one week

You might spend your days sifting through the sad details of how they died, but when the day is done you  simply miss them.

You can remember the good times, and even smile perhaps laugh.  But when the laughter fades you simply miss them.

You can mount a campaign against the disease or drunk driving or texting while driving or warning other’s of the potential danger that took your loved one, but in the evening light you simply miss them.

You can rage in anger against bureaucracy that claims your unfocused time and attention with paperwork and information gathering with the final result being your loved one is still gone and ultimately you simply miss them.

You can write and write and talk and talk and look through pictures till your heart feels like it will burst and as you finally close your eyes for sleep, you simply miss them.

You dream of them, you look for their face when in a crowd,  you hope for something like a message sent to reassure you that they are okay but it does not tame the part of you when you simply miss them.

And simple is the wrong word here.  Simple is too simple because the missing is so huge and threatens to take over your day and if not paid attention to, take over  your life.

Days come when your mind takes a break and concentrates on other things – and you feel guilty that you allowed yourself a moment not to miss them.  But in the doing of things that are your bailiwick you honor who you are, the person that they loved.  Could it be as simple as that? To shift your energy to focus on the things you will do each day and do them in honor of the loved one who is now gone?  With purpose and forethought to say, “today I will do what I do because I loved them, because they loved me.”  ?

The downside is that after you become busy times of grief and missing them seem, when they come, acutely painful – bigger because they are concentrated and intense.  It is a painful trade off.   Surrender every day to the dulled down existence or parts of days to intense grief.

I am not talking about the first months after our loved one departed.  I don’t know that this can even apply to the first year for some.  I don’t know if it can ever apply for some.   It is not mine to choose for them.  Not adding to the guilt of still being alive by allowing yourself time to do those things you need to do without thinking about your departed loved one is a huge hurdle.  It is one you have to jump more than once – in greater and lesser degrees.

I am told again and again by those who have been on this side of things longer that this will change with time.  I think it does, but the change is subtle and almost imperceptible.

The death of our precious loved one was abrupt.  Our path from here on is uncharted.  Crumbs are dropped by others who are further up the path and they shine a light back to us now and then to reassure us they are there.   Sometimes on holidays and painful mile markers you just have to sit down and be where you have to be for a while.   It is frustrating to feel like you have made no progress at all.  You are weary because you have had to work so hard to get where you are and there is that pain again.

You want to be able to talk it out to someone.  You still might want the stage, front and center to dump some of this pain, to have others empathize.   It was difficult when this first happened it is almost impossible now.   It takes them a moment to realize why you might still be upset at times.  They might say it, though most out of respect won’t. But they all think on some level that you should be “getting over it” by now.   When they get that look of concern or the look that says, I’m going to run if I get the chance perhaps we should say “I simply miss my child”.  I simply and purely miss my son.

I can’t tell you all the things I miss because that would take 29 years.   As complex as this simple is, I miss him.

About pathfinder

Artist, Writer, Walking wounded.
This entry was posted in Coping with the Death of a Child, Death, Family and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to one week

  1. I just wanted you to know that I’ve been reading your blog. My 23 year old son died suddenly 5 weeks ago and my husband and daughter and I are lost right now. We are in so much pain every moment that we can hardly breathe.
    I am trying to learn how you and others are surviving.
    I hope you don’t mind that I’ve included your blog on a webpage that pulls together blogs by parents who have lost a child as well as websites to help with the grief. It gives me one place to go to do my online reading.
    Please feel free to share this page with others.

    –Graham’s Mom

    • pathfinder says:

      I am so sorry Jennifer. We are one week away from one year. It does not seem possible and I don’t know if it ever will. I hate this for you all. I go to the online chat with compassionate friends. Everyone there is in so much pain that sometimes you feel like everyone is talking at once – wanting to talk about their situation and pain – but it can help. You may write me any time you like. I would like to hear about your son Graham and your daughter and husband. Again, I am so sorry.

