There are supposedly five stages in the grieving process, according to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross' book, "On Death and Dying."
- Denial (this isn't happening to me!)
- Anger (why is this happening to me?)
- Bargaining (I promise I'll be a better person if...)
- Depression (I don't care anymore)
- Acceptance (I'm ready for whatever comes)
Our government is engaged in activities that we have condemned other countries for doing. None of the candidates out there impress me at all. And here is one of the dilemma that faces all those who have lost loved ones in this war. We all realize the stupidity of this war on some level. We all recognize that there should never have been a war. Yet our son's and daughter's believed in what they were doing. They felt they were helping the Iraqi people. Well, as late as 2005, anyway. Today, I'm not sure how they feel. The military suicide rate is up. Iraq war veterans are having a very hard time adjusting to life back in the states, as all veterans have. But the Iraqi veterans have more in common with Viet Nam veterans I believe in that they do not know for sure who their enemy is. I just try to live by Spadoman's philosophy: Honor the warrior and not the war. That seems to help better than anything else.
I have also been dealing with an ad used in certain areas of the country featuring my son that is in support of the war. No one contacted me from the Freedom Watch Organization about the use of his image. You can see it on YouTube, and I have spent time there defending my son from those who hate the war, accusing him of being "just another dead marine" to a "war criminal".
I am trying to stay out of the discussion. But its hard, because first and foremost I am a mom. That's what it boils down to. I'm still his mom, and will be so until I die. I am proud of that. And his legacy is so much more than being a fallen hero. He was a gifted student throughout school. He had a wonderful, wry sense of humor. He would do almost anything on a dare. He loved punk rock music. He took his son everywhere with him. He was a wonderful father. He was an avid reader, and could laugh at himself. He brought joy wherever he went, and he loved to travel. But, this could apply to all the fallen. They were all more than heroes. They were our sons and daughters, neighbors and friends, husbands and wives. And they still are.