It's Father's Day. Yesterday Natalie and I watched Alec get on a bus to go to camp for the next 4 weeks. It was hard to let him go, but I know how much he enjoys exercising his independence out there in the Northwoods. He is a handsome, passionate, deeply intelligent twelve year old boy. Last time you saw him he was six years old. Now he's a vegetarian who believes human beings are really mucking up the planet in a selfish manner. I'm sure you could have recruited him to put rude post-its on SUVs with you. He likes to listen to Stephen Hawking talking about the universe and he likes listening to the Beatles. He soaks up facts and general knowledge like a sponge. Good in every subject. You guys would have had fun zoning out on TV sports and the IPad together I'm sure. The other day he was teaching me the ins and outs of catching and pitching. He's a good teacher. He's incredibly good at math and games of strategy. He's never forgotten your teaching him to play poker. Now he just needs to find someone to play with him. Too bad Natalie and I cannot play chess with him or any game of strategy. He can beat us cold, every time. We are no challenge. He has a really great sense of humor. Despises injustice. Seeks fairness. Gets mad. He loves me. He loves Natalie. Still gives big, hard hugs. He has a hard time remembering you. What can I say? You would love him. He would love you. I don't know how losing you has altered his life, but I know it has, forever.
Natalie? Your little ten year old girl? She's just as sweet and kind and easy as she ever was, and now she's 15. She's beautiful, gentle, patient, thoughtful, understanding. She has your temperament. But there's some funny little Lucille Ball-like comedian in there too. She's in high school Ken. Diligent, hard-working, responsible. Tutoring handicapped kids, doing community service projects, and active on the Green (Environmental) Team. Next year she's chairing the Soup Kitchen committee. She wants to be a teen facilitator at Willow House where I am helping to facilitate grief groups for children or adults. I bet she'll do that training this year. She also loves theater and did a program at ETHS called Theater for Social Change where high school kids get together to discuss difficult topics like racism within the school, and then act them out. She's brave Ken. She's also a leader. A quiet, behind-the-scenes leader. She knows who she is. She's mature. Guess what? She's encouraging me to compost. I stopped after you died, but composting lives on in Natalie's environmentally sensitive person. So I guess we'll start that up again. Natalie remembers you well. What can I say? You would love her. She would love you. I don't know how losing you has altered her life, but I know it has, forever.
- Jill Schacter
- My wonderful husband died when I was 44 years old. Being widowed this young happens to less than 3% of married people. Writing through this loss one word at time helps me understand what I've lost and helps me continue to grow. It is how I have gradually recovered from such a severe loss. Research shows that you can benefit from taking just 15 minutes a day to write out your deepest feelings as a way of healing. On the right side of this blog, you'll see a tag for Exercises to Try. If you need some help knowing how to use writing to help heal yourself, I suggest you start there.