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Remembering, when I drive

July 11, 2010

Many times, I think of things to write when I’m driving. I have plenty of time to think, on my drives to work and home again. Time to cry, time to rage, time to contemplate the reasons, time to ask questions that’ll never be answered.   Today, I was thinking about how I feel like I should hide how I really feel.  That people who have not walked this path, no nothing of how I feel, nothing of the grief that is the constant companion of a child-lost parent.  Among my thoughts, I realized I am not being fair to those who have suffered a loss of some kind, or that the loss they might be feeling, probably is the worst they have ever experienced. While I have experienced a loss no one wants to know, a loss no one wants to try to understand. A loss that is beyond explanation.

I think…maybe no one wants to hear about my grief. No one really gets me, or my pain, unless they have lost a child too.  My pain is not easy to be around…hell, I don’t even want to be around it, why should I expect others to be there for the show?

I am not forgiving of others right now…I cannot see past my own pain, to care about others, unless they have lost a child too.  Does that make me a mean person? Had it changed me so much, that I will not be able to commiserate with others in their life’s ups and downs? I don’t know…only time will tell that one. I know that I think I should be more understanding of others…but two seconds later, I get mad, and think, WHY DOESN’T ANYONE TRY TO UNDERSTAND MY GRIEF?  Hell with me being understanding…I can’t…not right now.  Maybe not even in a few years.  In my point of view, NOTHING equals the loss of a child. Nothing.  I would miss my parents, should they die, but I know that I will miss Michael with every breathe of my being.

I have come to see, that finding the new normal, means redefining life.  Redefining what I believe, how I believe, how I react to others around me, how I approach new things, so many things are now up for a ‘defining moment.’    And it usually happens when I’m not ready.  How to deal with going back to work, going into a grocery store (or any store), going back to church, finding a new place to live, dealing with relationships that aren’t healthy, KNOWING what is healthy and what’s not, finding out my limits are now so narrow, so very narrow. Coming face to face with the ugly side of grief isn’t fun, let me tell you.

And grief IS ugly.  The process of grief is ugly. I can see why people fade from your life, when the horrible happens.  You just don’t have the will, patience or attitude to deal with the selfish, ‘small’ people you know or are around.  And that is mean, but it’s the ugly truth.  In times of grief such as mine, you find out who is true, and who isn’t, and you deal with it.  You deal with it, by calling the person out on stuff, or just dropping them from your life.  You do whatever is healthy for you.  Grief is also very selfish.  Because of my grief, I’ve turned more inward, and yes, selfish.  I think it’s a protection mechanism.  Said that way, who would blame me?  In nature, you hear of animals who are mortally wounded, they disappear from their pack or family, and hole up somewhere alone. They curl up, and lick their wounds, they are vicious to anyone who comes to help them, even when it’s the pack or family they once defended to the death, so to speak.  Only when they are healed and whole do they come back to the pack. Only when they have dealt with the gaping wound, do they reappear to live life again.   Sometimes, I feel I’m that wounded animal…and anyone who comes near, or looks in the slightest way threatening, I attack.  Well, not literally. But I make harsh judgments, rash decisions, and stubbornly hold my ground.  Regardless if that snap choice was the right/accurate one.

No one can explain the path of grief from losing a child, but those who’ve walked before me.  They know what I’m headed, what I’ll face.  Many try to be as loving as they can, by listening, loving, and caring for me.  Sometimes, many times, I’m not the best person to be around.  I can’t just fake my way through life. I can’t gloss over Michael’s short life, and act like it doesn’t hurt me.

I see people, when they realize I’m in the room.  The mood shifts, oh so slightly. People are more aware of what is being said…the tone changes to one of edginess.  Oh, how I wish that I wasn’t the cause of that shift. People don’t know how to be around me, they don’t understand that my ride through grief has taken me somewhere, no one wants to go.

I close my eyes, and see myself, clinging to the edge of a cliff.  Darkness is below me, wrapping itself around my feet, pulling on me, trying it’s best to pull me in. I’m terrified of letting go. I always have been…I hate losing control.  It’s why I never did drugs, or why I have only been drunk less than a handful of times, why I have a hard time letting God have control, why I can’t let myself go, to let myself go crazy if need be. I feel that if I let go, I will break down, and shatter.  Who can tell me if I’d recover and become a recognizable form again?  I fear the heavy, insane grief that is lurking just a breath away. I also fear, that if I don’t let go, I will break down sometime in the future.  Maybe it would be when we’d have more children…and those children would lose their mother for awhile, because she didn’t’ mourn Michael, and give him his time.  If I don’t give Michael his time, it will hinder my life in the future.

How do I let go? What is the best for me? How do I handle this…(see, I still want to control this!!)

I have never let go before, how do I do it now?

Lord, if and when I let go, please be there to hold the pieces until I can face life again.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Kay permalink
    July 12, 2010 8:39 am

    You know all those stupid sayings – – – Let go and Let God. Just Do It! Let It All Hang Out . . . . All I can say is let go, God will be there to pick up the pieces. We’ll be here waiting to get to know the new, recycled you. You are made of fine stuff – and even torn apart and re-mended it will still be that fine stuff, re-directed, re-created, renewed. It is hard to be around grief – but, let me tell you it is also a privileged to be able to offer you a temporary refuge until you two are healed enough to go out on your own. We love you both.

  2. July 25, 2010 2:20 pm

    You write soo beautifully. Im one of those rare people who want to understand, who love when people are at their worst because they are overcome with one thing or another, who gives and loves unconditionally, and if I can be a friend to you, let me know.

    • July 25, 2010 6:05 pm

      Kristen,
      Thank you. I appriciate the desire you have to understand, I just pray you never fully understand!
      Peg

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