I still remember the conversation in which my friend Esther and I talked about the ways certain pieces of music summon very intense (undergrad speak for depressive) feelings or catapult us to a very intense (again, depressive) place emotionally. I haven’t spoken with Esther in probably seven or eight years, but I still refer to her as my friend because the connection that provided room for this conversation was sacred.
At the moment I’ve got several songs on constant shuffle, taking turns on repeat until I’ve soaked up everything they can possibly give, which is going to be very funny to see when Spotify gives me my year in review, something I’m always too embarrassed to share on social media because I’m afraid everyone’s gonna think I’m schizophrenic or that I have really poor taste in music. Not sure which one’s worse.
Right now I’ve got Mindy Smith’s One Moment More on repeat and there are a lot of intense emotions in play, but I’m trying to listen to it with different ears. I’m really trying.
My son Friedrich’s due-date was January 20th. Instead, he was born October 10th and died on October 11th. On January 20th, we went to his grave. We decided to sing some songs. I sang this one. I find the idea of „one moment more“ so beautifully pure, loving something or someone so much that you just want one more moment with them. It’s also beautifully hopeless when acknowledging the impossibility it implies.
That impossibilty creates a very tangible sadness inside me. This sadness has a lot of force, driving power certainly comparable to what I’d be willing to do for one moment more with him. Anything. Everything.
This force overwhelms a lot of people. Good friends. Family. My wife. Sometimes even myself. I know that. I also know two things about it.
I know I can’t control it and that up to last week, I had been very afraid of losing it.
I’m not going to write a bunch right now about not being able to control it simply because I’m on the train to Cologne and I’ve been crying for about 15 minutes and I want to get this finished so I can give the people around me a break. I do, though, want to say something about being afraid of losing it.
Maria’s counselor made a very valuable point that much of what makes up the driving force inside me are all the hopes, dreams, wishes, and all the love for Friedrich that had been growing inside me. He’s no longer here, but they are; they need to flow somewhere and I’m letting them.
Losing a child completely changes you (just sharing my experience in the form of a statement) and I grabbed onto the energy like I’d just been granted a free, but actually priceless, ticket for the Purpose Train.
Since I’ve been a passenger, the train has changed course and changed speed, each time teaching me something new and revealing a bit more of my fear the train had reached the end of the tracks, a dead stop in the middle of nowhere.
But the best thing I’ve learned most recently is that there are other trains to ride. There are ways for me to connect to Friedrich other than sadness. Other than the bottomless longing of wanting one moment more with him here on this Earth. I can connect with him through the very real love I still have for him, love that hasn’t faded with the falling sun. This love lets me know he isn’t far. He isn’t really gone if he’s in my heart.