I Could Only Say…Hello

…Pain, or shock, tends to heal and lessen with time. So they say. While at first it seemed somewhat surreal for us to be out playing in the park as if nothing really happened, before too long we were back to our normal ways. Yet there were times when the whole frightening affair came crashing back to me. It was during those times when walking home from O’Grunts place, that I would pass Darren’s house and see his dad sitting there out on the stoop alone.  Lost in thought he appeared to be, or, perhaps he was oblivious to his surroundings, as if in a trance like state of mind.  I would shyly acknowledge him as I passed by the house with a nod of my head, as if I was somehow sharing in his grief knowing full well that nothing I could do could ever come close to easing his sorrow. Sometimes he would see me and nod his head in recognition but most times nothing but his blank stare, a stare that was straight ahead and somewhere out there into space and time.

What was going through his mind one can only imagine? Staring straight ahead into nothingness, seeing nothingness with nothingness of a future. Hopelessly wondering about all of the “what ifs.” The guilt must have been overbearing, unceasing, interminable. To lose one’s son at such a young age. Life is not supposed to be this way. Parents are not supposed to outlive their children. Being a father myself I know of the hopes and dreams that come with parenthood. What will he or she be like at 10, at 18, at 21? What will they become: a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, a plumber, a proctologist, a what?  And what about grandchildren? What will they be like? Life is so full of promise, of wonderment, of hope, of joyous potential and contentedness.  And then to have it all come crashing down in a flash like some cruel joke.

Of course seeing Darren’s dad was just that to me. Seeing Darren’s dad!  I knew he was sad but knowing that he was hurting emotionally, physically and spiritually was difficult for someone like me to grasp at such as young age. I would never be able to understand or be able to measure the pain that he was going through. I could only say…hello!…