Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Aaron's Birthday 2009: 22 And Not Counting

Aaron's birthday was today, the 22nd of January. He would have turned 22 this year.

If Aaron were still with us, his birthday still an occasion for joy and celebration, that small numeric coincidence would be noteworthy, perhaps an excuse for a extra bit of festivity. But with each passing year since his loss, it becomes more and more difficult to even remember when our family used to associate 1/22 with parties, fun, and congratulations. Now it's become an annual milestone to be dreaded and endured, accompanied by emotions at best bittersweet, at worst, depressing and painful beyond words.

Today is the fourth January 22nd to pass since Aaron's loss, and thus the fourth time I have posted to this blog to mark that date. In looking back, I note a progression, a change in my approach to this occasion, quite sad in its own right. The first year, Aaron's loss still so recent and raw, I determined to combat my misery and broken spirit by focusing on positive memories we had of his life, producing a long, detailed, and truly heartening recounting of joyful reminisces. On a smaller, less ambitious scale, I added to this list in 2007. And then last year, though I couldn't bring myself to uncover any further such recollections, to think any more happy thoughts, I was at least somewhat eloquent in my very inability to do so.

But today, I find myself overwhelmed with the numbness of spirit and dullness of inspiration that I had only professed in last year's birthday post. Perhaps this is simply in keeping with overall moribund state of this blog (alternate Mondays excepted). Or perhaps I have already written all there is to say - or all I am willing to say - about this subject, and can think of no fresh words, no innovative ways in which to rephrase and reiterate the feelings of bereavement and sorrow that never leave me for a single moment.

Whatever the reason, this is where I am today, in all its raw reality: aching, sad and lonely, tearful and angry, and wishing to Heaven we could just skip over January 22nd and be done with it.

As the Bard said, the rest is silence. Thanks for being here with me to read the words I can write, and between the lines of what I can't. You guys help me get through, as much as anything can. May God bless you and yours.


At 1/22/09, 8:47 PM, Blogger Gail said...

I am deeply sorry for your loss, Elie. May G-d send you and your family comfort and strength.

At 1/23/09, 2:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elie: I'm very sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

-- Clayton

At 1/24/09, 8:00 PM, Blogger SuperRaizy said...

I wish that there were words that could comfort you.

At 1/24/09, 9:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elie -- thinking of you in this painful time. There just aren't words.

At 1/25/09, 10:13 AM, Blogger torontopearl said...

Elie, no day can be easy for your family, after having suffered such a great loss. And any "special" day -- such as a b'day or a Yom Tov -- without Aaron in your midst, must make it that much harder.
May Aaron's neshama have an aliyah. And may Hashem continue to watch and protect and bless the Rosenfeld family.

At 1/26/09, 9:42 AM, Blogger trn said...

aching, sad and lonely, tearful and angry

A good description. And very reasonable.

wishing to Heaven we could just skip over January 22nd and be done with it

It is incredible, isn't it, how much power a day can have.

feelings of bereavement and sorrow that never leave me for a single moment

Elie, I have not lost a child, so you have knowledge I cannot understand, but I have experienced devastating loss, and much of your phrasing is so striking, describing feelings so familiar.

A post expressing your feelings of loss, taken together with your past posts that reflect what it is that you grieve, is a fine tribute. And this is your space, to talk about this subject -- or not -- in any way that you do.

I am glad you have this blog established, however much or little you post, so that when you especially need words of comfort, we all can be here for you.

I am so sorry you have reason to experience this pain.

Elie, you and I seem to be very alike in the way we can't help but notice not only dates but also numerical and mathematical significants. It can be cool, but it can also impose further burden.

I am sorry I was delayed in commenting on this important post. For what it's worth, I do get it and am here for you through the computer.

May you and your family be comforted.

At 1/28/09, 2:00 PM, Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Sorry I didn't see this sooner.

Much as my wrists hurt when I first broke them recently, and as difficult as the first few weeks thereafter were for me and P., I'll end up, in the long run, with little more than a pair of built-in barometers that bellyache in bad weather.

The heartache of a "break" in the family is another matter entirely.

May the One who heals the broken-hearted and binds up their sorrows bring comfort to you and you family.

At 1/30/09, 10:18 PM, Blogger cruisin-mom said...

Dear Elie, as always, you so eloquently convey your feelings. Thank you for trusting us with them.

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