I bumped into an acquaintance yesterday, a gentleman I had not seen is a few years. I asked about his family. He asked about my husband. We chatted about cars and the weather and the news – but we both felt the elephant in the room.
I noticed he chose his words carefully, even stopping mid-sentence and re-phrasing. He started to ask “How is the fam….. – How is your husband?”
I smiled and pretended not to notice. He was avoiding making any reference to my son. I know he knows of our loss – and I know he was trying to be considerate.
Why is it that way? Kind, caring people gingerly step around the elephant in the room. Is it because they don’t know what to say? Is it because they are afraid of upsetting me?
I am grateful for the dear friends and family in my life who invite me to talk and share about my son. I will always be his MOM and I will always miss him and I will always love him. I need to talk about him. When I walk and speak with my Heavenly Father, we chat about my dear son often – HE listens. I know HE does.
Does anyone else notice this elephant avoidance behavior?
I remember the very moment I was honored with the title of Mom – my heart was filled with love.
Mom is just such an amazing word.
The first time I heard my baby call me MOM – I thought my heart would burst! Love, joy, devotion, protection, fierceness – so much is wrapped up in that word, MOM.
I remember the last time I heard my baby call me MOM. Knowing it was the last time is unbearable!
February 25th marked the third anniversary of my son’s death – my only child. The pain just overwhelmed me an I let myself slide down into a dark pit. I still did all the things I had to do such as go to work, farm work, house hold chores – but my mind was in a very dark place. I have not blogged in weeks. Just couldn’t. I kept reading others blogs and, as strange as it may seem, that helped.
Oddly, I felt so disconnected from life, people, everything – but reading your blogs lifted me. I am now peaking out of the pit, just peaking. Thank you – for somehow being a lifeline. Your stories, your willingness to share – it is light.
I am trying to practice mindfulness – being present in only this moment – mind you I said “trying”.
You were angry.
Your hurtful words just flew.
I could feel the sting.
You said I disappointed you.
I was silent.
As your anger pelted me.
I was silent.
And I just let you be.
I just let you rage
Releasing all your pain
Did that make you feel better?
Tell me, what did you gain?
Are we closer now?
No, the opposite is true.
Wondering do you love me?
Wondering do I love you?
Is there any shred of love left?
Any for us to restore?
Was I was silent
Because I don’t care anymore.
Each time you hurt me
With each lie
I got tougher, harder, meaner,
I grew a thicker shell
I grew wary and untrusting
Frankly, mad as HELL
And now, I disappoint YOU!
How exactly can that be?
Was it while working two jobs?
To provide for you and me?
Or maybe it was my strength
You leaned on without concerns.
Is that why I disappoint you
And your anger burns?
I was silent.
Your words really hit their mark.
I was silent.
Broken in the dark.
I needed this sky tonight. Thank you
Do you ever stop and think about how many mean things you say to yourself everyday. If I had a dollar for every time I called myself fat or stupid, I would be able to pay cash for that Alpha Romeo I want. I would never treat my friends that way – I love them. Today, in just the last hour, I called myself a fat cow, an idiot, a dummy, and a few other words I should not write here. Wow. When I look at these words written in front of me – I see a bully and a victim – and they are both me!
Why do I do that? I blame myself for my son’s illness. I blame myself for my husband’s issues. I criticize myself when the house isn’t spotless or the dinner isn’t perfect. How do I stop?
I do so many things I don’t want to do.
I don’t want to pretend I am OK when I am not.
I don’t want to bully me.
I don’t even want to eat these cookies.
I need to get back outside. Back in the saddle. Back in the garden.
For now, I am putting away the vacuum cleaner – AND the cookies, and heading off to my craft room with my Charlie dog.
You see, grief doesn’t end, at least not for me. In 18 days, it will be three years since I lost my son. To the world, I am “OK”. Because I get up everyday and put on the clown show. I smile, socialize, interact – everything the world has come to expect from me. I have to – I am the strong, responsible one.
At the end of the day, when the clown show is over – when all my adult responsibilities have been fulfilled, I can curl up with my dogs – alone, in the dark. Then, I can grieve. I remember. I cry. I smile. I love. No clown. No pretend. Just me.
The clown show is exhausting to me. I welcome the dark, late at night.
I don’t think I want to be a clown anymore – maybe, just maybe – people will just have to accept that I am different now. I need to learn how to stop pretending.
You show your pain
I hide my pain
You fall apart
I carry you
Everyone worries about you
I am invisible
You say I am strong
But I know I hurt too
I am responsible
I am the adult
I love you
I worry about you
I am sinking into bitterness
I am invisible and forgotten
I have to be strong
To be strong, I have to be angry
I don’t know how to stop being angry
Today is my Son’s birthday. He should be 37. He should be with his lovely wife and precious son. He should be with his Dad and me. Instead, he is permanently 34 years old. I can’t hug him. I can’t see him. I miss him so much. Time heals nothing. The ache is so deep, constant – exhausting.
Today, despite the recent cold spell – a tiny lady bug was sitting on my kitchen counter, next to my Keurig and coffee cup!!!
I scooped up my little visitor, held him, and sobbed. I whispered a secret message to my son, and released the tiny messenger.
I do believe in signs and visits. It made me feel better.
Dark stays dark
Light stays away
Maybe it is just the cold, dreary winter skies.