In September 2014, my second son -Thomas Knox (lovingly called Tommy or Tinker or both)- passed away of a sudden brain seizure. I have been writing about my grief journey openly hoping it will help others live in the present moment. This essay is about Tommy’s ashes and what they mean to me. But most importantly, this essay is about breathing and life. What you do with it, what you make of it.
Have you ever looked at human ashes ?
If you look closely, you are struck by how meaningful they are. They hold secrets, bones, dust. With them, Tommy’s future, desires, dreams, DNA. The man he would have been , the innocent baby he was.
Days leading up to Tommy’s birthday are of the most vulnerable for me. He’s birth, as dramatic and electric has it was, reminds me that he was in human form, that he had a chance, that he had a breath.
After almost two years of dealing with his shocking loss, I am finally able to say that its added a dimension to my life I had been blind to all along.
Mary Oliver writes:
Are you breathing
just a little
and calling it a life?’ .
Because of you Tommy Tinker, I am able to breathe-A LOT. I strike life face fucking first. I feel more.
I forgive more. I love more.
It’s that simple.
Now I ask you.
Are YOU breathing just a little and calling it a life?
You have a chance. You have a breathe.