Sunday, August 28, 2016

Life as a Novel

Sometimes it seems as if I am living in a novel. I am just a character in it. And Isaac was a main character that was left behind in an earlier chapter. He played his role but it ended. Now he is a part of my life as novel but the story moves  on without him. Each  day a short  boring chapter with  a  small  epiphany  of  remembrance  and  grief  every now and then. But softer now. Less intense. Story balanced between  a  gentler  pain  and  even  happiness  at  seeing people I love who are still in my book.

He is called out again on a regular basis like an event that shaped the protagonists life. Protagonist? Did I say that? Am I a good force in the story? I dont know. How good can I be leaving my son back on an earlier page in the book? Can I be good if I have found a way to live without a major character in my life novel?

I  may  really  be  the  antagonist.    A  villain  because  I  no longer think of my son every minute of the day. Because I have made some room for life as well as death? Aren’t I supposed to always be in mourning for his loss?

Well, I am. But it has morphed. The pain that is. It is no longer white hot. It sometimes even cools to be just a small aching inside my gut that could pass for simple depression. A basic tenderness that is always there but is so much smaller now than it was before. A sadness that puts a thin gray shroud over full happiness

A grief I have been learning to live through with the help of others like Compassionate Friends. .

I  perhaps  have found a new existence  balancing on that one remaining foot so now I am not always aware that I have  lost  the  other  leg.  It  is  there  always.  That  is  the nature of phantom pain after all. But the excruciating pain that was first there when Isaac was ripped from me has given way slowly. Almost imperceptibly as the days go by and the book in which I am a character goes on to its end.

And what will that end be? Don’t know but I think about it often. Will I see Isaac in some other realm? Will he and I be joined in some spirit and be glad in each others presence? Or will I just close my eyes and be gone. The grief finally ended completely?

Will my novel life come to a crashing finale? Or will I just fade into a chapter in someone elses life? To be mourned for a while and let go as life moves on? As I have moved on from death and excruciating pain to whatever it is my life is now. Balancing. On one foot but at least balancing and not falling over every day.

For that I am grateful.

If this excerpt from my book Standing on One Foot resonated with you, please feel free to go to to order a no cost copy of the book Standing on One Foot. As a result of generous donations there is not charge for the book or shipping. Just put TCF in the promo code for a no cost copy.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Groundhog Days

Excerpt from Standing on One Foot by Neal Raisman
This is from Standing on One Foot, a book about loss, deep grief  and pain, then finding ways to re-engage in life by learning to balance with a major part of my life gone.
We made the Kickstarter goal so I will be printing 450 copies of the book and giving them away fro free. I will post the address to get a copy soon.

Ground Hog Days
The   first   weeks   and   months   were   like   the   movie Groundhog Day. I began each day the same way. Waking. Feeling a free floating anger. Seeing his body on the floor and shuddering in the reality of his death.

Struggling to push myself out of bed. Not wanting to get up. The bed and sleep being the only place and time when I could momentarily forget reality.  Sleep became a blessing. A time when the horror of that day did not repeat itself endlessly like a looped bit of video.

Finally shoving myself to get up. Get dressed. Trying to remember  to  shower.  Cleanliness  seemed  such  a  small issue the first days against the enormity of what had happened.

Then go downstairs to drink coffee. Eat a little something. Take  my  meds  which  seemed  foolish  because  I  was  not fully sure I wanted to keep on going. In fact it seemed that the only way to stop the same day every day was to end them all.

I would push myself through the day. The first weeks just sitting on the couch trying to get some energy to do something. Not going to work which seemed so pointless now. Especially for people I did not like to work for.

And the day would slip by in people coming over to pay their condolences. Going through the same charade each time.  yes,  thanks  for  asking.  I  am  doing  okay when  I wasn’t. They should have known that and not even asked,.

What a dumb question. Of course I was not alright. I just lost my son. How the hell do you think I am. I really am?

The finally going back to work. Pushing through the day with the image of my dead son ever-present in my mind. Not needing all the people asking how I was doing and forcing me to claim I was fine when I wanted to scream at them. How the hell do you think I am doing? My son just died you moron. I am doing horribly and your asking just brings it all back. Thanks for your faux concern.

But  saying  okay  considering. Considering  that  my  leg was just ripped off and I cant stand on the remaining one all that well.

Making it through  the day to go home where now there were  not  other  mourners.  Weeks  having  gone  by  and people dropping away. Staying away for fear they will get sucked into our grief. That death could be catchy.

Watching TV but not seeing or hearing it. Going to bed finally  for  some  peace. Falling  asleep  finally  after  laying there   thinking   that   my   son   was   dead.   Gone.   Finally sleeping. Waking. The free floating anger at waking and having to face another day. Seeing his body on the floor and shuddering in  the reality  of  his  death. Struggling  to push myself out of bed. Not wanting to get up Life as Groundhog Day.

If this excerpt from my book Standing on One Foot resonated with you, please feel free to go to to order a no cost copy of the book Standing on One Foot. As a result of generous donations there is not charge for the book or shipping. Just put TCF in the promo code for a no cost copy.