WTF Tuesday

The following post contains images that may be disturbing to some readers.

In 2019, I recommitted myself to WW and sliced an itty-bitty time sliver out of every Tuesday to dedicate to weigh-ins and meetings. My new schedule coincided with a new season in my life. After nearly nine years of healing from messy divorce consequences, I finally exhaled: gray days ahead, but a glimmer of hope. Or so I thought.

“Everything that seemed so important days ago is now as worthless as a pebble.” ~ Orhan’s Inheritance, Aline Ohanesian

Busy beaver, I rushed through every Tuesday with purposeful work and at day’s end a resolve to weigh, record and jubilate over shredded ounces or, optimally, pounds. I kicked up my heels, tap danced on a golden wellness stage even when the scale tipped in the opposite direction, because achieving goals require a certain degree of disappointment.

It was a dull, lifeless, cloudy Tuesday like today. It was November 19, 2019 in the early afternoon. Ironically, I spent the week prior researching ligature frames for a client’s artwork for a psychiatric hospital. Now, I was working remotely, feeling particularly charged and satisfied, and then….The call. The words, the seething mass of flames that inflict every pain center in your * brain, body and crevice of your being without sense or mercy.


“Everything that seemed so important days ago is now as worthless as a pebble.” ~ Orhan’s Inheritance, Aline Ohanesian

There is no smooth transition in writing or in life that can bridge a reader and/or life traveler to the sudden, traumatic moment of raw reality that sparks when you* receive a call from a coroner, named Mary, with a Southern twang in a state some 600 miles away who asks you if you are the mother of a 26-year-old son named Marshall. Once you reply, she asks you if you are driving and, if you are, instructs you to pull over to the side of the road.

“As such…” “In following…” “Furthermore…” “Shockingly…”

There is no transition, even if choppy, to prepare you for Mary’s flamed words that leap through the phone’s gas chamber, crackle and hiss and spare no part of your heart, soul or any body part.

“Your son’s co-workers found him dead hanging in a closet. They tried to resuscitate him, but couldn’t.”

Sounding so matter-of-fact and cold like a refrigerated morgue, the woman, you surmise, lies. Your socks, printed with colored pictures of Michael the Archangel, reassure you that moms wearing angel socks are spared fires-of-hell words from coroners that shock you, only to later interrogate you.

“Why didn’t you call 911?” “Did you know your son was sleeping on a bare floor without a mattress?”

After the demon hangs up, you wail and roll on the hard wooden floor where your only son had once walked, trotted and ran as a boy, adolescent and young man. All you desire is to open the floor up like a gas chamber and willingly take the plunge, but there is no escape.

It has been four months, 12 days since I found out the news that my beloved son, my best bud, my past, present and future, took his own life. In those early days, I wondered about so many things, including how I could ever return to writing blog posts about faith.

My close writer friend, Laurie, advised me a couple months after we buried my son, to write about how I have NO faith. How I question faith. How each and every moment is the dark night of the soul.

In fact, when people ask how I feel facing the pandemic and turbulent state of the nation, I honestly reply, “Fine.”

Not to minimize the toll that the pandemic has taken on numerous lives in so many different ways, but I do believe most people will survive and there will be solutions that include new coping strategies and breakthrough medicines. For me, it’s final. I will never see my son’s fluffy eyelashes bat wildly when he’s talking and excited. The same eyelashes I loved to brush against on my face when he was an infant. I will never feel safe and protected and, oh, so proud, standing next to him as he towered over me like a straight arrow. I will never relish hearing his deep voice or his silly laugh that mimicked mine. Or marvel in how much he looked like his younger sister. At every turn of my life, he is there in a Marshall memory. I will spend the rest of my life feeling as helpless as I did once when I ran down every aisle in a department store searching for him when he was a toddler. This time, I will not find him seconds later. This time is permanent.

My fate, right now, is final. I can’t feel nor can I comprehend the afterlife at this given moment, so please spare me.

Frankly, I just carry grief and feel numb, and I wait. What do I wait for? I don’t particularly know. I just wait. Someone said when you lose a loved one; imagine him or her as being in the next room. So, maybe my life right now is securing the most comfortable seat in a waiting room, because I have to be gentle on my body of hurt.

“Everything that seemed so important days ago is now as worthless as a pebble.” ~ Orhan’s Inheritance, Aline Ohanesian

So what became of WW? Let’s just say that the paperwork from the last meeting I attended is deposited inside a basket where I left it four months, 12 days ago. The WW literature is tucked out of sight just like my angel socks. I will wait until I revisit these things, and so many, hidden grenade pain points of my life. None of it, like rolls of toilet paper, is really that important in the scheme of a life.

*Switches to third person to shield me from further unnecessary pain