Thursday, September 04, 2014
Marking Time: One Thousand Days
We had him in a place he did not want to be. He was marking his time.
It was the place, the first of several, where the man who I thought surely was a real live angel looked me in the eye and said "You're not alone" and he told the boy who marked this time, "You are in a safe place."
And now there is a grieving man, the father, who continues the marking of time with a new number every single day in his journal. One Thousand Days. That's what today is, the one thousandth day. I told him it sounds like the title of a book. He reminded me of the book about John Kennedy (A Thousand Days).
I was curious. I asked him what he did. Did he write it out in a complete and painful sentence, "This is day number eight hundred and whatever" until finally, the thousandth day arrived? He said he just numbers the top corner of the page, each and every day. I've forgotten whether it was the left or the right corner, details sometimes get very important when you're grieving, I don't know exactly why.
I'm rather fascinated that my husband has kept track of this. I knew he was numbering the days early on (I only marked the months, and then the years, as they went by, clearly I am not one for such minute detail) but I did not know he was still keeping track.
I don't want anyone to misunderstand. Neither my husband or I are wallowing in the throes of grief all day, every day. But I do want it to be understood that losses like this stay with you forever. They change the very landscape of your life, they change the way you mark your time. When I write things like this, I am feeling my feelings, and I am choosing to share them with what I consider a trusted audience. Doing so helps me to remember the value and the love in my son's life.
One Thousand Days, and still we grieve. In a thousand seemingly inconsequential ways, we grieve.