[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][text_output]Today is an anniversary.
On the day after Thanksgiving 2009, I got a phone call at 6:30 in the morning from my friend Scott Newport. Scott was sobbing but he was able to get out the words I’ll never forget. “Evan just died.”
We all knew this day would come but it doesn’t cushion the shock. I wish you could all know this family. It takes a lot of love and perseverance to live through and beyond what the Newport’s have. I wanted to share a few things with you so that maybe you will know them just a little – and be inspired just a little – and be thankful as much as you care to be.
It took awhile before Scott was ready to talk about the last eight years and how things were going since they day Evan died. In May of 2010, I did get a chance to talk to him again and just let him say what he needed to say. Take some time and listen to these 5 pieces of audio.
Poem – Death Be Denied:
Scott wrote this and shared it with his friends a couple of days ago.
Life: A Series of Natural Occurrences
By Scott Newport
With Thanksgiving only a few meals away my family is still going through the process of losing our little boy Evan. Penni and Noah will be going to her folks’ cabin in rural Kentucky with the cousins; I will stay home and work.
Our son died the day after Thanksgiving last year, only an hour after his night nurse left for the day. It was on my shift that he passed. Being thankful for anything this year has been a struggle. I know there is a list of things to be thankful for but I just can’t seem to reach them.
The last couple of weeks have been a struggle as the first anniversary of his death creeps up on us. I have already experienced these awful feelings with other “firsts.”
I can still relive the anguish of our first Christmas without Evan, when Linda our social worker suggested we light a candle as family and friends filled our home. Before we ate, we gathered around and before praying I pointed to the small, white candle on the fireplace mantel. “This candle is for Evan,” I whispered. No one said anything but it seemed to relieve a bit of the tension in the room.
Or the first Fourth of July without Evan. We visited my folks’ house by Lake Michigan, a place Evan just loved. As I walked the never ending shoreline without him, I remembered the way he loved to let the gentle waves lapping on his feet, but how he’d hated to walk on the sand.
Then there was his first birthday without him, he would have been eight. And the first Mother’s Day. And the first Father’s Day. You see, it has been a brutal year of “firsts.”
I guess if there is one thing I can be thankful for this year it is the understanding of our grief. Last week as I was driving around in my work van a revelation came to me. For the last couple of weeks I have not been sleeping well and have had a few dreams about Evan. As I drove through a major intersection that I cross every day, the thought of grief as a process came to me.
To you that may be obvious, but for me it was not. I looked up the definition of the word “process” and read this: “A series of natural occurrences.” You may say that the death of a child is nowhere near a natural occurrence and I would have to agree with you on that, but the process that I am indeed going through is the one that Penni, Noah, Chelsea, and I are all going through together, but at different rates and down varying paths.
So the idea of grief as a process was a revelation for me because I have kept trying to figure this all out and somehow understand our situation now without our little boy, my buddy. In my mind, I have been trying to see the end of all this suffering but really I should just be…I’m still not sure.
Anyway, I think on Thanksgiving Day, I will go to Evan’s grave. I haven’t been there since his bronze headstone was placed. A friend of ours paid for it because we couldn’t afford it. The reason I haven’t been there is because I feel like seeing the headstone will be another affirmation, another nail in the coffin. But maybe it is time for me to go, maybe I will be comforted and thankful in knowing that this is a process and that I can go at my own pace—even if I can’t see the end in sight.