While I need to write to let the air out of the building pressure of grieving Amy, the other side of speaking my mind and being brutally honest in an arena where others get to read your thoughts, is that they have the opportunity to judge and evaluate you.
Make no mistake that I own what I say, but as someone reminded me recently, by putting my thoughts out there, I leave myself wide open to be criticized. So what do I do? Stop posting how I really feel or say what everyone wants to hear?
As I made my way to Niagara Falls this weekend where my son was running in a marathon, I noticed I was getting messages on my phone from people I didn’t know. My first thought was, oh don’t tell me I accidentally released another freaking post. (Incidentally, I must have 50 unpublished draft posts which are part of my write and release therapy).
Then I remembered. At the end of last week, I had responded briefly to an email which landed in my inbox written by someone who has helped a lot of people to believe that life goes on, and whose books have helped me personally since Devastation Day. As usual, it was a well written message and offered good advice for the average person, but after reading it, it struck me how these healthy schools of thought which many can apply to their life, no longer applies to me because grieving a child is a long and painful process.
Much to my surprise, he, the celebrity, or one of his staff on his behalf, actually responded to my message with a few sentences. Cool. No wait, not so cool, because I felt he missed my point and I would have rather he didn’t throw me a bone at all. I am only 13 months on the other side of losing Amy! Do I need to wear a sign?
Anyway, the subsequent responses which followed were mostly positive, but then Kaboom, an email lands in my inbox which just confirms how freaking misunderstood I feel. Not only misunderstood by Mr. Celebrity, but also by one of his fans. I started to fret and had to find my super griever armor to “let it go” or respond.
Then it hit me, this was my time out from my reality; it was my husband’s turn to drive; why was I reading my phone on a bright sunny day with a beautiful world passing me by … Even with my heavy heart, you have to look up sometimes and I can say I do try.
I am learning that I must sound like a broken record because all I talk about is the pain and suffering on the other side of Devastation Day. Why would anyone make this stuff up? Why would anyone choose to feel so sad? Why would anyone want to be “stuck” feeling like this? I guarantee anyone who is reading this that nothing related to losing a child is a choice. We have lost our choice and voice in so many ways on the day our child died. It’s so frustrating being so misunderstood.
It is my new updated opinion that it is next to impossible to explain what it’s like to exist in a world without Amy. Call me a martyr. Who cares. Why do I feel so strongly about sharing my “journey” and why do I feel compelled to put my voice out there? Probably, because I have spoken to so many other parents on this same “journey” who have all shared how misunderstood they feel and how hurt they have been by the people in their lives, even some of their own family and best friends.
By now I have figured out it would be easier to just suck it all in and pretend I am feeling better and moving forward. So is that how you deal with the death of someone you love? Hurry through the five stages of grief, suck up the tears and go on with your life? Just accept it and take this one on the chin? Because after all, I still have my life to finish … Or so they say.
It irritates me when someone asks me how I am and I answer honestly and their response is to look at me as if I have 3 heads. I think my favorite response is “really”? From now on, I am just going to say I am grieving as fast as I can. Is that good enough?
By the way, the change of scene and getting away for a couple days did help. But reality was patiently waiting for my return. How am I today? Not as good as yesterday but hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Below is a rainbow which appeared on the Canadian side of the Falls during the beautiful sunshine as we were taking photos. You call it what you want, but I looked at it as a sign from my daughter, Amy.
The last time we were at Niagara Falls, we were all here together as a family. It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday, but Amy, I am always grateful for your beautiful signs, a reminder that love never dies.
Always remembering you, Amy.