The Empty Spaces


Today, 8 months and some number of days after losing my beautiful son Brendan Bjørn, I sold the wheelchair accessible van which carried him to and fro while he happily looked out the windows, a big smile usually on his face. For 5 years, the Brendan-mobile did its job well, dutifully, and was an extension of his all-too-limited freedom. Those four wheels provided him a life outside of the four walls of his bedroom. That is priceless.

Today, there is now just an empty space in the driveway and it adds to the empty feeling in my heart.

I lay in bed last night thinking about loss, about letting go, and about empty spaces. I thought about death. I thought about my own death and wondered, who really would miss me other than my younger son? It’s a genuine question and I think the answer is that no one, apart from my son, would truly ache at my passing and have their life be painfully impacted, as mine and Declan’s have been with the passing of Brendan Bjørn. Have you ever wondered the same?

That honest realisation seems to widen the void that is an empty space in my psyche.

I’ve always tended to look inward. It can be a dangerous direction to explore, but it can also be a revealing journey. Ever since the early days of working on my first University degree, I enjoyed Jungian studies. This journey into the dark space which is the empty space is daunting, though, maybe because that particular dark space actually isn’t empty. It’s filled with pain, guilt, loss, unmet dreams, and more…all of the things which keep one hurting. I tend to keep myself from looking in that direction too often because dealing with the grief at losing my first born son is enough to try to handle. But some moments, like last night while I lie there in my bed alone in the dark, those thoughts just come.

There is still one space which isn’t empty: Brendan Bjørn’s bedroom.

I managed to do a tiny bit of work in clearing out his bedroom last week. One day. The days after that I couldn’t bring myself to do further work on it. I suppose that’s how I know I’m not yet ready for his bedroom to be a space empty of the necessary items for his daily care and life. I’m not ready for it to be a space empty of him.

Not yet.
In time.

I have enough to contend with at the moment with the empty space in my heart.

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