Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Remembering Ben

It was a year ago tomorrow that my son took his life through an accidental drug overdose. You can read my eulogy of him here. In that eulogy, I quoted the following poem:

Edna St. Vincent Millay -- Sonnet II

Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year's leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year's bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide!

There are a hundred places where I fear
To go, -- so with his memory they brim!
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I say, "There is no memory of him here!"
And so stand stricken, so remembering him!

Today, by coincidence, the police called my house to tell my wife that someone by my name was injured in Daytona and that they thought he might be from Tampa. My wife called me at my desk, but I was in a meeting. She called my cell phone twice, but I silenced the ring while I was in the meeting. When I finally called her back she was, of course, quite relieved. What an awful phone call to get this time of year. You can imagine how worried she was.

It's been a horrible year. I will be glad to be done with it.

It's a terrible thing to lose a child. One can never be fully happy again, because, lurking in the back at all times, is the saddest of memories. It taints every feeling.

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