My letter to Harry

Christopher Sherman

Dear Henry,

We never got to have our time together. I worked and planned and worked some more just to make sure that all was perfect for your arrival. It's important for you to know that your mother and I planned for you, moreover, we hoped and prayed for you. I wanted to feed you, diaper you and listen to your cries. I wanted to watch you grow into a young man and fulfill your own desires. I wanted to be the dad that you could come to with any problem or question no matter how personal or difficult.

I imagined that we would go fishing and I would talk about Hemingway and we would go shooting and you would brag to your friends about your sleek, black .22 rifle and how well you could hit the target. We could watch the Buckeyes and yell and scream at the TV until we pissed off your mother and had to quiet down. I wanted to help you with your homework. I wanted to give you every opportunity to live your life in your own way and teach you that happiness and love are the only true tenets to live by. Your mother and I married because we couldn't imagine being without each other. We have a wonderful life together because of our love and all of the love that exists in this family.

There does not exist, on this earth, a better foursome of grandparents than yours. Grandpa Ross would have shown you the coolest gadgets and toys that a kid could ever dream of, he is a beautiful, loving man who would have always been there for you; telling you jokes, spoiling you and quietly slipping in a whole lot of wisdom. Grandma Ross is one of the smartest women you would ever know. I believe you would have learned a lot about life from her as she is rational enough to tell you the truth, but caring enough to help you understand. I don't think that I would have survived your death without her at my side.

Your papa Sherman, my dad, is the best that there ever was and I can't say too much more than that as it would take a novel to do so. It took me a long time to know my dad and I now regret the time that I missed. You were part of the tie that bound me back to my father and I am eternally grateful to you for that. Grandma Sherman is an awful lot like your dad, too emotional and dramatic most of the time but generous and loving to an absolute fault. I still find it odd in my adult life to hear that not everyone was best buddies with their mom like I was growing up, I know she would have been your buddy too. They were so looking forward to seeing you running across the yard from your house to theirs and contesting to try and spoil you worse than Grandma and Grandpa Ross.

I could go for pages and pages about your aunts and uncles and how wonderful they all are. I will tell you only that you will go to the next life still feeling their love as it truly is strong enough to surpass even death. And I will tell you that my brothers were really looking forward to teaching you how to be bad.

I have been collecting insight on life that I wanted to share with you. Your father was a true philosopher and a poet and a writer and a misunderstood artist. I thought we would share these things and be bound together by our own idiosyncrasies. I will never truly understand the meaning of this world but I am bound to be a thinker and through that, perhaps I can someday begin to accept the loss that I feel. I will carry you with me in everything that I do for the rest of my days. We had a lot to do, you and me. We had Buckeye games, motorcycles, teething, potty training, rifles, school, arguments and maybe a thousand other things good and bad. You were the product of two individuals who are so much in love that they needed to extend that emotion and create another life to love and that will never die.

When I was just little I spent a great deal of time with my grandpa. His name was Elmer Henry Sherman and you are named for him. I take comfort in knowing that he is watching over you now just as he did for me. I also had the most loyal and dignified dog that ever was. His name is Sultan and he was your mother's protector and champion for his entire life. I take comfort in the fact that he is your champion now.

My Henry, I love you and I will always love you.


Your Dad

Christopher Sherman

You can send email to Christopher at: [email protected]
mail welcome

anniversary date 09-17-98
date of post 12-18-98

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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW