Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Guest Post by Ezra’s Daddy: It’s hard to walk in a straight line when you’re blindfolded

Ezra’s Mommy asked me if I wanted to write another guest post. I haven’t written here in awhile, so I thought it was a good idea.

There’s lots to sort out when you’re dealing with the death of a child, I’ve found. Since we lost Ezra, I’ve learned that my tolerance level is not nearly as high as it used to be— tolerance for everyday life’s nuisances and inconveniences, for the things that you’re forced to deal with, but would rather not because the grief just takes up too much emotional and psychic space. Really, it can be anything, such as social niceties and small talk, a particular annoying person, or dealing with unwelcome news, or filling out long forms, you name it.

This week, I’ve had this stream of consciousness about things that really annoy me. I’m annoyed that with so much human suffering in this country right now, some companies such as AIG (= “Ain’t I Greedy?”) are awarded multibillion dollar bailout packages, only to spend it on multimillion dollar bonuses for failed executives. I’m anxious about the recession and what the future will bring. I’m annoyed over conspicuous insults to my intelligence, and invitations to provide my labor and my expertise at bargain basement prices, as if I were twenty years younger with no life experiences, as if I had never earned my two costly, fancy pants Ivy League degrees, or that certificate from that old university across the pond that comes straight out of a Harry Potter movie. I’m annoyed over conservative blowhards and liberal racists. I’m annoyed by “do gooder” organizations that pride themselves on helping underprivileged people, yet cannot manage to hire a single staff member who looks like their client base (or who looks like the President or the First Lady, for that matter).  

Yesterday evening, I was ruminating over this random assortment of issues when the doorbell rang. A middle-aged Black woman stood there with a small box and a picture of a beautiful baby girl. The woman told me that she saw my light was on, so she thought she would ring my bell. She explained that the photo was of her granddaughter, who had just died from crib death. The box was for donations, because the family was trying to collect money to cover the cost of the burial. My heart melted, and I told her that I was very sorry for her loss, and that we had lost my son last year as well. I gave her a contribution, and told her a number of times again how sorry I was that she lost her granddaughter.

The woman left, and as I felt her grief, then it hit me—I just miss my boy, that’s all. I really miss that little peanut boy. The pain is much different from a few months ago, when it was all-encompassing, debilitating, a large gaping hole that sucked all of the joy and all of the life out of me. Now, the gaping hole is still there, but now I am faced with trying to live with the hole, perhaps attempting to partially fill it up when I can, and incorporating the hole into my daily life. The past six months have thrown me off of my bearings, and now I am trying to play catch up, trying to figure out my purpose, and what my life means to me and to others now that the ground has shifted under my feet. It’s hard to walk in a straight line when you’re blindfolded, but I have no other choice.  

And later this year, we’ll set Ezra’s grave stone, just as the ancestors in the Jewish branch of his family tree had planned it. But what does the future hold? I don’t know. Who really knows? But I will try my best to live it just as vigorously as I buried my son with that shovel back in September.  


Lani said...

wow david, you hit the nail right on the head. i was nodding in agreement with everything you said, i am soooo pissed off at everything right now. its just all so unfair. then i get to the last paragraph and when you said "I just miss my boy- that's all" I lost it. the tears just started flowing. I'd still be pissed off at the world for all the greed and corruption. but i'd have my baby and that little bit would make everything else seem not as horrible. i have to believe that.
this uneasiness in my stomach never goes away. never.
i'm so sorry for both of you, i think about you 3 every day.
glad you guest posted, we need more of the male point of view in this babylost blog world.

Hope's Mama said...

Hello Ezra's Daddy. I love reading your words. I am trying to convince Hope's Daddy to write for me. He writes so well, but he's also shy. I might show him this.
Just as Lani said it is the "I just miss my boy/girl" thing that hits me most days. I get angry, mad, sad, frustrated, tired, grumpy - but in the end, I just miss her. That's all.

aliza said...

it's good to hear your voice david. and i ditto sally and lani 'i just miss my boy' too. all the crap in this world is that much is harder to swallow with our new found life of loss and grief- without ezra and lev. i'm with you.

Carly Marie said...

Thank you for writing David.

I am with Lani and Sally.

"I just miss my boy - thats all"

I just miss my boy too.

Barbara said...

Me too. I just miss my boy too.

Whatever else I'm feeling, that's all it is and that's the enormity of it.

Ezra has a wise Daddy.


Anonymous said...

Hi David - I loved reading your post and hearing your words. I often think about you and I miss your little boy too...sending you a big virtual hug.

Anonymous said...

In your words you have captured the grief of a nation that continues to hold out that last bit of hope and faith in tomorrow. In spite of your sadness, you have removed the blindfold to help another who was stumbling in the darkness. I wish that the ground had not shifted and that you and Sarah were not thrown off balance. You will regain balance because you have to . . . one step at a time, one day at a time. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you, Sarah and Ezra Malik. Fondly, Donita

Dani819 said...


Yes- that's it exactly. The sadness and injustice that rattles around in our heads is just magnified by all the sadness and injustice we see around us. The world needs so much healing- and we see it so much more clearly when we, too, are this broken.

I miss your boy for you. Can't wait to meet his Daddy on Sunday.


Rach said...

Hello Ezra's Daddy,

Thank you for sharing your words with us. I love reading your posts, your passion and commitment to such important issues. And I cry when I read about how much you love Ezra. How much you miss that little boy.

How we are all missing someone…


Tash said...

David, how lovely of you to write here. thank you.

This is me, playing armchair shrink (which I do on the occasional Thursday evening after a bit of wine for dinner): For us, I grieved heavily at first, didn't come out in public for two months. My husband did the heavy lifting, telling people, being the public contact of the family because I wouldn't even lift the phone. By six months, I wasn't better by any stretch of the imagination, but I was functioning -- walking the dog, shopping, answering the phone. And my husband just sank.

Six months out. And I'm convinced it was that I finally was well enough to allow him space to grieve. Finally. He felt badly, like he was regressing. His family really raked him over the coals because he was better two months ago! WTF happened? Couples kinda work like this.

I guess what I'm saying, is allow yourself to miss. It's not better, better, done -- it's back, forth, start, stop. My tolerance level for bull is shot. Funny, big things? Are nothing.

Thinking of you both.