The last week has been really hard.  I’ve had trouble sleeping and had many, many flashbacks to the events of the night he died.  They appear as a series of montages that reflect the shifting mood in the ICU as Kiran’s condition worsened and the initial confidence of the medical team gave way to increasing desperation through the night, culminating in his death.  How do you survive watching impotently as your child dies?  Your job as a parent is to take care of your child, to do whatever is necessary.  What do you do when your best is just not good enough?

Watching the coverage of the earthquake in Haiti has also been difficult.  We cannot stop thinking of all the parents who’ve lost their children, and the children who’ve lost their siblings and parents.  Not only have they lost family, they’ve lost so many of the anchors in their lives – home, job, possessions.  What do they hold on to?  How do they cope?  I cannot begin to imagine.

I’ve always liked these lines from John Donne’s Meditations XVII, but their resonance is much deeper now.

No man is an island, entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less,
as well as if promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were.
Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind;
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

In the last year, whenever we’ve heard a story of a child’s death, we can feel their parents’ desolation and we are transported back in time and lose Kiran all over again.

We had the one-year remembrance service for Kiran yesterday. I was mostly able to stay present in the moment – sharing memories about Kiran and enjoying catching up with a lot of people.  There were other moments when the whole situation seemed surreal – when I would find myself struggling to play a role – a novice actor in an unfamiliar, Kafka-esque play.  Still, I’m really glad we did this. I think it went well.  My favorite moments were watching the children who were there run around the space enjoying themselves, especially when they were playing with some of Kiran’s toys.

So what happens now?  We’ve spent the last couple of months anticipating the holidays and the anniversary of Kiran’s death.  We put together the website, set up the blog and organized a remembrance service.  The idea that we are doing something for him inspires us. Today, once again the future seems to stretch out in front of us.   We are always thinking about Kiran, he is always in our hearts, but how do we honor his life every day? Especially as the routine of our daily lives takes on a momentum of its own.  This is one of the big challenges we continue to face as we try to learn how to live again and make plans for a future.