I try not to be a fence sitter; you know, someone who can’t make up their mind on any given topic. I’m usually pretty black or white, which makes fence sitters frustrate me! But a topic regarding a choice of two things came up this week that I just was not able to decide on. So I decided to sit on the fence.
I am following the Tim Bosma case closely, reading the newspaper daily for the latest updates. I think that the Hamilton Spectator is doing an amazing job with their coverage of this high profile story. Every day since the trial began, they have published two different stories by two different reporters: Molly Hayes and Susan Clairmont. I think that Susan can be slanted when reporting stories, but in this circumstance, I really don’t mind as aren’t we all on Tim’s side, anyways? I’m hoping that the paper continues this amount of coverage for the duration of the trial (expected to last four months). I find it so interesting that even though both reporters are listening to the same trial, they end up writing so differently about what occured that day in court.
On this particular day, it was reported that Sharlene (Tim’s wife) had given some testimony in court. And she cried while doing so. In particular, she was discussing in court that day how the love story between her and Tim unfolded. I didn’t think twice about this as crying seemed like a normal reaction to me. How can you not become upset after less than three years have passed, and you have lost the love of your life in such a horrific manner? One that she possibly even experiences guilt over, because, as we also learned on this day, Sharlene was the one who urged Tim to go on the test drive with the two who are now accused of his murder. She was worried that the truck would not come back otherwise. As we now know, the truck nor her husband returned.
The person I was speaking to remarked that they were shocked Sharlene could still cry after this much time had passed (to me, it seems like yesterday that this happened and I have no relation to Tim at all). I mentioned that she is still grieving and will probably always cry about it – even years down the road – as she has lost the love of her life in a brutal fashion. I said that I don’t think I would ever stop being upset about losing my life partner, either. The person seemed surprised by my answer.
The conversation then took a turn and evolved into deciding whether losing a child would be worse than losing your partner. And this is when I did not have a black or white answer. I don’t have any children so can’t relate completely on that front, but from what I hear others say, I think losing a child would be like using a piece of yourself. Especially if you’re the mother and actually brought that child into this world.
I can, however, relate to the partner part. I know it’s not healthy, but I worry constantly about losing Kevin. He has a dangerous commute every day to work, where he works a dangerous job. He is impossible to reach at work, as he does not carry his phone on him (due to the fear of breaking it). I worry about him all day long: I worry about him driving to work, I worry about him working all day without breaks, I worry about him when he doesn’t tell me he’s working late (because he doesn’t have his phone on him, he has no way of communicating this to me). I then worry about him driving home. I even worry that he doesn’t sleep enough (and will therefore be more prone to more danger the next day) because he goes to work so early yet rarely gets more than five hours of sleep per night. I’ve even been known to answer with “hi, what’s wrong?” if I get a phone call from Kevin during the workday. Because this is such a rarity, my mind automatically panics and thinks the worse.
I didn’t always answer phone calls from Kevin with panic. But I always remember worrying about him. That worry turned into a real life nightmare the night he called me after he had been in a car accident on his drive home from work. I started become hysterical when, after Kevin told me he’d just been in an accident, he told me, while sobbing, that he didn’t “know if he was alright.” Even typing this now (18 months later), I am still getting upset at that memory. I am so lucky that I had my parents there beside me when the call came in. The three of us were at the new home Kevin and I had just purchased, getting the house ready for painting. Mom grabbed the phone from me, spoke to Kevin calmly and then dad drove us all to where Kevin was. I know I have thanked them before for this, but honestly I don’t know what I would have done if I’d had to deal with this by myself. I had always worried that I would someday get a call like that from Kevin and that “feeling” had just become reality.
Even as I type this, I know that I sound like a crazy person. And trust me, I am working hard at worrying less and trying to free up my life from unnecessary stress. The point remains though that I love Kevin so much, that he does feel like a piece of me now. I do not know how I could go on with my life being happy – and even love again – if something were to happen to him. Especially if – God forbid – something as horrific were to happen to Kevin as happened to Tim.
So I sat on the fence. To me, I think that losing a child would be just as heartbreaking as losing the love of your life. Both are extensions of yourself. The losses would probably be felt differently, but both would be gut wrenching.
What I know with 100% certainty is that I would still be able to cry over their loss even years later.