On Memorial Day, the kids and I visited the cemetery. Shawn’s grave had many flowers, a sign to me that he was well loved. The day was stifling hot and I remember feeling bad that Shawn’s grave doesn’t have more shade. But, something like that only matters to the living, not to Shawn. These silly cares of the world don’t bother him anymore.
After the short cemetery blessing performed by the church, we went on a picnic with Shawn’s family. My kids loved playing, completely oblivious to the extreme temperature. Kids are good this way. They don’t allow the silly cares of the world to bother them either.
In an effort to get out of the heat, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law suggested we take our children to a movie. We went to see “Over the Hedge”. Jordan loved it. And I loved watching Jordan. He sat on the edge of his seat, contently munching on a large bucket of popcorn, mesmerized by all of the action.
About ten minutes into the movie, I realized that this was the first movie I had gone to since Shawn died. Nine months. (9 months and 23 days, but I think I am the only one who’s counting). Up to this point, I have had little desire to see a movie. Yet, when invited at the spur of the moment, I didn’t have time to analyze this action. I simply wanted to go along and enjoy the afternoon. What shook my attention was not that I was at a movie, but that I had the desire to be at a movie. Desire seems to be a feeling in me that has disappeared since Shawn’s death. This felt like a great achievement.
I try not to create unrealistic expectations of myself. Even as I write this the day after, I am forcing myself to document the experience, because desire has once again fled and I feel like doing nothing. I would rather be in bed, but that doesn’t feel like a better option either. Going to bed doesn’t make it go away. Going to bed only becomes a temporary solution to a larger complexity; life lived in the midst of absence.
My journal entries echo this concept of isolation repeatedly. I do not expect life to ever hand-over and offer me an explanation for why tragedy occurs or to even offer a new proposal. I have this unspoken sense that I will be 89 years old someday and be just as baffled and bewildered by the outcomes of life as I am today. The only difference is that I hope if I ever reach an older age, I find many more days like going to yesterday’s movie; days that hold a plan with wishes and wants.