Tomorrow is June the 2nd. It makes one month from the 7th anniversary date of my son’s death. I had all intentions of avoiding the cycle I have seen myself enter each year around this time. Now at year seven, I am accepting that resisting is futile.
I continue to have random grief attacks. I saw a tall young man with his family out and about the other day and cried all the way home. It is not the kind of weeping that requires me to pull over but it makes me slow down. I keep boxes of tissues in the car anyway but mainly because of this.
There is that feeling too that comes which I can only describe as wanting to burst and not with joy. I find myself inhaling and not able to exhale. I tense up and hold my breath for some reason until somehow my body’s functions forces me to exhale.
I shake my head “no” a lot. I address the empty room or the horizon or the beautiful Spring plants. I feel like I am telling them, no, I won’t give in right now. Don’t look at me that way, I have things to do. If I give in I may not be able to climb back out.
Yet, I do climb out. Not always able to be jovial or cordial even, but out, and doing the things that “have to be done.” I shake my head, no, at them too.
I don’t think the grief weighs less, I have just gotten accustomed to the weight. The sharp edge of yearning never dulls. It never dulls. Maybe that is part of that feeling like I am going to burst.
I have perfected the self talk for almost all occasions. I say almost all because those occasions still occur that dismantle all my efforts very quickly. Yet even those occasions give me the excuse to unleash a little of the tamped down anger I still harbor, so those times are not without use.
Death. I’ve known about it from such a young age. Perhaps there are cultures who don’t dread it, or fear it, but that is not a part of the culture I grew up in. I don’t know what to do with it anymore.
I have been able to separate it from those who are with me now in this life. I think my son would be annoyed if I allowed the times I have with his sister or his dad to be diminished and not enjoyed to the best of my ability. There were times when I could not avoid it but I try to be in the moment when I am with them and savor everything about the time with them.
Lots of broken things continue to function on some level. Some days I am better at functioning than others.
He will always be my son. I will always be his mother, living or dead that is what we are. The time I give him now, in my grief is not wasted. Were he still here I would be giving him all the time he asked for. I can’t say no concerning my time to my children. He is not claiming more than he deserves, or more than he is worth and it is not wasted, it is not wasted because even in that grief there is love. Love is truly that energy that can never be created nor destroyed – only transferred.
I whisper it to the air every day. I wake with it and go to sleep with it amid all those thoughts and hopes for those I love.
Miss you so much sweetheart. Love you forever.
Thank you for sharing this. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.
Sending love…it’s not enough but I’m sending it.
Your words: So powerful, Pam. Your truth is riveting & strangely refreshing. Death is feared & not really processed in *our society*. There are just so many hang ups so many of us seem to harbor. And when the loss is so sudden..so unexpected & so close…well, it seems like it would be too hard to bear on so many levels.
I ran into what were once good friends of mine last week. I say were, because they have kind of shut down & holed up since their son was killed suddenly & tragically 18 years ago this month. He has been dead now as long as he was alive. His parents are still broken about it. How could they not be? They have a (younger) daughter, who of course they love and now are fortunate enough to lavish their attention & love on their daughter’s daughter as well. But the weight of their son Jesse’s death is etched deep into their faces & spirit. They admitt …they almost never go out and have no desire to do so. I hardly ever see them, and we were once fast friends. They live just a few miles away. In many ways, they seem stuck in a hole of pain & sadness they cannot leave, if even for a little while.
It is only my own observation and from thousands of miles away, but I think you absolutely OWN your grief (and all the other flavors like fear & anger, etc that come with it) and *manage it* (there we go again with now wanting to deal with the depth of it all!) well, and your words attest to your willingness to break through (sometimes..and maybe only a little..) and go beyond your deep pain over the loss of Josh. To me, it looks like despite the deep pain, you are still showing up for your life & infusing it with art, dogs, nature, family & friends (and that’s just the short list!)
Grief is a strange companion and sneaks up in you when you least expect it. You can never totally get rid of it..nor really would you want to. Because, I think you are spot on. Love is an unending circle, and grief is a transmutation of love that can no longer be given to the person we love & miss. We must find another way, so we grieve.
I admire your strength & willingness go very deep in these deeply personal yet universal feelings And above all, I love you. xoxo
Thank you Sarah. There is no right or wrong way – just doing what you can in the moment. Thank you. Love seeing all you are doing – it is encouraging.