I am pleased to announce that my poem From Your Room will appear in the 2007 summer edition of Living With Loss. Featured in the same edition will be my article Musings of A Bereft Father Six Years Later.
By Alan D. Busch
From your room, Ben,
On this sixth year’s eve
I write these words
alone I grieve.
never, to let go.
Where we wrestled in morning’s darkness
the merciless diabetic and epileptic foe.
Be sure Ben to remember,
neither doubt nor need,
our love for you was always agreed.
So, accept these few words,
your blue eyes to see ...
mournful without thee.
“Why the death of a child?”
How should we respond when all that we have is the language of prose and poetry? Our memory’s perspective narrows as the years pass. Awaiting us is a grave danger …
A memorial leaf appears on the Etz Chaim in my synagogue.
“In Memory Of Benjamin Busch
Whose Good Deeds, Kind
Nature & Gentle Manner
Will Forever Be An Inspiration To Us”
Though it may seem paradoxical …
“Why do we affix a memorial leaf to a Tree of Life?”
Though the leaf serves as a poignant reminder of the end of Ben’s life, its purpose is to remind us to celebrate the time of his life-no matter that it ended prematurely, abruptly and painfully!
Eternally optimistic, even in the darkest moments, we say …
each time we lift a glass together whether it be in remembrance or celebration.
Jewish custom holds that a mourner recite the Mourner’s Kaddish when, following the burial of his loved one, he is most vulnerable. Neither a lamentation nor a dirge, the Kaddish is a reaffirmation of life that makes no mention of death whatsoever.
At such time when the immediacy of death is still near enough to be overwhelming, one may choose to renounce his faith. Though perhaps understandable, our tradition regards this as a misguided approach to grief.
Still the very worst part remains the deposition of the attending paramedic that Ben was both conscious and able to speak for a brief while before finally losing consciousness forever, and that he understood what had happened while he suffered horrendous pain and bespoke his fear that he was dying.
As Ben’s dad, the certain knowledge that my son’s last waking moments were consumed by such trauma and fear leaves me cold and quiet, my thoughts inchoate …
As a Jew, I am thankful my faith is one of eternal optimism and teaches us that life is inherently miraculous and, therefore, holy.
We serve as guardians of its sanctity.
This belief sustains me when all that tangibly remains are a dress shirt and suit, a pair of old boots, a bicycle badly in need of repair and the unexpected discovery of his boyish signature while turning the page of a scrapbook.
The only antidote to the pain of our loss lies in the tenacity with which we remember our children. It is incumbent upon us that we refuse to allow their memories to die.