He spent a week with me and my kids, shortly after my husband died, and I remember taking a drive with them up to Lake Isabella - all of us crammed into the car. I remember lots of laughter and lots of fun and music.
Mike was born just two months after my oldest child. His mother and I spent a lot of time together, just young moms trying to figure out our way around motherhood. She watched my daughter for me while I went back to work. I have lots of photos of them together as young children. Now I will have to seek them out and remember him as he was.
I have heard it said so many times: A parent should never have to bury one of their children. It goes against nature - the oldest of us should not outlive the youngest. To see potential lost, dreams unfulfilled, to realize that Mike will not see his beautiful girls graduate from college, marry and have children, it goes against the whole concept of the circle of life. It isn't supposed to happen this way. And yet, what can we do about it? Absolutely nothing, except mourn and question that which we do not comprehend. Given time, we will pick up the threads of our grief and continue to put one foot in front of the other as we march onward. But our brows will have more furrows and our laughter may not come as quickly.
I pray that God will not visit death upon this family again soon and rob us of our youngest members. I still question his taking Doug and suppose, even with acceptance, I will always grieve. I have never lost a child but Doug was closer to my heart than my natural son. I can only imagine what my cousin is enduring and I wish it wasn't real. But it's not a dream, it's reality of the worst kind. You don't wake up from this.
Mike was just 41. He leaves a wife and two daughters, one in college and one in high school.
If you read this please remember them along with his mom and dad.
Dirge Without Music
"....Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned."
~~~Edna St. Vincent Millay
My Life CLosed Twice
My life closed twice before its close---
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me
So huge, so hopeless to conceive
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.