The Warring Factions In My Mind

Little Andrew on his father's shoulders on the Watercress Steam Railway Line, Hampshire England

When I go to sleep at night I think of Andrew. When I sleep during the night I think of Andrew. Now it is morning, the sun is streaming through the windows, I wake up and I think of Andrew. While my mind is still fresh and soft and has only just returned from its nocturnal voyages, I search it for dreams of Andrew. Nothing seems to be there…but I am sure that he is trying to reach me. I must soften my mental stance, I must resume my spiritual practices. A return to meditation would take me where I need to be, would reunite me with those who are none other than myself.
But how…the differing factions in my head are determined. The warring one will not have any of this mumbo jumbo spiritual stuff.
“He is dead,” it screams. “He broke every bone in his body, his heart stopped and he is dead.”
“Hush, hush, He’s at peace,” the screaming’s counterpart says.
“But he IS dead. His bed IS always empty, he is neither in his pajamas nor in his clothes. His room is not a mess.”
“You never liked mess.”
“I like it it now.”
“He is in a “tidy place” of such love that we cannot even imagine,”
And what about the love he left behind?”
“But love is everywhere, his love is still with you and yours with him. Love is always.”
“But if something, someone had prevented him from getting to that wretched spot that night, he would still be alive today!”
Ah well now,that! No, the peaceful warrior in my mind does not argue with that! On the contrary, there is complete agreement!

Still, I do try to quieten my mind as best I can, I don’t just give in. I sit up in bed and look at the big poster that my friend Dennis made for me from a beautiful picture of Andrew. I look at that gorgeous face, eventually I feel his life in the space that contains all, and for a moment I smile.
When I am up and dressed, I take the poster to its day room, so that I can still see it even if I am not lying in bed. As you can tell, Andrew is always in my mind.
And I am glad to read in Anthony Badami’s article, Death at Bobst, that though he’s never met my son, “… he could not wrench Andrew from his mind…”
Others, fellow strangers from different parts of the world, have expressed the same sentiment.
Well then, if they cannot stop thinking of him, how can I? When every moment of his life, from conception to now, is etched in my body?
How can I? When each of those memories has depth, color, sound, texture, smell, movement and emotions woven into them?
And then, each of those memories always collides with the one where there is no movement, no sound, only the silent screaming of my soul as I bid him goodbye from this world, and the depth of grief that has shredded my heart.
I love Andrew.

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One thought on “The Warring Factions In My Mind

  1. Hello Andrew,
    Your mother is writing, as I know you knew she would. She’s reaching out to you and I got snagged in her line. Such a sweet boy you were, I see the kiss you gave your father, and his grin. Its a beautiful moment. your mother was brave to show it. Andrew, you are in my thoughts now. I know your pain has shifted, there are many lessons for you still. I imagine you and your mother will learn at record speed. you’re not gone, you’re not gone….you’re just not here. its not enough but its all we have now. your love, the love of a mother to her son. love is oh so powerful. love…… its always, forever, beautiful.

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