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For Natasha’s Sons – How the Lost Boys Mourn March 22, 2009

Posted by voolavex in Social Issues.

For Natasha and her sons

In my heart and mind I see the lost boys of Natasha Richardson mourning in a way that only boys of that age can mourn.  I saw William and Harry mourn that way. And most of all I see my baby brother mourn his loss when it happened to him.  Mothers lost suddenly, unexpected, with no chance to say goodbye.  Lost without the chance to save the day and make it stop. 
These boys – of this certain age, carry this unique loss all their lives.  The future  has ended as their own future starts. Their special talents and triumphs bloom harder without the special nurturing that brings them to fruit sweeter and fuller .  Their edges – beginning to firm – firm sharper and faster without the softened edges a mother can smooth.  Who encourages them to tenderness and caring now?  Who wipes the most private and personal tears and  embraces  the weeping when it comes, no matter when or why?  Who feeds the dog or cat let behind no matter how many times they promise to do it.   Not every mother merits this special grief – I suspect every mother thinks she does – but those who do are seen in one way or another in every step of their lost boys lives. 
The space that stays relentlessly empty lives within the heart and mind of these boys.  Part of it dreams of a day when it will all be back  to before ; part of it moves between happy memories that inevitably lead to tears of longing and regret.  But it never seems to resolve itself. Nor should it. The sadness encourages the memories and the memories allow growth and consolation. Leave them with their mothers forever frozen in time – young and loving – still vibrant and perfect. 
 Somehow many of them seem to be fair-haired  mothers, adding to the those tales of princesses and kisses that awaken even those held hostage by evil spells.  But to a son, every mother is that princess and this is the most evil spell imaginable. No kiss will fix it.  If only.
So this is how the lost boys mourn and learn, much to soon, to be strong and brave because their mother would have wanted that.  Although I am not sure, as a mother, that is what I would want or expect.  Little boys driven into manhood by loss and the energy that coping with loss requires. Would I insist that, with it all, they must be brave and manly too.  I don’t think so.
At this most grievous moment – give them time; allow them tears; encourage them to remember, because no matter how you cope – they will mourn longer and harder and sadder than you can imagine.  Burying their faces into sweaters to find her in the smell; listening to music she loved and still trying to be the little boy they were until that day arrived.
This is the way the lost boys mourn – try to ask nothing more of them. Abandon stiff upper lips, brave macho gestures, holding it in. The silences, the tears, the anger – embrace these boys and rock them and  simply let them mourn as only they can.


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