      • Thank you. Your writing captures so much feeling. It’s hard to see how we’ll all survive this terrible and tragic loss. You’re right, I miss him so much!!

        I’ll write more when I can.


  2. Tonnye Fletcher says:

    I am reminded that sometimes God uses the horrible tragedies we go through and the wisdom, experience, and pain we acquire/feel to help others. Thanks, Pam, for being willing to be part of the light for others walking wounded. I love you so much and you have been on my mind as the anniversary approaches. . . prayers continue to abound for you and I simply love you. . . . And prayers to you, Jennifer, as well. You have found a good friend in Pam — take her up on her offer to talk if you think it will help.

  3. Virgina Watts says:

    My son died in an accidental car crash at 30 years of age in March 2012. Although that is 15 months ago the pain feels just as fresh and raw as it did that first day we got the bad news. My husband soldiers on at work, I’ve retired from work and put on my day face for people to see. They think that I am strong and coping so well….but Im not. I just let them think I am. My daughter needs me. We go through the steps of doing ‘normal” things each day like working, shopping, visiting friends, watching Tv etc BUT nothing will ever be the same again. We just have to get accustomed to the ‘new normal’ I hate it..but i can’t change it, so i just do my best to get through each day. Maybe one day I will realise “hey today wasnt so bad” I didnt think about him all day long, I’ve been distracted by other things that gave me some joy. I dont feel joy now. I miss him too much. I agree the path is un charted, each of us will find our own way through. I feel the pain of others that are going through this unbearable reality. It’s cruel!! No-one should ever have to bury and mourn for their child. But we do !! We are still here , and maybe, just maybe one day we will have learned how to manage our lives without our child that we long to see and hold once again.Sharing with others that can honestly say ” I know how you feel.” My thoughts and prayers to everyone that have to cope with their loss. I MISS HIM .

  4. cecemom says:

    Thank you – I have never “gotten over” the death of my son almost 13 years ago and now with the death of my daughter a year ago the grief is so raw and overwhelming. I live because I wake up each morning breathing and I have to get up for my other children. But my two angels are never far from my thoughts….

  5. Robin Gaphni says:

    This was one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve read about grief. Thank you. My 21 year old son died in October 2010 of a virulent form of strep that could not be stopped. Somehow my family and I have muddled our way through the past 18 months. It has been almost unbearable at times, but mostly we’ve done it for Matthew. We know he’d want us to carry on. Bottom line: we miss him. You summed it up perfectly.

    We walk on this path together–from one bereaved mother to another.

  6. SadMama says:

    I was rereading your posts.

    ” It takes them a moment to realize why you might still be upset at times. They might say it, though most out of respect won’t. But they all think on some level that you should be “getting over it” by now. When they get that look of concern or the look that says, I’m going to run if I get the chance perhaps we should say “I simply miss my child”. I simply and purely miss my son.

    I can’t tell you all the things I miss because that would take 29 years. As complex as this simple is, I miss him.”

    It’s been only 11 weeks since my son died and yet I’ve already experienced this. I’ve had people look confused, not sure why I’m not happy (like I used to be). I’m struggling not to sob every second when in the presence of others….it takes all my strength not to break down constantly. Yet others don’t understand why….

    After 24 years of loving my son (counting pregnancy), people think I should be better in a couple of months. Unbelievable!!

    • pathfinder says:

      I am so very sorry for your loss. I hope you are being kind to yourself and not expecting too much for yourself right now. This loss is so raw and new for you and I have been told that time will make things “softer.” I know that I have hours when I do not think of my son. There is still a terrible jolt of reality when I do. I am not sure that it is easier in that sense. I have a public “mask” I wear. People who have been where we are are easily fooled by it because they really don’t want to know our pain. I hope you have found “the compassionate friends” either online (there is an online chat) or a chapter that meets near you locally. There are people new to our unfortunate club and people who have been in it for years in the group. It is good to talk to others who share our plight. I hate that our sons are gone. It is not something any parent wants to face. I hope you find a moment of peace today. Sincerely.

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