Joan Rivers was famous for opening her comedic routine with the question, “Can we talk?”
She would launch into a hilarious rendering of topics that were usually off-limits in polite conversation but which everyone secretly wanted to share. It actually helped bring some things into the light that had been hiding in shadows for far too long.
So, I’m going to take a cue from her and ask, “Can we talk?”
Can we talk about my missing son and quit pretending that just because he’s no longer present in the body, he’s not still part of my life?
Can we say his name without also looking down or away like his death is a shameful secret?
Can we share stories and memories and laughter and tears just as naturally about HIM as we do about anyone else?
Can we make a way to represent him at holidays, birthdays and special occasions? It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture-even a photo or place setting or ornament will do.
Can we stop acting surprised that I still get upset when other people’s kids reach milestones my son will never attain?
Can we talk about your feelings as well as mine without devolving into a shouting match or a flurry of accusations about who should be feeling what by now?
Can we make space for tears?
Can we make space for solitude?
Can we make space in our conversations and celebrations that allows joy and sadness to dwell together?
Can we continue to honor the light and life that was (and is!) my son?
Because if we can do this, it will make all the difference.