Gold Star Dad

The thoughts of a father who has lost a son to war

The guilt of getting on with life;

Posted by fozzynok on 08/31/2009

I’m not even sure if guilt is the right world. It seems that there are a lot of issues for me and my whole family as it relates to the death of Micheal. There is the strange fact of certain phases my life and time have just stopped. Time as it relates to my sons loss is stuck! The topic causes pain and maybe that’s why the time is frozen there. Maybe to move past this time is so difficult because it means moving on when he cannot. My wife and I escaped the other night and went out for coffee. We talked about lots of stuff and basically caught up with each other. It sounds like it would be easy to stay completely in touch as we both live in the same house and share everything as we always have. I really don’t think it’s that easy and I can only speak for myself and my own observations of people.

When I got the news about Micheal, a big part of my world was instantly and forever damaged and probably damaged beyond repair as it relates to several things. The 800 pound gorilla in the room when you send your son off to war is that no matter how much you try and convince yourself and each other and no matter how you try and shrug it off, your son may not come home from this. Not everyone does you know. I guess it’s a part of that “it’s always the other guy” aspect of everyone’s world. The numbers are overwhelmingly with your loved one coming home safe and at least mostly sound. You try to put on that brave face and send them off with a big hug and a smile and send them off to hostile places with that nagging feeling that something bad could happen. It did happen. It happened to Micheal. When it happens all you have are those feelings that no matter how much you hoped, now matter how much prayed, no matter what could have happened. The worst did happen and no one out there can change that.

Speaking personally since that day in February, I have bunkered down a lot, sealed myself away from the whole world to some degree with the hurt and the angst. I make small little raids on the real world, testing the waters, checking the stability of the whole thing. I think for me and probably my oldest son, we cannot get past this without feeling as if getting on without Micheal is in at least a small part abandoning him to a certain degree. I cannot seem to let go of him to the degree that will allow me to come out of the self imposed bunker. I need to, but how to do that without the feeling of leaving a member of the team behind is something that I do not know how to do.

So where are we now? It all depends on the day and the mood. It all depends on what sights, sounds, smells and feelings that happen to you today. I guess, that getting on a bit more means that you do not dwell on Micheal every moment of every single day. The problem is when I drop my guard and am just living some “new normal” day when something triggers the feelings that lie just below the surface. They are there and I really do not have much control over them. I think that as a man is one of the main problems. Men like to feel like the control their world and their path and way. Will I ever? I’m not sure.


3 Responses to “The guilt of getting on with life;”

  1. Kanani said

    Hi, Found you in a roundabout way. From Thunder run, to Knottie’s Niche to here.
    Let me tell you what you are doing right: you’re expressing yourself very well here on this blog. Sometimes (often) writing helps us capture thoughts, reword, reframe and figure out how we feel. The bigger challenge is taking your feelings and emotions beyond those four walls and meeting the world.
    You’ve done that with your Patriot Guard trip, as well as going out with your wife for coffee.
    Those were bigger steps than you might think. Keep going, meet the world, it’s different now, but welcome arms will always be there.

  2. Could you please post this on facebook. It is very well said and could help many Gold Star Families I’m involved with as they feel this same feelings but cant get them out.

    • fozzynok said

      You may share any of the blogs here with them.. They get lost on my page as I have have never been good at the whole social media thing – Thanks

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