Note: I have updated the warning on the front page of my blog to indicate that this story will feature the rather heavy themes of mourning and grief. Obviously we have now reached that point in the story.
I promise there is a light coming to save us from the doom and gloom, but for now, this is probably the darkest time my Rosebrooks have ever faced, and there are some heavy chapters ahead. So if death/grief/loss are sensitive subjects for you, please move forward with caution.
Thank you all for reading.
“No parent should have to bury their child.” That’s what everyone always says, right?
I’ve been thinking about that phrase nonstop for the past two days. And I agree. Completely. That’s something no one should ever have to do.
But guess what? I found out there are other things no parent should have to do either. Things that are so much fucking worse.
Things that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
No parent should have to be woken up at 3AM. By police officers at the door.
No parent should have to be told by a complete stranger that their son is dead.
No parent should have to hear the sound my wife made. Too see her crumble to the floor. And to know that you can never put her back together again.
No parent should have to see their grandson the way we did that night. Burned. Bandaged. Lying in a cold hospital bed.
No parent should have to tell him that his Mama and Papa are never coming home. Or that there’s barely even a home left to go back to.
It almost makes the burying part sound easy, right?
Well, I’ve done all of that and more within the past forty-eight hours. And I would never wish one second of this hell on anyone. Anyone.
But none of that is even the worst part.
Not even close.
I don’t know what made me do it. I really don’t.
Lettie and I decided on cremation right away. And I know Mark made the same decision we did. Probably for the same reason…
But something in me just had to know what happened to my boy. I had to see him with my own eyes, before it was too late. I had to see what had become of him.
The coroner tried to warn me. Lettie tried to warn me. Mama and Papa. Everyone.
But I wouldn’t listen.
And my God, I wish I did.
I will never forget what I saw when I pulled back that sheet.
That twisted, mangled, charred, disgusting… thing. It looked like a piece of meat. Like some sick prop from a horror movie.
But it wasn’t.
It was my son.
The happy little baby who always giggled but barely ever cried.
The sweet little boy who loved telling silly stories and eating too much ice cream.
The driven and talented teenager who blew us all away with his passion and creativity.
The brilliant musician who always followed his dreams, and made us proud every single day.
The loving and devoted husband. The caring and gentle father.
My beautiful, talented, happy son. My Lucas.
All that’s left of him now is that thing under the sheet.
It’s like it’s been burned into my mind. Etched there forever. I close my eyes, and it’s still there. I try to picture his face, and it’s all I can see.
It’s haunting me. Mocking me. Reminding me that my son is gone. Dead. Destroyed. Replaced by that… thing. That twisted hunk of lifeless flesh.
It follows me wherever I go.
And it will never go away.