Wednesday, August 5, 2009

To Read or Not To Read

Tomorrow I will finally receive the AK 15-6 incident report detailing the day my son was killed. I requested it 18 months ago. The first copy was lost before it got to me. When things like this are delayed I have always found that the information comes to me when I am ready or need it. I will admit though I am absolutely terrified to read this report. But there is also a part of me that wants to tear right into it and read every word. I'm very torn.

The fact is I probably know 95% of what is in the report. Micheal's guys have been good about answering our questions. But there are still some what I call Rule 32 questions. Rule 32 being "Don't ask questions you don't want the answers to". I have never asked about Micheal's specific injuries. I have a good idea but I am content with the surgeon telling me he died of internal injuries. I also know there are parts they will have blacked out for security reasons. Like the names of the bastards who killed my son. I was told I had to wait 5-10 years for that information. Now honestly a year ago I would have gone hunting if I had had those names.

So tomorrow a SGT will drive for a couple hours to hand us a report. It is standard procedure to hand deliver these reports. Which is somewhat telling in itself. And I will either open it up and read it or I will put in a drawer with my son's things. One thing I will know and find comfort in is.. I will now have the choice to read it or not. As will the rest of the members of our family. And years from now it will be available to my son's nieces and nephews if they want to know a little more about their Uncle Pokey. And maybe it will keep them from romanticizing death in war. I think that is a big part of why I needed this report.

I know my husband is against too much information. Knowing doesn't change anything. But for me knowing helps me come to terms a little easier. As much as it hurts sometimes it is like I am cleaning the infection out of my soul. The scars will remain forever but if I don't purge some of this the pain gets far too intense. And sometimes the only way for me to purge is to make myself hurt by facing the things I often work hard to avoid.

2 comments:

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 08/06/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

A Soldier's Mother said...

Years ago, my youngest son was complaining that his leg was bothering him. I took him to the doctor, who told me to have it X-rayed. After the X-ray was in, the doctor looked at it and said he thought he saw...and named a disease - a hip degeneration disease in which the bone breaks down and then rebuilds itself...only, if it comes "too late", it won't have time to repair itself before there being permanent damage. Too late, was after the age of 6...my son was 7 at the time.

The doctor wasn't sure, so he told me to go to a specialist in Jerusalem and, in the meantime, "don't go reading the Internet." He was afraid I would get frightened...which I did...because of course, I ran right home and began researching it. What I found, because I didn't have any real medical guidance, was more horrible than the reality might have been.

In the end, thank God, my son didn't even have it...

My point - sometimes you just have to read it and research it...knowing, as you said, that it will cause you more pain. I don't know what you should do - read it or not...you have to go with what you feel is best for you. Same with your husband. If he doesn't want to read it...he shouldn't. You've been through the worst you can ever endure...there can't be anything in that report worse than you already know and yes, I think you are right - sometimes you have to climb down into the hole to really get out of it. Sometimes you have to really enter the grief before you can...well, not be free of it, because I don't believe that will ever happen, but learn to deal with it, I guess.

Whatever you decide, please know that there are so many people out here thinking of you, praying for you, and sending you their love and prayers.

Paula