We are really smack up against a decision point now. We know we can survive the devastating loss of Morgan; we have done so for 10+ months. The question now is we must decide if we even want to. Do we choose to LIVE again? Not just to eke out an existence but to actually embrace life? It’s hard; part of us is still numb and asleep to the rhythms and energy of a normal life. We walk a stumbling gait, with one foot in the world of the living and the other firmly planted in the land of the dead. Eventually, soon, we will have to choose and commit to one or the other.

Our friends and family cajole, and beckon, and even bully us to return to a more normal way of living. Haven’t we suffered enough yet?  The pain quota has been met. Is it time to be happy? No. There’ is still imbalance in the equation. We cannot be breathing and have suffered as much as Morgan did. How do you wall off or neutralize the too vivid imaginings of her death throes? How do you stop superimposing the hologram of Morgan’s skull on every young face you see?

This is wrong. Morgan should be at VT, settling into her apartment for her senior year, stocking the fridge and calling Dan for money and help reconciling her check book, or maybe in line at the VT bookstore waiting to buy yet another Hokie hoodie. But she is “chapwa”, finished, no more, over. We feel finished too. You know there’s not even a word for our role. It is that aberrant, that abhorrent. Children whose parents die are called orphans. Parents whose children die have no name. They are called – nothing.

That’s what we feel. That’s what we are, nothing. Trying so hard to find a way out of this wasteland and be called survivors.

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5 Responses to “Gil Harrington’s thoughts from September 1st, 2010”

  1. W.C. says:

    Your day-to-day struggle to find a semblance of normalcy in your life without Morgan breaks my heart. So much unnecessary pain. So much heartache. What a world we live in and what a world you survive in.

    I do not know you, Gil, but your writings are so gut wrenchingly beautiful with sorrow that I feel like I grieve with your family everyday and am frequently moved to tears. I am so, so sorry for your unspeakable loss.

  2. Karen from C'ville says:

    Mrs. Harrington,

    You are wrong in that you are not nothing. You are the parents of Morgan Dana Harrington and always will be.

  3. Christie says:

    Gil, I can’t even begin to imagine what you and your family have felt, and still feel. Of course “people” want you to have life and joy again. But, I believe it’s partly because the pain of what you’ve been through is so great, we dare not think about it. I don’t know if grief has a time table. I don’t think you can hurry, do things to make life more bearable, or “act” like you’re fine. You have to let yourself take as long as you need. Your pain is pain to every parent out there. I wouldn’t expect you to say, “It’s been 10 months,time to jump back into life.” To everything there is a season. I continue to pray for you and your family. May God give you His peace, even in the midst of your heartache.

  4. Jill says:

    I sit here with tears streaming down my face as I read your blog post. It’s not right – parents are supposed to leave this earth before their children. I pray and ask God to help me understand these horrible thing because I don’t understand, not one little bit. I am learning that I just have to trust….trust that God holds the answer to this and He will reveal it in His time, not mine.

    Please do not think you and Dan are nothing – you ARE something!!! You are the parents of beautiful Morgan, who was taken from your arms violently and oh so wrongly. God chose you and Dan at the very beginning because He KNEW Morgan belonged with you two. He knew you would love her unconditionally and that you would treasure His gift to you with all your hearts. Though I do not understand it, He also knew that Morgan’s life would end way too soon, but He knew that during her short life, that you and Dan were the only two people on Earth who would give her the love she deserved for the time she had with you. Do I understand why this happened – NOOOOO!! But, I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are not nothing!!!

  5. Ingmar says:

    What I feel reading this, is that it is of great importance to express to the best of one’s ability the depth of one’s suffering. Only through this expression, we are able to become aware of it, without going through the same process ourselves. Ultimately, awareness will be the one thing to change the world, for the better.

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