Two Years

Me and Philip, August 2012

Me and Philip, August 2012

Two years ago today was the last time I saw Philip; February 1st, as in 2/1 or 2/01 which will make sense if you read what I wrote here.

We went to dinner at the moderately expensive restaurant called Next Door, so named because it’s next to Blu, its older, more expensive sibling. It’s the omission of the “e” that makes you think it’s okay to pay up.

We ate, we talked. When we were done Philip asked if he could leave before the check; he had to get to fencing practice. Of course you can, I said. We stood to say good-bye and the restaurant became the stage where I kissed my handsome, 6’1” son for what would be the last time. Are you all watching, I thought; are you looking at this child of mine, this beautiful boy I mothered – me, I did it – and do you see what I see?

Turned out someone was watching.  I sat to wait for the check and the woman next to me smiled. “You always worry about them, don’t you?” she said. I smiled and nodded but truth was I didn’t worry. Philip and I were solid and if what was between us was right, what did anything else matter?

Then the unimaginable – that’s what came to matter.

© 2014 Denise Smyth


40 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joyce McCartney
    Feb 01, 2014 @ 22:59:27

    Just love right now


  2. Susan
    Feb 01, 2014 @ 23:06:32

    Thinking of you! And feeling your pain burning in my chest.


  3. dharmagoddess
    Feb 01, 2014 @ 23:08:17

    Hugs and lots of love!


  4. jmgoyder
    Feb 01, 2014 @ 23:18:17

    I can feel your tears in my eyes and the shock still seems fresh and horrifying and inexplicable. Oh I am so so sorry.


  5. gracielynne62013
    Feb 01, 2014 @ 23:18:40

    Two years is such a short time when grieving a part of your heart that has been stolen by death. I hope and pray that somehow, someway you will be comforted in due time.


  6. Aimee
    Feb 01, 2014 @ 23:25:18

    Sending you lots of hugs…this must be a very difficult day for you.


    • Denise
      Feb 02, 2014 @ 00:51:19

      Oh my God – today I was thinking I should stop by your blog and send you a message. You haven’t posted in a while – are you okay, and is your son doing well???


      • Aimee
        Feb 02, 2014 @ 07:19:53

        No I haven’t posted in quite awhile, but nothing bad is going on–just taking a break. My son is doing fine…no more episodes. He still hasn’t heard back about all of his tests (apparently he doesn’t realize that if doctors don’t call you with results you need to call THEM) He’s on some new medication and it seems to be helping. Thank you so much for asking 🙂

    • Denise
      Feb 02, 2014 @ 09:30:21

      Okay – I’m glad to hear it ;o) I don’t know how old your son is, but I’m smiling about the his not calling for his test results because I hear the love in your voice; were WE ever like that? I feel like I was born responsible…heh.

      So good to hear from you xoxoxoxoxo


    • Denise
      Feb 02, 2014 @ 13:21:06

      Yes – they reach drinking age (at least, that’s what it is in NJ) and they think bam! I’m an adult. I’m 55 and still not quite sure…



  7. daveallen
    Feb 01, 2014 @ 23:44:41

    I am so sorry; I will pray that you find some comfort soon.


    • Denise
      Feb 02, 2014 @ 00:52:48

      Thank you – I hope you’re finding peace, too. You’re so very funny – and reading your blog and laughing is good for my soul. ;o)


  8. lensgirl53
    Feb 02, 2014 @ 01:12:26

    Sending love….it is all I have to give…..xoxo….dale


  9. Denise
    Feb 02, 2014 @ 01:27:06

    “It’s alll??” You’re so right – it IS all; it’s all that matters and my heart is on its knees in gratitude.


  10. tric
    Feb 02, 2014 @ 07:58:57

    This is a difficult post. As you see the smiling photo and know what happened. I think sometimes when time passes, days, weeks, months and then years we can panic, because we do not want to acknowledge the time we have been without them. The time we have been living but without them. It is as if it is distancing us from them.
    However it is not. I think as the time passes we become closer. It is a new relationship and different. I hope you can feel him close. Time will never pull you apart.


    • Denise
      Feb 02, 2014 @ 09:33:52

      You know, when I think about the future, yes – I panic. So I try to stop myself and bring myself back to the moment. Because it’s only ever now, and right now I feel close to Philip – what will change? It won’t. So often it’s the “thinking” more than the reality that’s devastating, if you know what I mean (and I think you do ;o)


  11. Rebecca Carney - One Woman's Perspective
    Feb 02, 2014 @ 08:52:24

    Hugs…What a beautiful photo of the two of you.


    • Denise
      Feb 02, 2014 @ 09:35:05

      Hugs back, Rebecca – and thank you. I hope you’re doing well…you’ve survived this so long, it seems to me, and I’m following you along.


