Home » Life » Loss and the Empath

Loss and the Empath

Okay, so I think the Universe is trying to tell me something.  I wrote earlier about the realization that any relationship with “the guy” was over.  I talked about how I was struggling with my feelings.  Truthfully, I have spent a number of days dealing with the waves of loss and acceptance that come with all of this pain.

In the wake of all of that, my youngest son finally gave up his binky.  He’s a little old for it, but I let it hang around because he was allowed to use it when he took his nap or went to bed at night. It acted as a nice soother and way to get him to sleep.  But when he came downstairs with it, I sharply told him to bring it back to his room.  I was even angrier when I came back fifteen minutes later, and he was reclining with the binky in his mouth.  

“Put the binky in your room or you’re going to lose it,” I said angrily.

“Lose it, Mom,” he answered with a smile.  I paused.  I could not believe what was happening.

“I don’t think you understand.  It’s going to be gone.  I am going to throw it in trash,” I answered.  Again he smiled at me.  There was no way it was going to be this easy.  How many times had I a bribed, begged, and discussed getting rid of this binky? Each time he stubbornly refused.

“Throw it in the trash,” he said.  I shook my head and promptly went into the kitchen and loudly threw it in the trashcan.  He was beside me in two seconds.  Yes, I thought, this is where he digs it out of the trash. But he didn’t.  He waved.

“Bye bye, Binky,” he said as he closed the lid.

“Okay, little man.  So be it.”

All day I reminded him and told him again and again that he would not have his binky when he went to bed.  I continually asked him where his binky was to which he happily replied, “In the trashcan.”  

When bedtime came around, it was a significantly different story.

“Mom, I need my binky,” he blinked sweetly.

“Buddy, you know your binky is in the trash,” I answered.

“Noooooo,” he screamed.  My heart started to race.  I knew this was going to happen.  I knew he was going to do this.  I started to think about how far down the binky was in the trashcan.  It wouldn’t be that difficult to dig it out.  “I need my binky,” he continued.  “I need it really, really bad.”  I felt how upset he was, and I could relate so completely, but at the same time, I could feel how important this moment was.  

A voice in my head said, “You can give him the binky.  It will have to go eventually, but you can give it to him now.”  It wouldn’t be terrible. It made perfect sense, but with this voice came a feeling of knowing.  He would have to deal with this loss at some point.  I could either teach him that his choice had consequences that could be easily undone and fight this battle another time, or I could stand strong right now.  Now seemed just as good of a time as any.

My little man was not happy with my resolve.  “My binky,” he wailed.  I sat and held him, knowing that when I suffer from feelings of loss I like to be held.  He cried with me beside him for about ten minutes, and then he fell asleep.  

I went to bed believing that the worst was over, but about an hour after I went to bed, my other son woke up with a sick belly.  He was throwing up and moaning in pain.  I helped him through it, got him back asleep and then crawled into bed.  What felt like minutes later, my younger son woke up crying desperately for his binky.  I cringed and suddenly became angry.  I just wanted to ignore it, let him cry it out or just give in. I pulled myself together and went into his room.  In the dark, I saw that he had switched ends in his bed and was crying.

“I want my binky really, really bad,” he cried.  I was so tired.  I felt so defeated. I also remembered that there was another binky on top of the dryer in the basement.  It was displaced months ago and never made it back to my son’s room. Again I heard the voice in my head telling me with the greatest of love that it would be okay if I just gave in.  This battle could be fought another day, but I thought about my own struggles with loss.  I knew that there was an important lesson here because even though this situation could be solved with just giving him the spare binky, there would be things in the future that could not be undone.  I could help him on his journey, and at the same time confirm what I already knew.  Sometimes in life we just have to let go of the things that do not serve us any longer.  We must appreciate the place they had in our lives when they were here. We must take the good memories and lessons and feelings of security and know that nothing in this life is permanent.  

So I took my little guy’s pillow pet and put it under my legs to keep my knees from digging into the hardwood floor as I rubbed his back.  I kissed him, but didn’t say much. I stayed like that until his breathing broke into an easy pattern and I was sure he was sleeping again.  When I realized he did not need me any longer, I went off to bed with a grateful heart.  I was so proud of his struggle.  I felt so blessed that I was given the opportunity to help him through it.  

As I laid my head back on my pillow, I thought about my own life, and the entire experience reminded me of something I just read the other day.  Bukowski has always been one of my favorite poets.  His work is so brash, harsh, real, and these words stayed with me.

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”  

-C. Bukowski

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