the scars of our sons

My son is dead on the street. A part of me lay dead, too. The whole of me crumples over with the weight of ‘Why?’

I look around at everyone watching and hope they do more, hope they witness to my irrevocable, unspeakable loss in broad daylight.

Don’t let me bury my son alone.


Will you step in as a pallbearer for our dead? The mothers want to know – will you walk with us the final distance to the mouth of the grave?

All life is lost, whether to old age, sickness or the anxieties too heavy to shoulder with our frail human frame. We know that, really we do. But many of our sons go down fighting the color of their skin, brown puddles on the pavement. Mingled with their blood – splattered dreams and unknown possibilities staining their brand new Nike trainers.

So will you shoulder the weight of our sons, hoisted high in a coffin too soon? Will you sit graveside – so close that there’s no light between us?  And will you let us weep out of control, wrecking your best sweater set with our tears (we’ve been through all the tissue in the house already)?

Can you bring a homemade pecan pie to the wake? We can eat together, but forgive us if we just push the pie around our plate. Our appetite for sweetness is diminished these days. But you eat – and let us bring out the worn photo albums and show you the baby pictures, tell you our favorite stories of our beloved boys. “Gone too soon” we’ll say. (Just nod and agree with us, “yes, too soon.”)

Please stay when things turn dark. Share the quiet with us – the silence of our sons is the hardest to stomach. Sometimes people forget – the news trucks drive away and the media features other matters. But we never let go, we stand as living tribute to our boys. Will you stay?

If you are with us, healing might be near. We might dare to hope for resurrection.


Don’t let me bury my son alone.

I don’t want the cameras, reporters, bloggers there. No tweets required.

But friends – come.

Peacemakers – come.

If you are sad and speechless like me – come.

If you’ve lost your son (or are afraid you might) – come.

There’s room at the graveside for all the mothers bereft of sons, there’s room enough for all who would mourn with me.


I’ve been told that even if you don’t come, I won’t stand by his grave alone. The Mother and her Son will be with me. I will hold her hand, squeeze it so tight, and we will remember the scars of our sons.

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5 thoughts on “the scars of our sons”

  1. sandy hay
     ·  Reply

    Sad and speechless…I will come Kelley.

  2. Lisa B
     ·  Reply

    Wow! Powerful. Feel. The. Anguish.

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