Woke up with the all too familiar heaviness this morning. ‘‘Tis the season. I wish I could just get through one year with a little Holiday Joy. I sit here trying to plan with lists and recipes. My Mind begins to wander. I am thrust back in time to days of gingerbread houses and homemade wrapping paper. Evenings watching Christmas movies and drinking Peppermint hot cocoa. The laughter and amazement of the Holidays in the faces of two little boys, brothers that shared in the excitement of wondering what Santa would bring this year. These are the things my Holidays consist of now, bittersweet memories..
Our area has lost so many young people recently. A couple of these kids made the choice to leave this Earth, others gone by accident or illness. I think of Arthur every time I hear of another Child gone so soon. I think of how far our family has come, how much we have lost and how much we have gained.
I know the pain this journey brings and my heart breaks for the families just beginning in this road. Especially the moms. The entire family is hurting, grieving, questioning everything and they are at a loss as to what they are supposed to do next. For the mom, it is sheer, complete and constant agony. Imagine the most excruciating pain. Pain you will never go another day of your life without. Yes, it will ease some days. But it will always be thereThe pain comes from a mother’s heart dying a little and the loss of a piece of her. I try and reach out to every family. I give my condolences. Then, if possible, I let the mom know, she is not alone in the thoughts and darkness she feels lost in. She is not crazy for having the thoughts that are swirling like a tornado in her head. And most of all, I tell her it is okay. Okay to be angry, okay to be alone and okay to scream. Reassuring her that someday she will be able to breath without having to remind herself to do so. That she will someday open the curtains and let the sun shine on her face without the guilt of feeling the joy in it. What I NEVER will say is that she has to move on, nor do I tell her the pain will cease someday. She won’t and it never will. Most importantly, I will assure her that she will always have a connection to her child and that love truly never dies.
So many times I wake up thinking it was all just a very long and horrible dream. There have been some mornings, I have made it all of the way to the kitchen before it hits me. As soon as I turn that corner and face his bedroom door it all comes back. That heaviness. The weight of the chains I drag with me every day. I pull them along to the grocery store, the mall , the dentist and then home again. They are my grief. Heavy and noisy. Noise only I can hear. As time goes on, there are moments that the weight is lessened. A few days even weeks go by until suddenly the chains I keep in tow snag on something and jerk me backward. Once I catch my breath again, I tell myself that these chains are a reminder that I had you. For an all too brief time you were my life.. And then the cycle starts all over. Drag, pull, relief and snag..
It is like being trapped in a rollercoaster and someone else has the controls. You can try and undo the seatbelt and scream for the ride to stop. But it doesn’t, it never will, and you know this. There will be times when the ride almost becomes bearable, sometimes you might even find yourself enjoying it. Then just like always, the car begins running down a steep track and you feel as though you are losing control.
This is your life after losing a child.
Each day you have no idea know what to expect. Some days will be exhausting and debilitating. Others you will muddle through almost at a normal level. There will be days with just a glimmer of happiness, just out of reach, but you can see it. It is far worse to see all the joys and happiness that could have been.
I try to explain to people how this shit works but it is not possible. Only I can hear the screams in my head. There is a space in time only I can visit and it is the moment everything changed and I began to walk on the edge of insanity.
Today 4 years ago was the last great day I had. I spent the day running back and forth to the mall, picking up and dropping off kids. Our oldest son and his family were here and I spent time with the twins. It really was a great day. If only I had know what was coming. I would have stayed up all night, I would have told him that his broken heart would someday be a great lesson learned. I could have listened to music with him, or watched the videos he had made that morning. I saw the videos by the way, days later. They were great. Arthur was so talented, incredibly loving and loyal to a fault. He did not understand how people could be ugly and hurtful to each other. This would take him down a path that night he did not return from, and in the process would destroy me.