I don’t think I have ever truly said good bye to my son. There was a moment at the funeral when they had put the casket on the hearse and I wanted with every fiber of my being to walk through the parted crowd and kiss it and say good bye..but someone turned me to express their condolences and I miss my moment to say good bye to my son how I wanted to. That I didn’t push through and take those steps still haunts me. Oh I had spent time at the funeral home the night before. But it was that moment I needed to do what my heart begged to do and I didn’t. I hate myself for not walking through that parted crowd. I think fear of falling apart also held me back. I had managed to stay collected on the surface that whole week. My kids needed me to. I also think I just plain did not want to say goodbye. Here it is almost 2 years later and I still don’t want to say it. I never said good bye to him in life. It was always “take luck” between us. I suppose if I try hard enough I can come up with a million reasons why I didn’t walk over to that hearse and say good bye. I should have done it. He deserved that much from me. I deserved that moment.
I know that to heal this wound I need to find a way to say good bye. To let go of this guilt and hurt. I’m sure the answer will find away to me. Maybe it’s the barracks sign. Maybe that is why I am so obsessed about getting my hands on it. I don’t know yet but I suppose when the sign is under my finger tips I will know if that is the answer.
In the meantime I will go through my ritual of dusting each item on his memory table and putting it back in exactly the same spot. I will re-read the letters and hug his uniform shirt then take a deep breath and carry on.