Please use this blog to help us remember Joshua Lee Anderson, who made the tragic and fatal decision to take his life on Wednesday, March 18, 2009. Please post any memories or thoughts you may have in the comments.

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014 - 5 Years and 5 Month Later: Quote from "The Namesake"

I've recently finished Jhumpa Lahiri's poignant novel: The Namesake, and want to quote from the end (not to worry; there are no spoilers).
In so many ways, his family's life feels like a string of accidents, unforeseen, unintended, one incident begetting another……And yet these events have formed Golgol, shaped him, determined who he is.  They were things for which it was impossible to prepare but which one spent a lifetime looking back at, trying to accept, interpret, comprehend.  Things that should never have happened, that seemed out of place and wrong, these were what prevailed, what endured, in the end.
EXACTLY….this describes my life with Josh's death…actions and consequences…one thing led to another and before we knew it, he was gone.

An unexpected, tragic death - especially of a child - has no comparison in terms of the ginormous, heavy imprint on a mother's life, psyche and being.  Especially when it never should have happened.

And yes, I feel the compassionate, omniscient narrator is correct in articulating that my whole life was, is and will be about accepting, interpreting and comprehending what happened.  I will also add "process" and "integrate" to the list.  A lifelong endeavor that has no blueprint, no instruction manual, no "How to Deal With the Death of Your Child For Dummies" - the lonely journey begins the millisecond the brain comprehends the unthinkable.

I envision this journey like floating on a river.  "Pre-Josh", this river was fairly calm with some turbulence due to what was going on with him at the time (see post for details) but certainly nothing unmanageable or out-of-control.   But when I realized that our beloved Josh was gone for good, it felt like out of nowhere, an immense, terrifying waterfall was in front and down was the only way I could go.

The fall could kill.  Surviving is a feat.

Then comes the realization that one has forever left the calm river with manageable turbulence for a completely different route, this grief journey - full of angry, churning white water, huge boulders, terrific undercurrents that alternately suck you under and let you go and tributaries which spit you out in whirlpools called Unbelief, Guilt, Regret, Sorrow, Shame and Anger - pools that spin you around in one place for seemingly forever before propelling your battered body to another dizzying vortex.

It is a disorienting, frightening journey that occurs in the depths of one's soul and is very difficult to understand, much less describe to others.  This is what makes the journey a lonely one.

But now, five years later, my journey is on calmer waters and I've occasionally found myself in the pools of Acceptance and Peace.  Visits here do not last but at least I've found them.  For a long time, I questioned their existence or if I would ever experience them.

So to get back to the quote, the narrator says that in the end, the event that was the mistake or accident or thing that should never have happened becomes that which prevails and endures.

Prevails and endures for the departed and those left behind.

RIP Josh….

1 comment:

Roxanne Armes said...

I pray that you have those peaceful visits to the calmer waters from time to time. What a beautiful feeling that seems so few and far between. But oh for those peaceful moments.
All my love, Roxanne