The other night in class, in a kind of ice breaker (remember, these are social work classes), one of the questions presented to the group (there are only 8 of us in the class) was to whom did we feel accountable. I gave the usual Christian response – God – and then added, “to my son’s memory.” Not surprisingly, this is the part of my answer about which I was questioned.
When asked to explain what I meant, I realized that I feel a great obligation to Christopher and as a result, very accountable to his memory. Christopher brought so much to my life. I feel like I owe it to him to ensure that is his most significant contribution to my life is his life, and not his death.
I feel compelled to do something with my life that reflects the wonder of all he added to my life. To let his death detract from that would be to do a disservice to who Christopher was in my life. I simply cannot let his death detract from all be brought to my life.
I believe this with my whole heart, but there are obstacles. It is a very difficult balance. I am so determined to keep on in spite of losing Christopher; I owe it to him. At the same time, there is a part of me that feels that to live fully having lost him risks people thinking that I am over it.
People just don’t understand that I will never be over it. I will never be the same; how could I be. If I am able to move forward in “exciting” new directions it is in spite of his death, not because of it.
I don’t want to live a new life, I have to. I have no choice in that, but I do have a choice as to what that new life is. I could choose to live the life of a woman who has lost her primary purpose in life just 13 months ago. Alternatively, I am choosing to look ahead and believe that God has something for me.
I’ll leave that for another day.