I ached to see him one more time on his surfboard … I whispered goodbye


We buried our son three months before his 34th birthday. On that dull winter’s day, the earth that had been dug out – stood in a mound ready to be thrown back. For the last time, I talked to my son while in the cold, still air, I heard a thousand birds sing their songs of life.

The people who loved my son came to say farewell; people who had not coped with schizophrenia, but who knew how to handle death. So many friends, neighbors and acquaintances stood shoulders touching, their breath mingling in the icy air into one great sigh for our loss. The Rabbi intoned the familiar words.

I whispered goodbye, so much left unsaid. I ached to see him one more time on his surfboard. His body slid into a gaping hole in the ground. The rabbi’s voice echoed in and out of me like surf slapping against the shore. His words did not comfort me. My mother’s frail hand clutched mine. My daughters were trembling. My husband was crying. I worried about them all. Only I was unable to shed a tear. I had no more tears left inside of me … I had cried for so many years.

The eulogy was too long. There was a thud of earth, a marker; he’s gone. He didn’t say goodbye.

In a tumble of memories, I saw his smile superimposed on the painful image of his anguished, tortured expression.

1962 – 1996

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This entry was posted in Schizophrenia on by .

About Jill

Author of books and articles on support and experiences of living with a mentally ill family member. My aim in blogging is to let others see how a loving family, with a father and husband who is able to give unconditional love, can help the family cope. Many call me the blogging grandma.'

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