No words


There are no words tonight to express the grief that is felt in my small town.

A life, a very young life, was lost last night.  It was one of those unforeseen, inexplicable accidents. The road was snowy, the night was dark, the kids were in the car, coming home from work at the grocery store.  A skid, a crash, and a life full of promise was simply gone. Eighteen years of life, and the journey was ended.

How can we hope to make sense of this tragedy? How can we comfort each other? How can we simply move on?

Tonight I am safe and warm in my bright and cozy home.  I have eaten a healthy and filling dinner, shared with the man I love.  I sit now on my couch, a devoted dog resting its head on each knee.  For me, tonight, life is good and I am whole.

But the terrible loss that another family is trying to survive tonight reminds me so sharply that my children are not here beside me.  They are beyond my reach, beyond my care, beyond the safety of this comfy couch.  I am reminded, yet again, that I don’t have the safety of the magical thinking that helped me through their childhood years.  Each night, when they were small, I said the same magical incantation over them. “Good night, sleep tight. I love you!”

Now they are beyond my whispered prayers and gentle kisses. They are beyond my power to tuck them safely in to sleep, beyond my ability to keep vigil over their dreaming forms.

Tonight, as I go to bed, I will picture each of them, and I will hold them in my heart.  I will see the merging of their beautiful baby faces and the young adults they have become. I will whisper into the darkness, “Good night, sleep tight. I love you!”  And I will pray, with every molecule of my being, that they are safe for one more night.

Because tonight I know that there are no guarantees, and I cannot be sure that I will hold them in my arms again.

13 thoughts on “No words

  1. We have to keep hope alive everyday that our loved ones will stay safe no matter how far from reach they may be. I also hope that the family that lost a dear one in your neighbourhood finds the fortitude to bear the loss. Nice post to ponder upon.


  2. You write beautifully. I’ve come to your blog via the lovely comment you put on the Parents Evening post of Life With An Autistic Son recently (where I have also just commented). I just wanted to say thank you to you for such lovely thoughts and words, as I felt they could apply to me equally.


    • Thank you for your kindness, and for taking the time to reply! The best part of writing a blog is the feeling of belonging to a larger community, don’t you think?
      I’m so glad that you came by!


    • I keep trying not to miss it; it seems maudlin to hold on to those feelings. As if I am trying to hold my kids back somehow!
      But then something like this happens, and all I can think is: “Bring them back! Let me tuck them in…..”
      Thanks for your note; it helps to know that I am not alone in my magical mommy thinking.


  3. You have put into words many of the things that I am feeling. My son worked with this young man. My son used to work Friday nights with this young man. My son used to take the same route home that this young man did, for the last time 2 nights ago. I want to hug his mother and not say a word, but just hug her and let her know people care, people like me who don’t know her son and who don’t know her, but who still have a heavy heart.


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