My elder son died. His funeral was Friday, January 29.
No, I’m not going to talk about it. His obituary is here: https://www.littletonandrue.com/obituaries/Matthew-V-Smith?obId=19735044#/obituaryInfo.
It has been absolutely the worst experience any parent can undergo.
When I got word that my son had passed, I began making many, many phone calls. Several were to clients whose project I put on hold. Except for one client, all were gracious and understanding. That exception sent messages demanding a response, apparently not understanding or believing that my out-of-office message stating I was going to be radio silent due to bereavement wasn’t just an excuse to avoid work.
I haven’t finished making phone calls.
The glimmers of creativity which peeked through the extended creative hiatus of the past half year have vanishes. Who knows when they’ll return? I know I’m depressed: who wouldn’t be? My first born child is dead.
To compound the sadness, our younger son flew back to Alaska today. The military was great at putting him on an airplane 12 hours after receiving the terrible news. They gave him 10 days to mourn with us. Then it’s back to work as usual.
My youngest brother and his wife came that awful day. They took off work and stayed to help us, to keep us company, to provide whatever support my husband, son, and I needed. My other two brothers and their wives were also incredibly helpful. My husband called them “amazing.” My in-laws, too, provided tremendous support and assistance. Strangers offered condolences and kindness.
The outpour of kindness and generosity has been overwhelming and deeply, genuinely appreciated. Our gratitude overflows.
Friday evening hours after the funeral, I was perusing my news feed on Facebook and came across a woman in an equestrian group. She expressed concern for her son’s well being. I could not help but respond.
“If at all possible, go to his place. If not, call him and let him hear your voice,” I responded. “Don’t text. Call.”
“I’ve tried, but he won’t answer.”
“If you have the phone number of one of his friends, call him/her and ask that he/she visit. Or contact local law enforcement to request a welfare check. If they don’t get a response from you son, then escalate the call to a 911 emergency. Otherwise the police won’t go into the premises.”
I know this from recent, awful experience.
If your gut’s telling you something’s wrong, obey that instinct.
I hope her son is all right.