Tag Archive | child loss

Breathe

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.

Living with guilt after suicide

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.

The 3rd Halloween already?

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.

Suicide Postvention

Yesterday was a big milestone – the L.O.S.S. First responder training.
We had just over 40 people attend. What I was most excited about was the diversity of the group… So many organizations were represented. Counselors, a hospital chaplain. A couple of handfuls of suicide hotline volunteers. We had at least 12 survivors of a suicide loss there. 4 law enforcement folks – all homicide departments from both the county and the city. And the coroner & an investigator. Wow wow wow. God is so good.

Being available to people ASAP after a suicide loss is so very important.

During my days, weeks and even months after Drey died, several people reached out to me and many people very sacrificially poured into me. Every single interaction has been important to me. Without knowing it at the time I very much needed those cards, random text messages, FB posts, phone calls, gifts and meals.

The pain I carried for several months was sickening.

The people who could break through – even though it was just for a moment – the thick, heavy despair were the small handful of women who were ahead of me in grieving the sudden loss of their child. Those momentary break throughs gave me hope and over time they joined and became hours – and dare I say days – rather than just moments.

I am quite emotionally tired from the training yesterday. Sadly my mind is not shutting down… no sleep for me. So I lay here in bed considering the flood of feelings I wish I could name. I guess I need more time to digest them.

My thoughts continue to drift to those early days and weeks. To those momentary break throughs. They were so damn brief but so amazingly bright.

Suicide postvention is important. L.O.S.S. Teams are important. I will continue on this path.

It’s all mine. And his.

Do you miss him?
Sure.
Do you think of him?
Yes. Probably once a day.
Once a day? Wow. I wonder what that would be like.

My son remains very much part of me. Every song, smell, movie, car, roller coaster, commercial, meal, joke, click of our thermostat, race, graduation sign, and every reference to suicide and it bubbles to the surface. In other words it’s always at the surface. Mostly the shock of it, the confusion of it. His life is present too – but still not as much as his death, his absence. I’m told in time it’ll be his life and sweet memories that are front and center and not his death. “Its been nearly two years??” “That’s okay. A lot of people I know who suddenly lost a child take five years before they’re able to think more about their child’s life instead of their death.”

Sometimes it’s lonely. Being divorced and not being able to grieve with Drey’s Dad can be hard. But I also know “what might have been” is just an illusion. Drey’s Dad and I are very different and we would probably be in frequent conflict if we were grieving “together.” We do keep in touch (which sounds superficial but what we share is anything but). We had lunch just before Mothers Day. In spite of our differences the pain is the same. We share stories of our grief experiences and of the responsibility we continue to carry. And we share what we’re doing to try to cope. We’ve both learned skills we never imagined we’d have to. Learning to live without our son is indescribable.

Am I ever happy? Joyful? Sure. I am even capable of having fun. But it’s never instead of the pain. It’s always in addition to the pain. I don’t think it’s possible to understand what I mean by this without experiencing it. Again… learning to live without Drey is indescribable.

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“To Drey…”