07 Jul the devil is in the details
the devil is in the details
Each day brings a new set of challenges. It presents different memories, it reminds me of good times and bad, and it gives a new perspective of the details surrounding my child’s final day. Just when I think I’ve come to terms with Mason’s death, a new detail reopens my wound with what feels like a vicious twist of a wickedly sharp knife (or maybe it’s serrated, for the enemy’s pleasure…) A quick stab of guilt, a forceful thrust of grief, and a fresh wave of pain. Startling. Sharp. Painful.
I cannot control the flood of emotion or wind back the clock. I cannot fast forward the tape. I can’t undo anyone’s actions, reverse anyone’s influence, take back any words or insert new ones. I can’t prevent his radical, desperate, lightning-quick decision. I can’t warn him about consequences. I can’t reorder his steps that day. Sweet baby Jesus, I’d give anything to be able to do any of this. But, no, I’ve been rendered completely useless. My hands hang limp and my heart bleeds while the tears pour from my eyes. My legs move when they want, and sometimes I find myself standing in a random hallway or room, sobbing. Uh… really? Yep, really. Obviously, this presents its fair share of difficulties. I’ve decided it’s a good day when I can interact normally most of the day and I only cry privately. I don’t have many days like that, but I’m trying.
Here’s a question I’ve asked myself almost every single day since June 3rd: Why do I keep reviewing the details? Why put myself through it again and again? I cannot change the outcome, no matter how many variations I invent in my mind. Why, then, does my mind continue to put pieces of the puzzle together, then rearrange them, then add more, then subtract? Why does my heart stack up the memories, build up the moments, then topple them over again and rebuild, redo, review…? WHY???
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘The Devil’s in the details’? I have become intimate with that phrase. That is EXACTLY where he is. He’s there, waiting to devour my mind and heart, and destroy the accuracy of my memories. He hides himself well, presses himself deep into the corners of my mind, and uses his little knife to poke and cut and jab at me as I painfully replay moments with my boy. Did I tell him I loved him often enough? Obviously not, is the response. Did I give him everything he needed? No, you were stingy and selfish, comes the reply.
Was I available? Did I listen, really listen? Should I have hugged him more? Could I have done better? Was I the best mom I could have been? Did I fail him? Should I have protected him more? What did I miss? Will he forgive me? Does he know how very important he was to me? Did he know he was ending my life too? Will he be there to greet me when I arrive? The responses are often harsh, and unforgiving, laden with accusation. Yes, the devil is in the details and he loves it when I go looking for him. He’s a sneaky bastard, and does his very best to sound just like me when responding to my heart’s most desperate and secret questions.
I cannot stop myself from reviewing the details. I refuse to block out the memories, good or bad. I willfully embrace the ‘wave’ when I recognize its approach. I feel the subtle shift within me and sense the changing tides of emotion. I cannot stop it, and it seems to me that it is just a normal part of the healing process. Here is the learning for me…While I cannot prevent the inevitable return to the ‘details’ (like a hang nail waiting to be picked, or an itch that needs scratching), what I can do is disregard the ‘devil’ in the details. Period. That is what I control. The true answer to all of the questions my heart and mind continue to ask is this: Mason was loved. He knew it. I knew it. His friends knew it. My friends knew it. Anyone who had ever met us, knew it. Mason was loved, loved, loved. The devil may be in the details, but that doesn’t mean he gets to remain.
Hope you come back to read my next blog entitled, “It’s a good thing I’m not God.”