One morning last week, I looked out from my bedroom window and noticed the trees in my backyard had buds. In the past, that observation would give me joy because it held the promise of longer days and more time outside. Then my mind would wander to vacation and trips to the beach. I would typically discuss this anticipation with Amy.
Now my views of the world and my views in general are forever changed. Nothing looks the same, feels the same, or is the same. The joy is gone. It’s like living out of tune. Being out of sync. Sounds dramatic because it is!
No matter where I go or what I am doing there is this shadow of sadness which dims every view. In an attempt to soften the Easter holiday, my husband, my children and I took off for Washington, DC. Weather was beautiful and we kept compulsively busy. Yet, you can run but you cannot hide from grief or the reality of what has happened to our family. There was no escaping the absence of Amy. We toasted her at every meal as we always do, spoke of how this trip would not have been one of Amy’s favs and she would have complained about the pace we kept and despite being super fit, would have grumbled about all the walking we did. She would have been the first one to offer to pay for a cab. With tears in our eyes and heavy hearts we earnestly try to keep our Amy with us wherever we go but we know the void her loss has left and it just hurts living without our Amy.
Where do I go from here? How long does the cold reality pain last? I rely on others who say it will get better but each journey is different.
Darn I resent the new words I use in an attempt to get through this nightmare? Journey is one of those words. I never used journey to describe my life yet it seems appropriate. What did the pioneers call their travels into the wilderness when they traveled off on a horse with a rifle and a saddlebag full of water? I don’t know where I am going with this other than they didn’t look excited like they were going on a vacation. I had no interest in going on this horrible journey onto a path with lots of pot holes, detours and ambushes… The journey to where? A life without one of my kids!
I will never win the griever of the year award. I still don’t let people off of the hook when they say stupid stuff to me just because they “don’t know.” My neighbor’s children with all of their innocence are kinder than many adults. Maybe because they haven’t entered into their ego driven lives yet. But we have to teach people how to treat us and while some comments are innocent, some are just thoughtless.
This is not a rant on people, but when I go to a bereavement meeting and am around so many wounded parents in one room and see the pain and devastation in their eyes and hear the things people say to them, I feel so frustrated. Because here we go again, people are excused because they just “don’t know any better.” I disagree.
Where does the cycle stop! We have to teach others how to treat us. Maybe if the next time someone checks in to test the waters, you tell them exactly what’s going on as you travel your new freaking journey, they will know.
Last week someone made a comment that will stick with me forever. When people were impatient with how long she was grieving her child, she responded, “I am grieving as fast as I can.” Wow! Imagine the frustration that prompted that response.
Well, I’m not grieving fast. The love I shared with my daughter and still share is so beautiful and the hole that her physical departure left is like a crater. I will grieve as long as it takes. Probably forever but no worries I won’t talk about it all of the time and keep it to myself, which outside of these posts, I am getting better at leading my double life each and every day. Last night I felt as sad as I did in those early weeks. Without the protection of the numbness and shock, it was almost more than I could take. Yeah, I am still devastated, broken, lost and lonely. Time does not heal all wounds! Not this one anyway.