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The Void

The Aching Hole that Won’t Let Go

This image represents the void in my life. Many of the circles around me in various colors represent all of the things in my life. Family, friends, beauty, God. Good things. They are filled in with bright colors.

As I painted this piece and began filling in the various circles, I unintentionally left the large one blank. That large circle represents me. It started with just a yellow outline. I then retraced the border in each of the colors. Simple reflections of all the beauty and good that surround me.

But something at the center remains empty and hollow. Something is missing.


Back to the picture above…

Stretched in front of me is a large chasm. A gap. Separation.

The dark spot in front of me is Quinlan¹. He’s dark because life feels dark without him. He’s small because that’s the only way I know him. Small, delicate, protected inside his mother’s tummy. And then (without warning) gone. Without a trace or explanation.


This is the void I live with every day.

I’m not often aware of what it is. I’ve learned to live with it. I haven’t come to accept it yet. I try to cope. I grasp at any beauty and light that I can find. Sometimes when I find them I strangle them to death because I’m so desperate to that fill that awful, aching hole.

Often these things provide an escape from the void — from facing that awful, empty, cavernous space between me and my son.

I’m afraid of acceptance. I think I’m afraid that if I fully accept the grief and Quinlan’s death, then the void will be widened. That I will be even further from him than I am right now. It’s fucking scary.

I don’t want to lose him, the sweet faint memory that I hold. It’s all I have. It’s all that I will ever have.

At least that’s what I tell myself. I guess if I’m honest, I’m afraid of the unknown. I’m unsure of what will be waiting for me on the other side. And that terrifies me.


¹You can read more about the story of losing my son Quinlan here.

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