This past week, I was enjoying lunch with three friends, all of whom have children who are grown and either away at college or out in the world living their lives. M’s youngest just left for college two weeks ago and she is having a hard time adjusting to daily life without the kids. Though they phone each other regularly, M is still missing her girls a lot. J, whose boys are a little older, comforted M by telling her that soon, she will learn to appreciate the new freedom she has now that the girls are away at school. L, whose four children are grown and out on their own for some time now chimed in expressing his longing for his kids who are scattered all over the world. They stay connected with texts, emails, and skype but it’s not the same as being together. It was at this point that I had to excuse myself.
I admit that, for a moment, a jealous part of me wanted to remind them all of how blessed they are that their children were only a phone call or email away. It’s been 13-1/2 years since I’ve seen my Bryan or heard his voice. He never made it to college or met the girl of his dreams and I sometimes wonder what kind of man he would have been. Yet just because my son is dead and I will never see or hear or talk to him again in my lifetime, that doesn’t make their longing for their children any less valid or real. So I excused myself from the conversation and buried my sadness for the rest of the afternoon.
About the pictures:
North Park (September 2011)