Psst … over here

In the crazy days after Javid’s birth, his web pages kind of unfolded, in a very basic format, from our slow realization that we couldn’t maintain the pace of calling or e-mailing friends and family. The pages were never really meant to be a blog, although they eventually turned into something similar. But really they were just a few simple pages added into a folder on my work website.

WeePlanet is different in that this time I’m actually using blogging software. It has some nice new features, such as allowing me see how many people visit on a given day. More information is not always a good thing, though; Ana Lisa’s been teasing me for weeks that I keep checking the blog stats to find out how many people “like me” that day.

Teasing only really works when there’s some kind of a nerve to set a’thrumming…

My neuroses aside for one moment, on Monday and the days sandwiching it we watched in wonder as the number of visitors to WeePlanet soared.

We want you to know how grateful we are, both for those who put your thoughts into words and those who came calling in silence. We felt softly loved and supported by all of you.

Monday was a strange day and not, of course, where we’d hoped to be a year after Javid’s birth. At 5:13 we lit a candle for him, then spent the next hours doing something we’d avoided for a while–looking back through the many pictures. We’d had great fun all those months getting to see him in person and then coming home to launch his photos out into the internet void. In the wake of his death, though, we often couldn’t focus on his pictures without getting upset. So we haven’t, except at certain times.

Even when we’ve not been looking at them ourselves, though, it’s somehow been comforting to know the photos were still there to be looked at, by us when we felt ready and maybe by others. We’ve been sort of like Gertrude Stein, who liked a view but liked to sit with her back to it.

Monday we were scared but wanted to face ourselves forward and take a look at the boy. It was, predictably, good but hard. Our sense of time is really messed up, such that it both feels much shorter and much longer than a year since he was born. Scrolling back through the photos helped us to reestablish our mental chronology a bit, drawing us back once again into the story of his life.

It also made us experience freshly the pain of losing him.

We share our home with two feline beasties: Chaka, who paces ponderously through the house, and GrĂ¼ver (generally referred to as Little Kitty) who darts everywhere. Although he’s hardwired to be an anxious little cat with both body and personality built for dashing, every once in a while an added directionality creeps into Little Kitty’s darting. I’m often slow on the uptake, and occasionally don’t even realize what he’s doing. But whether consciously or not, eventually I find my gaze drawn to the food dish. Empty again.

A while back I learned to do something like this myself. A big part of my job at Menergy involves running groups for men. Some group members, for a variety of reasons, focus way too much of their attention on the facilitators. So a trick I learned is to lock eyes with the person, then pull their gaze with me as I look at someone else. It’s amazing how often it works, and many people don’t even realize what’s happening. They simply find, little by little, that they’re engaging with the other members of the group. Kinda cool.

We know that pictures of our son will carry us along the pathways of certain memories and feelings. Like an obstinate group member or an oblivious owner of pets, we sometimes don’t want or don’t realize that we need to go there. But there are times when we should and times when, even if it hurts, it also brings us great joy to settle in to remembering this wee little boy that we had. His birthday was one of those times, and we felt both great hurt and great gladness as we turned our full attention, for a time, to the record we have of our brief time with him.

Many of you have done both him and us great honor in returning your gaze over and over to our lives and his. We have nothing to offer in return but thanks and our great respect for your kindness.

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