It’s called the Rabbit Hole, this sudden loss of a child and the grief that comes along with it. Much like Lewis Carroll’s Alice chasing after the White Rabbit and plummeting down to the antechambers that open to the madness of Wonderland; each day is met by the disillusion of reality. There was no bottle with a note attached reading “Drink Me.” There was no morsel of cake or scone with a note reading “Eat Me.” I know. I woke each morning expecting the nightmare to have been just that – a nightmare.
I prayed each night before I drifted off to sleep and dream of my Tim that I would wake up and find him running down the stairs, dragging his fingertips against the wall evident from the ever-blackening trail of five or four lines. I half expected to open his bedroom door to find Tim sitting on his bed, computer on his lap as he surfed the internet. There were days I sat in the backyard as my daughters splashed and played in the pool. I would look up at his bedroom window, hoping and praying I would hear his laughter. Each time led to disappointment. Each time reminded me that reality had been altered. The thread that held the fabric of my soul’s skein was pulled out and my universe had fallen apart like cheap counterfeit clothing.
Happenstance to what I was now experiencing, Tim had read both of the Alice novels during Spring Break this freshman year. He was anticipating a new game coming out involving an Alice now grown into womanhood. He and his sisters watched Disney’s cartoon and movie directed by Tim Burton and starred Johnny Depp. I had told him that Alice in Wonderland was John Lennon’s favorite book – Tim liked the useless plethora of trivia I possessed. Once or twice I played Jefferson Airplane’s song with Grace Slick’s contralto voice and her lyrics from the group’s 1967 album Surrealistic Pillow.
Go ask Alice, when she’s two foot small.
I just recently had Tim’s bedroom door replaced for reasons of another story. However, Tim had written a quote from Alice in Wonderland as the Cat is directing Alice to the Tea Party.
“'But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat. “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
Tim’s vandalism of the door is minor to the thought that it comes to me as a message that can be conveyed to grieving parents. I surely don’t want to be in this “club,” or “go among the mad people.” But I must because I have arrived in Wonderland and as Alice answered to the Caterpillar as to whom she was…
Alice replied shyly, “I-I hardly know sir, just at the present – at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, I think I have changed several times since then.”
I have changed several times since I woke up on May 17, 2011. Still I have to ask, “What did the Dormouse say?”
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