know I can't.

This year I survived 10 days into May before I fell apart, which is 10 days better than I did last year. The part that is different, though, is that I haven't gotten off the bottom yet. I feel that I am in a tsunami and going down for the 3rd time. I don't know what makes this year different, but it is darker, deeper and more lonely than any time I have ever known. It is also more hopeless.

It could be that way because of the political climate in this country. But with only 20% of people supporting this administration, I want to know WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE? On a recent flight, I was fortunate to sit with 2 of the very few Democrats from Texas. We were talking and I said I cannot imagine where those people are, those 20%. She said, they are her neighbors. Oil people, I asked? No, conservative Christians. That makes sense, but 20%? Come on out people, please identify yourselves. If only from a socialogical study, I want to know who you are. We need to study you and find out why you think the way you do faced with empirical evidence of the lies that this adminstration uses for their own purposes.

My therapist says it's grief, this black fog that I am in. I don't know what that means exactly. According to the dictionary, grief means
Mental anguish or pain caused by loss or despair. I know that, but dealing with grief is just so personal and so unimaginable. I know I am not the first one to lose a child, I know I am not the first one to deal with grief and mine isn't the worst or the best case. It's all bad, this grief stuff.

My family is lucky, we had to deal with the loss of our grandparents, by the decade, in 1960, 1970, 1980 and then in 1992. I have no living grandparents, and I lost an uncle to polio in the 50's, but for the most part we have not had to deal with grief. We have been blessed in some ways, although I could make a case that life didn't prepare me for this journey of bereavement I am on.

I just needed to say that.


pogblog said...

My wan guess is that if you were a regular person, there would be some silting over of the raw wound, but for Ken and the sure hope of saving one or two still living young men by your speaking out, you can't just turn your head to the future and 'move on' as they always say it's time to do, in grief circles.

I doubt the reasons for the necessity for your access to continuing desolation so you can speak your heart truly & rawly to the people who are still in a cocoon of faux patriotism -- I doubt the reasons are solace, but what you are doing will clearly save someone else's Ken -- will shorten the gungho-ism by giving a face and a voice to the real costs of this wretched war.

Saying thank you on behalf of that other Ken who will never know you may not be more than a candle in the darkness right now, but I want to say that thank you anyway.

There's also the gruesome and unnecessary having to rewrite the whole inner story you'd made some small peace with when you discovered that the facts of Ken's death had been told to you wrong. (I never asked you if you have used the word 'Lie' for this?) This meant that you had to start at near zero in restoring any semblance of equilibrium.

I disagree with you some. I think that you're therefore at year one again. And that now you re-start this dogged undauntable project of getting in the faces of the complacent &/or ignorant and saving some of Ken's buddies that he never got to know, as it were. I'm convinced that in the next few months you'll let yourself hear Ken's clear voice which would not allow you to despair. He was a pretty straightforward guy as I remember and he'd accuse you of becoming a Dodger fan (like him ..) or somesuch until you laugh and laugh again. Not yet perhaps, but soon.
I'm sure of it.

Marty said...

Thanks so very much for speaking out. You are in my prayers.