Places to Avoid

Lynn | Thoughts & Reflections | Sunday, October 18th, 2009

It’s been 2 years since my son was killed by an IED in Iraq. The overwhelming grief has been replaced by bits and pieces of sadness and loss, tucked away in private moments. The amazing thing is that after this time there are still the dreaded “places to avoid.” They are not places like the cemetery where Rhys is buried. That is a place I love to go, to quietly contemplate a short life, well-lived. They are not places like Rhys’ room, or his favorite restaurant, or any of the places he like to frequent. The dreaded places are not even in the company of his friends.

The places I avoid have to do with the notification of a sudden, unexpected death of someone most dear to your heart.

“What is it?” I will never forget that moment. “Our baby is dead,” Michael breathed.

Michael called me while I was driving very early in the morning on a freeway to get to a job. I thought it very odd that he would call me so early in the morning when normally he was still enjoying a warm bed. He casually asked me where I was and could I safely pull over to the side of the freeway for a second. It was LA traffic after all, but as I carefully made my way to the shoulder in the midst of the traffic, I heard Michael say, “It’s about Rhys.” My heart leapt to my throat as I pictured Rhys injured or maimed, my mind racing as to how we would get to him, how bad was it, what was expected. I stopped on the shoulder and asked, “What is it?” I will never forget that moment. “Our baby is dead,” Michael breathed.

That spot, that freeway, near the exit where I had to suddenly turn around is a place I try to avoid. I can’t completely avoid it of course, but it is definitely high on my list.

There are others, all of which have to do with that day, week, and month in time when life took a cruel and tragic turn. We cannot always avoid those places that suddenly bring that moment back as though it occurred only a moment ago. But it is best I think, to recognize the reasons that certain places bother us still, and to realize that this too is part of the healing journey we make. It is, I think, okay to avoid those places and not offer an explanation to anyone as to why we do.

As time passes, the desire to avoid a place may also pass. But the time for that decision if it comes at all, is entirely on one’s own timetable. Everything will ultimately fall into place exactly when it is supposed to. Until then, we journey onward.



Account Executive at Sika Sarnafil
Lynn is an accomplished writer and business professional with a BA in English, an MBA, and JD degrees from prestigious Universities. Lynn has worked in the construction industry for 35 years.

She is also the mother of an American Hero. Her only child, Sgt. Rhys W. Klasno was killed in action on "Mother's Day," 13 May 2007 in Haditha, Iraq. Read her American Hero Tribute Blog and check out her Roofing Solutions Wonderkid Blog

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1 Comment »

  1. Dear Lynn,

    I can only say that my heart is filled with tightness and my eyes with tears at this moment! I can’t even imagine being on the side of the freeway and hearing “Our Baby Is Dead”. I do not believe I will ever forget that! I’m so grateful to our Lord that WE are Sisters in Christ! We have the greatest HOPE!

    The places I avoid are my thoughts that do not come under the obedience of Christ!
    I love you!

    Comment by Patsy McKee — November 3, 2009 @ 2:03 pm

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