  12. Unconfirmed Bachelorette
    Feb 02, 2014 @ 12:53:58

    What a beautiful photo of the two of you. It’s so odd to me how the images remain when they’re gone. The photos remind in vivid color, and rip open your heart. Two years with that awful void. I’m so sorry, Denise. Sending you big warm hugs across the miles.


  13. Denise
    Feb 02, 2014 @ 13:18:44

    Thank you – you know what’s worse? Thinking ahead, which I SO stop myself from doing. It’s like, okay; I’ve survived these two years, I’m still loving Philip and feeling close to him, and I have to be present for my daughter. Then like whirlwind, my mind spins ahead to 5, 10, 20 years without Philip; I can’t, I can’t, and even writing this is so Goddamn hard…

    But it’s just for now, just for right now. You, too, know grief; I’d like to think it will deepen us, open our hearts, wrenching as it is.


  14. afichereader
    Feb 02, 2014 @ 14:01:55

    Love to you, Denise.


  15. Denise
    Feb 02, 2014 @ 20:05:49

    And my open heart to you…


  16. Greet Grief
    Feb 02, 2014 @ 21:29:30

    I am so glad that you have that beautiful picture and that time together captured. My heart is aching with thoughts of your profound loss, now that your are surrounded by those who truly care.


  17. Rose
    Feb 02, 2014 @ 21:48:14

    Hi Denise,

    I haven’t posted in here in while, but today when I saw this pic I decided to stop by to tell you how beautiful the two of you look in this picture.Even though none of us were there with when when the picture was taken, we can still see the peace, warmth and the love, all the love between the two of you. Thank you for sharing this moment with us. Thinking of you, and wishing that we really meet one day…..




  18. Denise
    Feb 02, 2014 @ 22:58:24

    Hey Rose – I hope you got my last, and that you’re doing okay. I know it’s not an easy time. And maybe one day we can; we’ll figure it out.

    Love you…


  19. Nancy Power
    Feb 05, 2014 @ 16:29:39

    Hello Lovely lady, I just want to say what a precious photo that is of the two of you, precious for obvious reasons. These year on year ‘milestone markers’ are so hard to get through and I do know for sure how they tear us apart. How we hate to see the date on the calendar and realise that another year has passed without our beloved present, living and breathing and sharing our reality. But you know (and I know you do know) that we can’t stop at the first marker, however much we want to so desperately. The cliche about grief being ‘a journey’ is unfortunately an apt one – and one I have had to realise myself. I understand so very well how you don’t want to think about the future, of course you don’t, and I am not going to be the person to make you do that. You have to just take each and every day as it comes, protect yourself when you feel bad, but don’t judge yourself too harshly if you have a ‘good’ or ‘better’ day.
    My heart goes out to you Denise, much love to you xx


  20. Denise
    Feb 05, 2014 @ 17:58:34

    Grief has a life of its own; sometimes it knocks you to your knees, or leaves you stunned and tormented; its dark presence is abiding. You’ve had to realize this, you know what I mean. Philip tells me joy is the other side of grief and he urges me to the light. It’s hard. I’ve always preferred the dark, the night, the gray, the gloaming; these snowy days are heaven. When the sun reappears, I feel sad. I understand what people mean about weather affecting mood – but mine is backwards. I have to learn to live in the light, to not be afraid of it. I know that’s what my son’s trying to teach me. Yet I use his death to stay in the dark; the darkest of dark. “Don’t make my death into something it isn’t” he tells me.

    Your work makes me happy. I know I don’t always comment, but I look. So thank you for adding joy to the world.


  21. The Hatke Indian
    Feb 10, 2014 @ 05:20:39

    He left the world but still is alive in your heart , in the heart of your readers. Its just the physical absence that’s what bothering you, but everyday you give birth to him in the minds of new readers or followers of your blog. Infact, he is re-born multiple times with every passing day. Condolances are for those who had left the world , but love is for those who are still alive in any form . Lots and lots of love to your family. And please keep the fingers moving on more rapidly , I mean keep writing more. 😀

    Thank you for so nice posts.


    • Denise
      Feb 10, 2014 @ 11:11:36

      Thank you for your kindness, and your insights. I didn’t think of it that way – that I give birth to him in the minds of those reading my blog. That is some comfort, for sure. I so appreciate you reading and commenting – that’s what keeps me going.

      And lots of love back to you ;o)


      • The Hatke Indian
        Feb 10, 2014 @ 11:26:40

        Your heartly welcome.
        You are amongst the best mother. It takes nine months for a mother to deliver a baby but you with god’s grace put that up almost everyday. God bless you. He is smiling seeing your smile wherever he is.

        Keep smiling. Keep writing. xoxoxo

      • Denise
        Feb 10, 2014 @ 17:27:44

        No wonder it’s so hard to write a post; it’s like a little birth, and birth is hard. I struggle with what I’m writing before I get it right, but I need to do this. Thank you for your encouragement.


Leave a Reply to Denise Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: