I didn’t start dreading it until July 27th. That’s pretty good.
I seem to be functioning “okay” today… but it’s only August 1st so I won’t get my hopes up that the next few weeks will be easy.
I don’t have much scheduled this week and I leave town Sunday – no contact with anyone again till Wednesday. I dread it and I look forward to it. Maybe I’m finally learning to walk in these big clumsy grief shoes? I don’t fall so often now. And I know a little better about when to get down on my hands and knees and crawl instead of attempting to walk every day.
I do still hate when I mess up things that used to be so simple. Being organized was like breathing before 8.8.12 but even now – 4 years later – I still get so confused over the simplest of things. But what’s cool about this grief brain is that as I’m typing and looking outside I see our grass needs mowed and the entire yard needs weeded; but the word “needs” is no longer accurate because the yard just isn’t important. I think my husband likes that grief brain also means laid back brain when it comes to many things.
I used to ask God, “Is this as healed as I’ll get?” I don’t ask that question so much anymore. The realization that I’d always carry this pain sunk in sometime during year 2. And I discovered joy more frequently during year 3. And during year 4 I stopped searching aimlessly for permission to laugh and just began to laugh. And most recently I’ve slowly been learning to let tears flow whenever they need to without apologizing to anyone.
It is possible to miss my baby terribly, to sit with another survivor and cry with her, to laugh hysterically at Angie Tribeca, to read a volunteer report about a scene LOSS attended, to pray for those left behind and to smile at the thought of seeing my baby again in heaven all in the same day. How bout that?
Forever Young came out when Fred and I were just dating. I knew when I saw the video and listened to the lyrics that it would be a song I somehow sang to my child at their high school graduation.
Well, my singing was – and is – horrific so instead it was Rod Stewart’s voice that went with the video full of happy memories of watching you grow up.
A song inspired me a handful of years before you were even born and it was indeed a part of your high school graduation.
That song softly played in the background of my mind while you were growing up. “Whatever road you chose I’m right behind you, win or lose…” That song reflected the unconditional love I had for you. It reflected my delight in you. I don’t know if you ever even heard that song. The sound to the video was turned down at your grad party – but I knew it was playing. Did you? How about 2 months later at your funeral? Did you hear it then? Did you hear that song that by God’s grace reflected His love through me to you all those years? Those short 19 years?
I don’t want to feel sorry for myself. But the “it’s not fair” sobs are never far from the surface. I miss you. Do you see the love in my heart, baby?
I still have days where all I can do is assess the damage, look at the devastation and ruins around me. Sometimes I’m too tired to get up out of it. Things that used to be effortless for me still take hard work and concentration even after nearly 3 years. Please won’t You take the lead? Can’t You insist on prying the reigns from my hands? Just tell me what to do, where to go, what to think. I don’t want to make anymore decisions. Free will is overrated. I’m tired. I want to rest my mind. A respite. A reprieve. A day where I don’t cradle my head in my hands.
Suicide grief is complicated. Sometimes I wish I could adequately explain it. But that desire for others to understand it is just for my benefit. I can’t help but to wonder if my friends think I’m stuck in my grief. And I can’t have anyone thinking I’m not grieving perfectly can I? Geez – we take pride in the strangest flippin things. And I certainly can’t let anyone know how fulfilling it is to be serving others who are bereaved by suicide either. What would they think of me as a Mom?
I can understand why suicide rates are higher for those bereaved by a suicide loss. It’s complicated. Survivors need each other’s encouragement. It’s so flippin lonely sometimes.
Getting a notification today from FB that Drey Meine had tagged me in a picture was torture. Thanks spammer rayban idiot fucknut. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what I’m in the middle of – I’m thrust unexpectedly into facing this grief head-on. I go from happy and smiling to deep sorrow within seconds.
Tomorrow I leave on a week-long vacation with a friend. I will rest. I will laugh. I will relax. But first I have to get there…
First I have to get out that suitcase. (The one with the Orlando tags on it from our last vacation).
First I have to pack those travel-sized toiletries. (But try to ignore Drey written on one of the toothbrush handles).
First I have to go to the bank. (And use that same bank card I’ve used for years).
First I have to hear the engines roar, and feel the pressure as I’m pushed against the back of my seat at take off. (But try to forget the look on Drey’s three-year-old face on his first flight).
I have to try to forget the 18-year-old that slept on my shoulder on our last flight together. For Drey, I was his home. He slobbered on my shoulder while he slept. I was his safe space. Didn’t you know I was here with open arms and shoulders no matter what? Why couldn’t I save you?
I know I had plenty of happy times before you were born. So why can’t I just try really hard to focus on what made me happy back then? I’ve done it before so it’s only logical that I can do it again. If I could just live without the pain for one day. Suppress the memories of your life. Forget how you chose death.
The stupid mind games I try to play with myself are pointless. Sometimes I have to experience the intensity of the pain. I have to cry it out. SCREAM it out. My son is dead. My son is still dead.
It’s year 3 and there are still no Christmas decorations. Robbie didnt take issue with it until last weekend. He announced that next year we will decorate. When I consider the idea of it I’m not sure which is more gut wrenching – seeing, experiencing, feeling memories that I haven’t faced yet or living with the guilt of celebrating any resemblance of a “normal” Christmas.
There are parts of my life that have continued forward. Actually I can say at this point most aspects have continued forward. Yes, with pain learning to coexist with joy, but still forward movement. But there are some things I am just not ready for – like Christmas decorations in my home. It wouldn’t even matter if they were all brand new. And fixing my car mirror hasn’t been an option either…
The day you died I drove like a maniac to get to you. I didn’t know you were already gone. When I “parked” my car I hit the neighbors mailbox with my passenger side mirror. I’m not sure you can call what I did “parking.” I’m pretty sure my feet hit the pavement before the car had stopped moving. That first winter Robbie would scrape the ice from the window for me so I wouldn’t have to be reminded of that day. I scrape it myself now but my breathing is heavy and self-talk is a necessity to get the task done. But I’m not ready to get it fixed. How could I? How could I just drop it off for a few hours, pay someone a few hundred bucks, then get back a new mirror – like nothing ever happened? That seems so wrong. I have no choice but to leave the mirror as it is. Why the hell do I feel that way? Because it connects me to you? Because I don’t deserve to have it repaired? It feels like my own personal scarlet letter. I’m not ashamed of you baby. I’ve not felt that way at all. I’m still prickly when someone even hints that they might be angry with you. I’m still mom and I’ll always protect you. My shame is my own. Why didn’t I know you were depressed? How could I have missed it? What kind of mom was I? I’m not God. I wasn’t a perfect mom. My human attempt at parenting was riddled with screw ups. But I didn’t have to be perfect. Christ paid the price for every single imperfection. I am living with this pain by the grace of God. And you are living in His presence by the grace of God. I miss you. I love you.
Lord Father God empower me to keep my eyes on You. I love You Lord.
Wow… this is the 3rd Halloween without you baby. That just doesn’t seem possible.
I have dozens of Halloween memories…
Last year was nice – Robbie & I sitting out on the front porch passing out candy. I was more prepared than I had been the previous year…
2012 Robbie came home from work and found me on the kitchen floor holding a large bowl of candy. I was crying. The doorbell was ringing. I wanted to die. How silly of me to think less than 3 months after your death I could look at cute little trick or treaters.
I don’t remember which Halloween was what. But I remember you smashed pumpkins and when I found out I made you go back, clean it up and apologize to the home owners. Do you remember the woman with the arm in a sling? After you apologized we got back in the car and I asked how you were. You said you felt bad because you didn’t know she’d be “elderly.” It was very sweet. I remember you being the grim reaper, the Scream dude, a ninja – 2 years, right? A kangaroo (okay – you were just 2 then), an Indian (aka Native American), a knight, a firefighter, what else was there baby? Surely you were a Mario brother at some point weren’t you? Or Pikachu? I hate that I can’t remember. It makes me feel like a shitty Mom. Some memories are supposed to be locked in… and since you died I HAVE to lock them all in. They have to be safe and secure and immediately available when needed because there won’t be anymore. I have to replay the same ones over and over. Just 19 years worth. I’ll be 80 and you’ll still be 19. I’ll still just have the same stupid memories. I want new ones but you’re gone. I want new ones but I’m not ready to look at pictures and remember.
Does Jesus tell you I love you? I miss you? Sometimes I ask Him to tell you that. Sometimes it’s peaceful knowing you and I can both talk to Him. We still have that. We always will. But sometimes even that doesn’t help the pain. So I cry it out until I get that sickening headache to match the heartache while I ask all the “why” questions over and over. I replay our last lunch, our last conversation, the last back rub I gave you, the last pair of shoes you talked me into helping you pay for. What didn’t I see? What didn’t I say? How could you have been in so much pain and I didn’t know? What the hell Drey? I put you ahead of everything – Robbie and even God. How could you not have known that? I flippin delighted in you. Maybe you did know that but it didn’t matter. There are no answers. But sometimes I still have to ask all the questions till I exhaust myself and fall asleep.
Lord I pray for all my grieving friends tonight. Lord help us rest in You.
Here I am at Panera Bread. Again. God how I’m missing you baby. If I weren’t in public I’d cry. I have that choice this morning but sometimes the tears flow without waiting for my permission.
The change in weather triggers different memories. Soccer. Parent-teacher conferences. Field trips from elementary school. Halloween. School pictures. Warmer clothes. I can remember your clothes from elementary school. I see them hanging in your closet. I wish I would’ve saved some of them. But I didn’t know.
I didn’t know. I just didn’t know. Crap… Here come the tears without my permission.
Nothing can make it okay. I just have to live with it every day. I am grateful for the healing that’s come. Truly I am. It is God’s mercy. I don’t feel like I will die of a broken heart anymore. Or die from the heaviness. Or die from withering away.
There are three 60ish year old women studying the bible near by. I hear them… I hear the one who seems to be leading the discussion. Listen to her… all confident and full of advice. I remember thinking I knew a thing or two too. I knew God’s word. I knew suffering. I knew perseverance. Then 8.8.12 hit and I realized I didn’t know dick.
Lord how I wish this woman would shut up. Did I sound like that? Of course I did. And probably much worse. And I bet I still do at times. It’s amazing to me that You love us Lord.