The Fire Swamp
Buttercup: We'll never succeed. We may as well die here.
Westley: No, no. We have already succeeded. I mean, what are the three terrors of the Fire Swamp? One, the flame spurt - no problem. There's a popping sound preceding each; we can avoid that. Two, the lightning sand, which you were clever enough to discover what that looks like, so in the future we can avoid that, too.
Buttercup: Westley, what about the R.O.U.S.s?
Westley: Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist....
Grief is like the Fire Swamp in the movie "The Princess Bride." Just when you think you've figured out the lay of the land, a new challenge appears.
I thought the year mark would be a turning point with grief, but it's just a new challenge.
I've found lately that this is common in the journey of grief. There is a sort of shock in the first year and this allows you to emotionally and physically ease into life without the one you love. Now, as we are about half-way into the second year without Lacy, I find myself tearing up at the drop of a hat. A memory comes and it's raw and sometimes filled with regret.
Recently, a friend asked me if Lacy had gone through public school. I explained that when we adopted him, we almost immediately got him into an early intervention program. Then, on the advice of the therapist, we put him in a local day care. I thought back to those days, and realized how hard it was to give up time with my little boy for the sake of his development - and looking back I think it was not the best choice, but it was what we thought was best. Harder still was the fact that I had to depend on others to take him and pick him up from the day care since we had only one car and Kenny worked about 25 miles away. In return for Lacy's transportation, I held "Little School" in my home for friends' preschoolers. Should I have kept Lacy at home and included him in "Little School?" I don't know. I do know that in spite of promises to bring my little one home, sometimes he was forgotten at day care - the only one left - and I had no way to get him.
I realize that I could have asked my in-laws to help. They would have been glad to pitch in, but I felt so afraid - afraid my child would be too much for someone else to handle.
All these thoughts and memories came in split seconds, and I found myself wiping tears away in front of my friend. She apologized over and over, but I reassured her and begged that she not stop mentioning Lacy. I don't want to lose him or the memory of him, I explained. The pain of memory is a small price to pay for being able to remember and talk about a child you have lost.
We don't get over the loss of our children. We will never get over it, but a greater loss would be if no one ever mentioned Lacy, or remembered happy times - which we've done as well these last few months.
Lacy lived and touched the lives of so many people, even those he never met. I'm thankful for friends who ask about him, or share a memory; friends who are willing to walk through the fire swamp of grief with us.