Saturday, April 15, 2017

I wonder...

Ten months. Easter Sunday is JJ’s 10 month birthday. We are in freaking double digits! 303 days since I was forced to say goodbye to my beautiful and beloved Shar. Like sands in an hour glass time moves steadily on. As is typically the case the time has both felt like a blink of an eye and slogging through the hours as if I’m stuck in tar.
Easter 2015
Spring historically is my favorite season. It brings warmth, color, light and life. This spring most days after work we go on JJ and daddy hikes exploring the beautiful red rocks of southern Utah. I’m sincerely loving my job where I feel so fulfilled and supported. Nights however can very much still be a struggle. It’s ironic, compared to winter, but as there is more and more sunlight throughout the day when the sun sets I can feel ever more poignantly the weight of loss, darkness, grief and despair in the center of my chest.

Fortunately I have a pair of terrific supports (among a host of others) in my life that are helping me manage and deal with this darkness. They include an insightful and compassionate therapist who I see monthly and an intuitive and energetic spiritual guide. This spring, independent of one another, they have both challenged me to embrace creativity and curiosity. To wonder. After nearly 12 years of confidently knowing the direction and purpose of life, that is sharing the day to day adventure with Shar cherishing all the beautiful ups and depressing downs. I no longer feel that spark and meaning in my heart. I grasp to KNOW of things that humans simply cannot know. So I hope and now I wonder.
Shar at art festival 2015
art festival 

Instead of fearing and agonizing over what the utterly blank future holds. I wonder what students I may be able to help, what adventures JJ and I will go on, what beautiful souls I’ll get to meet and learn from. Instead of fearing the unknown, if Sharry and God do literally exist, I choose to be grateful she was mine and I was hers for 12 amazing years. To choose hope, belief and wonder. What is she is doing now and if she gets to be our guardian angel? To wonder what if Jesus lived and died that we may overcome the grave? To wonder what if the Buddha lived and awoke to share a message that is the key to overcoming suffering? Instead of a host of other negative places to which my mind so readily returns, I worry, I fear, I don’t know, I am not good enough...etc. I am trying to embrace my inherent curiosity and wonder what life (here and in the next) have in store. I wonder if this will work haha but wish me luck!

This is what the philosopher and the poet share in common: both are concerned with the marvelous. Amazement is the beginning of philosophy. Wonder is a kind of desire in knowing. It is the cause of delight because it carries with it the hope of discovery. -Thomas Aquinas

Continuing the "wonder" theme with one of our fave baby songs

Saturday, April 1, 2017

#livelikeShar for JJ

People often ask me how I am doing. This can be a very complicated question to process so typically I give them a generic “alright/fine/ok, how are you?” I think to break it down more precisely compared to 9 months ago I’m at like a B+ but compared to a year ago I’m still an F. It is all extremely relative.

One of things that has most helped me work up to my relative B+ is this heartbreaking realization, Sharry literally gave her life for her son, for JJ and our love. To briefly get biblical, “Greater love hath no (wo)man than this, that a (wo)man lay down her life for her friends.” (John 15:13). Sharry gave everything for her baby and the very least I can do is to live my life for our baby. No question this is easier said than done. Just holding this thought and goal in my mind and heart fills me with profound tenderness for JJ and I like to think that at least a portion of where that love comes from is his angel mom filtered through me.

I want to be clear. My life is not sunshine and nonstop JJ and Daddy fun. I struggle. A LOT. The BD3 would not be surviving if it was not for an amazing support network composed of Deckers, Buhanans and the staff and students of my school. I am not very patient, I get grumpy when I’m sleep deprived (serious caffeine addiction in the works), and between my overwhelming grief and learning to be a daddy I often feel so lost and alone. There are nights when I remind myself that JJ would have been far better off if I were the one to die and his angel mama was still here with him rocking him to sleep at night and holding him close to her heart. BTW I really do believe that but obviously it’s not something I need to have my mind dwell all.

But I am trying. JJ and my job, where I’m able to love and help lots of awesome and sometimes frustrating teenagers, are the two reliably great things in my life. I adore and cherish the little guy and with Sharry as my guide (through her love, writings and roadmap) I am trying my very best in my broken B+/F state to celebrate life as much as I possibly can and to live for literal piece of her.

Enjoy some beautiful JJ 9 month pictures courtesy of my talented photographer sister Jennifer Kastleman. Isn’t he a cutie!? And his eyes look brown like his mama's in most of these pictures!