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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Where Angels Fear to Tread (not about the book) (09/08/11)

By Pamela Weeden


I didnít see you the day you died. Iíd been working, so had you. We were two ships passing in the night; not time for talk. Youíd gone out without your coat, thatís all I was concerned about. I wish Iíd known. I wish Iíd realised that our time had ticked away, no sand left in our timer, no minutes on our clock. Gone.

I was angry with you. Youíd spent all your wages on an iPod and a laptop, no money for your rent yet again, no reasoning with you. Seventeen, earning; we couldnít get through to you. We tried to get you thinking about putting a bit away, saving for a home of your own, preparing for your future...your future. Seems ridiculous now.

I donít remember much about that night after the knock at the door came. Blue lights, sirens, the police car going so fast. Everyone panicking and you just lying there. One nurse, she came and told me youíd gone. Gone. Just like that. All that life, promise, all that energy ... gone. And then I was gone. Just like that. I donít remember anything else. They tell me thousands came to the funeral, that traffic stopped, that they released balloons for you. I donít remember.

I do remember that the coroner told me you had the most beautiful eye lashes. I do remember the snowman we built on your grave that first winter and the champagne we drank there on the day you would have been eighteen. The way you believed in Father Christmas for the longest time! I do remember you arrived a bit early and I had no cot ready. I had to keep you in a drawer in my bedroom for a while, till I got some money together.

I do remember that sometimes I didnít like you. That you had needs I couldnít always recognise or understand. I do remember that sometimes I wished you were someone elseís child.

I didnít mean it.

And now youíre gone.

For a while I wanted to be there with you, to go where youíd gone. Living, well, I didnít want to do it anymore. Inside my head the guilt, it was screaming at me. I couldnít sleep, I couldnít breathe. I thought about it, coming to find you. I really did. But other people, they kept hold of me. They found the glue and they started sticking me back together again, one little piece at a time. The trouble is, I canít be what I was. Thatís the thing I canít explain, the thing no one gets. Itís why I canít drink beer anymore, why I changed my cigarettes. They are the old me. That is gone too.

Some of your friends came to see us a few weeks after you died. They gave us film theyíd taken of you doing stunts on your bike. I watched it over and over. Why didnít I know you could do these things? Why didnít you tell me? All these sides of you hidden from me. When we picked the music for your funeral, had we got it right? Was it really your favourite band? Did you honestly like Japanese art or was this something I imagined? I thought I knew all there was to know. I find myself wondering about other things: Had you smoked? Did you drink? Had you ever had sex? Would you have told me even if you had? Most of all I wonder this: why is it that you had to go before I could discover you?

You were my only child. At first, I wondered if I had stopped being a mother after you had gone, that I had no right to the name anymore. Then I found I couldnít be a wife anymore either. I was no one. Itís going now, that feeling. I can understand a bit more now that you might be gone, but youíre still mine. That fact, it canít be changed.

Sometimes now, I remember more of the things that we laughed about, that you would have found funny. I think thatís a good thing. It makes me realise that you are gone, but not altogether far away.

I will always love you.

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This article has been read 619 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 09/16/11
This brought tears to my eyes. I feel the MC's pain and anguish. The troubling thoughts and endless "what ifs" - Somehow I beleive this is a true story/incident, which makes it that much more powerful.

If this is a true story; I pray that healing comes to the person who experienced this, and the realization that he is with the Father in heaven, and doing all those things he did so well.

In heaven, all things are forgiven...Forgive yourself.

God Bless~
Sharon Brooks09/16/11
Powerful, gripping and realistic. My heart not only breaks, but prays for a hopeful next chapter. "All things are possible..."
Thank you for sharing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/17/11
This is a powerful testimony that ripped my heart apart. I can't imagine the pain you must have felt.

My only critique would be it doesn't really seem to fit the topic. However, I hope writing this helped the healing and grieving process If it does that's all that matters. I also think it will make other parents realize how fragile life is and I know I will take extra time to hug my daughter and learn a bit about her day more.God bless you for sharing such a difficult story.
Lillian Rhoades 09/17/11
Emotion-packed and gripping.
Held my attention. I loved the simple, concise title, and I like how you broke up your musings with a few one line sentences. Your final sentence was brief, but dramatic - a perfect ending!
One observation: Did you mean to write, "not time...or no time?" I also had to think about this: "Now that you MIGHT be gone."

Each word drips with pain and pathos. Not sure if it hit the target for the topic, but very nicely done.
Patricia Turner09/17/11
This pulls at my heart strings. I hope it isn't a true story - yours anyway. God bless you for sharing if it is and may He give you comfort. This is so well written and it seems to come right from the heart. Very well done.
Pamela Weeden09/18/11
Thank you for your comments. It is a true story but it is not mine; Max was my nephew. He drowned in drain in a flooded field after his foot became stuck. He was 17. It was all over the news in the UK at the time. This is written for his mum, Kate. She has really suffered over the last three years. As a family, we all miss Max enormously but none of us hurt like his mum and dad do.

When I thought about Where Angel's Fear to Tread, I thought about feelings that are so hard its difficult to see light in them. I thought about Kate and her grief.
marcella franseen09/18/11
I cried the whole way through. I will be praying for Kate and your family. You wrote this very well. A horrible story, but you told it well. You must have walked very close to Kate during this tragedy to be so in tune with the anguish. In an abstract way, I felt it did fit with the subject matter.
Mark Kinsman 09/18/11
This was powerful and directly on target.Though Angels protect and comfort, they are immune to the emmotional horror of a loss so excrucinatingly painfull that God himself used this sacrifice to redeem fallen man! You described this human agony with profound depth and sincerity. You have narrated us through the most painfull hurt to which the human soul can be exposed. A place where angels cannot tread. Your acceptance of the painful indictment of a writer to relive and describe the most painfull of human conditions has earned you graduation to ther next level.
Ebony Murdoch09/19/11
This was a emotionally gripping. Thank you for sharing this with us. The writing was excellent from start to finish; praying for Kate and your family.
Noel Mitaxa 09/20/11
The hardest moments in the funerals I take are when I look into the eyes of parents who have outlived their children. You have captured the heartache and the unasked, unanswerable questions that are in their eyes.
It may appear slightly off-topic; but obviously Max has lived "to the max," going (like all indestructible teenagers) where angels fear to tread! I hope it rates well, because it is beautifully written.
Jan Ackerson 04/29/12
Pamela, I'm going to feature this entry on the Front Page Showcase for the week of May 21. Look for it on the FaithWriters home page--and congratulations!
debra little05/27/12
Helen Curtis05/28/12
Oh my, Pamela, this was so hard to read. As a mum to 3 young boys, this would be the most horrific thing I could ever imagine having to go through; brings tears to my eyes just contemplating the grief Max's parents must have (still are) going through.

Beautifully written; thank you for sharing it. Blessings.