I write to extract shit clogging my head. I write to rage . I write to celebrate. Most often, I write to excise demons. The act of putting them on paper, or liquid crystal displays, seems to rob demons of their power, if just for a time.
It has been three years since he was killed. I know the weather, the temperature of the air and water, the color of the leaves, the position of the tide, and the smells on the wind of that day. That day changed all the others that would follow it.
I don’t solicit solace although this blog might be construed as such. I write to unclog my head and rage and excise. There is no solace. There is just time and distance and hope for rust to dull the sharp edge of loss. I have lost others. The loss of a child is different. On the best of days, there is a dim nagging like the onset of a toothache. On the worst of days I lash out at ghosts and invented adversaries. There is inherent tragedy in burying one’s child. It does not need embellishment or adornment.
He wouldn’t have liked the suffering or pain of loss. He would have much preferred a round of Irish Car Bombs in a good pub with good friends and a healthy roast of the many dumb things he did. As brilliant as he often was, he did some dumb shit. I say that not to disparage my son, but rather to celebrate that he was human and flawed and perfectly imperfect like the rest of us.
Everyone copes with loss in their own way. God wound the clock and left us to our own devices in that regard. I’m a writer. I’m writing a book with the central emotional question of what do you do after the death of your child. I sit down and slash open that vein day after day.
And I hope that my scar tissue in some way heals me and honors my son. I think he would have liked that.
I’m Darren, and I write.