Ronan’s Table for 6

Ro baby. I guess my last post was pretty happy and upbeat. I wish I could say I have spent the past few days, feeling the same way after writing the things I wrote. I didn’t end up falling asleep peacefully like I had hoped. I tossed until 3 a.m. and had to take the devil aka, Ambien in order to fall asleep. I woke up, feeling like shit…. but I went on with my day anyway. I don’t remember what I did, but I’m sure it was a lot of all the things I’m supposed to be doing, like being productive. All the things I’m supposed to be doing, like living life taking care of your brothers, the house, paying the bills, etc…. Being present. On Saturday, I went down to ASU to participate on a panel that Dr. JoRo had asked me to be a part of. It is for a class she is teaching at ASU on traumatic death. I sat on a panel, in front of her class with about 10 other bereaved parents and a grandmother too for about 5 hours…. but it felt like 10. Dr. Jo basically asked us to tell our stories and she then asked us all question after question regarding our tragedy. I watched as her students listened, wiped tears from their eyes, took notes, and tried to process the things that we were saying. I watched the ways they didn’t have to say anything at all, as I could hear their thoughts in their heads. I know each and every one of them begged whomever it is that they believe in, for this to never happen to them. I so wished I had been one of the students sitting in that class today, taking notes. Not the one the other side, talking about you and this fucked up story. I tried my best to get my words out in regards to you, my grief, and everything else that I am going through, but it was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be, mentally and emotionally. I was the first parent on the panel to be asked the questions, so I had to be quick on my feet with my responses. I had so many things racing through my mind and trying to articulate the words that I wanted to say, is so much easier for me to do in my writing rather then speaking. But I did my best and I did it from my heart. It was the best I could do. It’s one thing to write about you… I could do this in my sleep and I often do. To talk about you, on the spot, hurts so badly that it is almost impossible. One day, I hope to find my voice for you…. where it’s not one where I feel like I am gasping for air. I think I did an o.k. job yesterday…. I caught myself pinching myself on and off through out the day to make sure the day was real. Unfortunately, I felt all the pinches I gave myself. I cried a lot. How weird to be so vulnerable in front of so many strangers. A gig I never wanted. I gig that I’ll have to have for the rest of my life. I think I said the fuck word a few times and I remember making Dr. Jo’s students laugh by flipping them all off when she asked the question what we, as bereaved parents, would we like to say to all the people who say stupid things to us. Things like, “Well, my cat died so I know how you feel.” “You can have other kids.” “Heaven needed another angel.” “You were given this because you are strong enough to handle it.” The list goes on and on. My response to Dr. Jo and her class was, “I like to keep it short and sweet.” I then stuck my arm out and flipped everyone off. I remember hearing everyone laugh. You would have been proud of that, Ro baby. Fuck those people of the world and the stupid shit they say. They will never get it…. they are too fucking ignorant, self-absorbed, and brain washed by society.

After the “death panel,” as I called it to Dr. Jo, I left ASU with her and we went to grab some dinner with 3 other parents and the grandmother of the group who had lost not only her grandson to death, but her son as well to the grief. Her son is still here, but you know what I mean. The grief took him away for some time. It sounds like she is slowly getting him back but, ouch. That hurt hearing her say that yesterday, on that panel. I know that is how your Nana feels. That she not only lost you, but me as well. I know that is how many people feel as I may as well be dead too, because that’s the way I have been acting. The only thing is, it’s not an act. It’s the way I feel and I can’t change that. Someday maybe. But not now. While we were waiting for our table in the bar, where I sucked down my Coke…. the waitress came in to ask for a name for our table of 6. I looked at Jo. She looked at the waitress and goes, “Ronan.” I smiled. A few minutes later, the waitress came back saying, “Table for Ronan!” I had to wonder what the lady would have done or thought if she knew she was calling out the name of a dead child. This is the strange world I live in now. Where you have to make the dead live among the living, in any way possible. Even if it means to hear their name being called out at a restaurant because your table is ready. We all sat and talked about the day, our kids, or lives before this and now. Dr. Jo pointed up at the ceiling and how all the light fixtures were in the shape of little stars. It was your way of being there, after such a brutally hard day. It was your way of giving me the little giggle that I so miss. I then told the table how I used to call you feisty. How I used to say, “Ronan, you are so feisty!” How you would then scream back at me, “I NOT SPICY!” I told them it was one of my favorite things that you used to say to me. I miss that so much. I also told everyone at the table how I feel like it should be mandatory for bereaved parents’ to carry around tasers. And when people say stupid shit to us, we should just be able to taser their asses, instead of trying to answer their dumbass questions. Oh, how everyone laughed at this idea. I think a law needs to be passed for this to happen. I have so many people I would like to taser just to make them feel a tiny piece of the pain I feel 24 hours a day. I actually wish I didn’t have to taser anyone, Ronan. I wish people would just start thinking before speaking. I wish people would just be a little more thoughtful, kind, thankful and compassionate. I actually wish you were just here and I didn’t have to wish any of this shit. I would like to tell you that I left dinner and came home to our “happy,” house and fell into a peaceful sleep. I did not. I hate what I’m going to have to tell you next.

I left dinner, got into my car, and started to drive home. I wish I could tell you what happened for the next 40 minutes, but I can assure you I left my body for that time. I can swear to you that I should not have driven. I can swear to you, that I felt scared which is something that I never feel anymore. I somehow ended up out at Wildpass Resort, which is nowhere near our house. It’s on the east side of the valley. I was crying so hard that I had to pull over at a gas station where I sat, cried, felt my heart racing so fast that I thought it was going to explode. I almost called an ambulance. I had to make myself breathe for I knew if I didn’t, I was just going to suffocate to death. I ended up calling Dr. JoRo….. which is something I never do…. and she’ll be the first to tell you that. I hate to bother her, even though she is so good at making sure I know I am never bothering her. I called her last night as I knew if I didn’t, I would have been in big trouble. I tried to get out my words to her as to where I was and what had happened. I told her there were fireworks going off in the sky and how the fuck can fireworks even exist anymore. I sobbed. And sobbed. And sobbed. She made sure I had pulled over somewhere safe. I told her I thought I had, but how lost I was. I said to her, “If I can’t find my way home, how am I supposed to find my way through life?” What a perfect metaphor, Ronan. I don’t know the answer. But I eventually ended up finding my way back home. Dr. Jo texted me so she could know I was safe and asked if I needed to talk. I told her that I was o.k. That I had made it home…. 2 hours after I had left her. I told her a hot bath and the reeses peanut butter cup that she had given me earlier in the week, had saved my life. For tonight. I fell asleep. I dreamed of you and your little bald head. I got to hold you but I knew you were going to die. I am just thankful that I got to see you.

Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow is your 8 months since you’ve been gone. I’m so sorry for that. I miss you so much. I know you know what I’m doing for you tomorrow, but I’m not saying too much about it now. If I’m meant to see you, to kiss your little lips, and feel your soft skin, I will. It’s not up to me, it’s up to you. I’m not scared. I love you so much. Sweet dreams, my not spicy little boy. I hope you are safe.

xoxo