Time really passes by quickly doesn't it? Today, as I remember the life of my son Anthony I realize a little more than usual just how quickly we journey through our lives. Things are moving so fast it
seems, as we rush through each day taking care of "things" that have made their way to the top of our list. Things such as work, cleaning, paying bills, spending time with family...this list could go on quite a bit because we fill our days with all kinds of things don't we?
I had the blessed opportunity the other day to sit and listen to a beautiful lady share the story of the life and death of her own son. She voiced things that resonated with me which I've pondered over the past few days.
After the loss of a loved one, there seems to be this "acceptable" period of time that a person can grieve and talk about their loss and then one day, they wake up and realize that no one wants to listen anymore. Their voice is shut down as they are cut short, ignored and unfortunately, often turned away from because it's not comfortable for the other person to hear and they just don't have the time to listen.
If you've lost someone whom you love, you can probably relate to this at some level. I know that when this lady was sharing the story of her son, even though the details of her loss were significantly different from mine, I was drawn to her words, her expressions and certainly to her tears. Several years have gone by since her son died and she still needs to share his story. I get this but often feel that others don't.
Anthony passed away in 1995 at the young age of 9 1/2. Yes, he was taken too young and his death,
placed a deep grief upon my heart which I still feel today, although the sting of my grief is certainly not as intense as it use to be, but it never goes away.
I still share Anthony's story with others, I want people to know who he was and the impact he had on my life. I want to describe his beautiful heart and the effects of disease on his body. I want to let everyone know that although he never spoke, he had a voice which came from within him. I want people to stop and listen to me....to allow me the opportunity to share his story and on ocassion, to shed a tear because I miss him so much, even after all these years have gone by. His life was a piece of my life and now it's missing and that makes me very sad, especially on days like today when I sit for a spell and think about him.
I created this shadowbox for my sister Debe (surprise!) I have wanted to make something for her home that was in memory of Anthony because he was a special part of her life as well. I've been working on this for over a month, each piece had to contribute to the whole perfectly. In a way, I see this shadowbox as a means for carrying on Anthony's voice. I know Debe will understand this as I do.
If someone shares with you about a loss they have experienced, can I encourage you to stop, be still and listen to them? Sometimes, all a person needs is to talk with someone who genuinely cares for them to feel their voice matters. You play an important role in their lives. Be that someone special who listens and loves.