Monday, April 20, 2009


The morning after Henry died I woke up early with a headache. I came downstairs because I couldn't sleep and reached into the medicine cabinet for some Excedrin. We buy the generic and I turned the bottle to read the label to make sure I was grabbing the right bottle. "Pain Reliever" it said. I crumbled to the floor and cried.

Most of the time now the pain is much less acute. This weekend, I was able to think of him. I saw all the little 3's running around the soccer field, talked to his former coach and was able to laugh and smile thinking of him out there with everyone last fall, enjoying his shin guards and his cue ball head and red #3 shirt running around on a beautiful day. Coincidentally this season, Sophie's team is red and - coincidentally - has #3 (her age group has the full range of numbers). We had pictures this weekend and as I knelt next to the team I remembered doing the same with Henry last fall. It was a good memory.

I got up early again this morning and spent the wee hours thinking and waking up. The weekend sun had given way to clouds and rain. As I returned upstairs to dress and saw the picture of him I keep near my shelves, I had one of the most vivid memories of him I've had since he's been gone.

I could feel the sweater he was wearing, feel his hair in my fingers, his arms around my neck, his weight in my arms and his little cheek against mine. I remember the day at The Little Gym when we saw the fire engine parked out front. We walked down and he was excited to have his picture taken with #4. "Because I'm 4!"

God I miss him.

It took me some time to collect myself. It's so difficult to hold those memories. I want them. I treasure them and need them to keep him close. But it's painful and there's no pill to relieve it.


Granya said...

Thank you for sharing your innermost emotions Bryan.

You are always sharing stories and pictures that I've never heard before so it is very therapeutic for me - and you too I hope.

His absence makes me ache and his memory makes me smile.

rlbates said...

Brian, pain is not always a "bad thing". It can remind us that we are alive. It can protect us from things that would harm us, like the shin guards protected Henry's shins. The pain is "acute" now as you "heal". Don't be afraid, as I doubt you could ever forget Henry.

Anonymous said...

Bryan, thx for these great pics of Henry,,what a guy.
His memories are beautiful, although difficult.
Cheers to my hero.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bryan,
I read this tonight and I cried with you. I wish there was a "magic pill" to make things better and to take some of the acute pain away. Thanks for sharing your memories with us. I especially like the pictures. Take care. We'll see you soon.
Gina,Craig,Carinna,and Corey

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine what you are going through, it has got to be more difficult than I will ever now but please know that YOUR whole family is thought of frequently. I hope the days get better for you all.

ms.t said...

Thanks for sharing those pictures. What a treasure! I too miss him and just can't imagine your grief. You had such a special relationship with him. Just hold those pictures close and feel comforted in knowing he was loved 100%. and he loved you, unconditionally, 100%.

Anonymous said...

I know Henry was your hero, but you are my hero. I don't know how a family gets through this, but you are showing the rest of us how to deal with immense grief with character and grace. You truly amaze me.