The trouble I am having is that life keeps on going whether I want it to or not. What happened just over a a year ago seems like yesterday and almost in the same thought – so very long ago. My daughter and I discussed our birthdays that occurred last month the second since our brother/son died. We each remember vague details. My feeling has been that I would like everything to be put on pause a while longer so I can process what has happened. The world does not allow that.
The frustration comes when you think erroneously that others should understand or are feeling as you are. Having never known how others feel( even in my best empathetic state) I am not sure why that should be a valid expectation now. Even my husband and I who share the best chance of similar feeling are processing all this differently. We focus on different aspects of our son’s life and our relationship with him. At times my impression is that we are on a teeter-totter with the grief for our son as the fulcrum. My husband at some times is up while I am down and visa versa. We easily tip the other one without meaning to, jarring the other with a sudden dip.
In the past few weeks both my husband and I have been what I can best describe as more alert. We have wrestled with our faith for a year now and suddenly we have both began to rise to the top at almost the same moment to take a breath. I realized I still had a right to choose what I believe. My husband decided to resume some of his responsibilities in our faith community. There are people that are part of our faith community that have real needs. Families face a lot of problems in this world. They are still here, our son is not.
It is hard to comprehend that there is nothing we can do for our son. There are no more holidays to celebrate with him and no life achievements to anticipate. We have only our memories and though I have talked about not allowing them to rule every day it has taken every bit of the last year to begin to understand. There are so many days when I still find myself saying out loud to an empty house “I can’t believe he is really gone!”
I have stopped feeling guilty when my mind becomes occupied with things other than the sorrow I feel. I am able to tell stories about my son’s life without tearing up every time. I can laugh about some of the wonderful things he did in his amazing life.
There are days when I am very tired and I relapse. I realize when that happens that I have been using a lot of my strength to be able to function. Perhaps that is why when I am tired I am very tired indeed.
My daughter and son-in-law came to town for the Labor Day weekend. I struggle with not wanting to be overly protective or defensive concerning my daughter. She, without wanting it ,has had a whole load of attention pinned to her now. We are learning how to get to know our son-in-law. He is at a disadvantage – having married our daughter just a little over three months after our son died. We could not focus on him at that time and now we are being to focus again. I remind myself that our daughter has known him a lot longer than we have and that we ,in some ways, are really just getting to know him at all.
I allow myself to be busy. This is not in an effort not to think, but rather “to think” – to really think. Thinking sometimes needs to happen without emotion. It is a way of trying to put things into perspective.
I am not going to kid myself. I don’t understand anything about life at all. I don’t understand why we are here or why there is pain or why people and life ends. Sometimes just saying outright that I don’t understand anything at all helps.
There have been no great revelations. Life is messy. Accidents happen. People change. Sometimes the person on the other side of the teeter-totter jumps off and you land with a great thump. You cannot control anything – even yourself, but you hang on. You hang on and you hope. Whether you hope to see the ones you love again one day in whatever place that may be or whether you simply hope to gain peace one day. I am here on this planet for now missing my son who enriched my life in every way. I am learning to continue to love those who I have in my life. It makes me dizzy sometimes but I am hanging on.