There’s a secret known only to those of us whose children have died long before their time. It’s unspoken, yet understood. Once the obituary is written, the prayers said, the tidy crust-less sandwiches eaten and everyone who surrounded you with love goes back to their corners to lick their own wounds, you confront it for the first time. Where’s my kid? That’s where the real journey begins.
The months that follow kick the crap out of you. In and out of the proverbial rabbit hole you go, emerging when you must; retreating when you can, and still the question remains. Where are you? For some, like my husband, her father, the trip takes him back in time to the church pews of his childhood, where he seeks her in every hymn that is sung each Sunday. Sometimes he can hear her whisper to him there.
His place doesn’t work for me and I dig into string theory and quantum physics with a vengeance, its confounding numeric a welcome relief from the ever-present thrum of pain. If energy can be neither made nor destroyed, my daughter and I reasoned together, we just have to find where it goes to find each other once again. That lone goal drives me now.
I hear her voice in my head. I ask, she answers. I don’t tell everyone this for obvious reasons. Imagined or real? I don’t know but the conversation continues daily and with it the conviction grows that I am finding her, one tiny atom at a time.
She and I spent hours debating the merits of television psychics like Sylvia Browne and John Edward who, for a fat (and I mean really fat!) fee, will link you to your lost loved one. If they can do it for cash, we reckoned, we ought to be able to do it ourselves in the name of love. Imagine my shock when I discovered that after death communication has become big business in the grief community and I’ll admit, I struggle with that. Surely it’s not ethical or even wise for someone offering their services as a grief counselor to take a vulnerable individual to any spiritual place they may not be prepared to go. But I know that a parent that has lost a child will go to any lengths to find her and that alone opens the door to exploitation. I proceed with caution. I look for science-based explanations that rub up uncomfortably against spiritual theories and hope that the friction they stir in each other will lead me to the garden of Eden I seek – the place where my child now resides – the place where our conversation can continue ad infinitum. That’s where my kid is.
© Kim Reynolds 2012