Recently a friend told me about a class she had signed up for via the Daily Om. I admit to having read the Daily Om off/on through the years in an effort to find my way in life. Unfortunately, now, I am not sure that the traditional philosophies are designed for my complicated life so I am no longer drawn to this type of thought provoking writing. However, today’s topic grabbed my attention when at first glance I thought the topic was Disappearing Faces although it was actually titled Disapproving Faces.
Disappearing Faces interested me; disapproving faces did not so I only skimmed the article. From what I read, it was a good article discussing how like attracts like and discussed how there are people whom we don’t like in our life and vice versa. The article made sense. Especially the part about like attracts like as on the other side of Devastation Day, I find I am so drawn to those who walk on the same path as I do now and who unfortunately know the unbelievable pain of living without a child. They are typically the only ones who are brave enough to comment on my pitiful postings because we unfortunately speak the same language. Their support has been invaluable.
Disappearing Faces reminded me of the blogs I came across in those early months written by injured parents on the other side of this nightmare who wrote of family and friends, who despite promises to help them on their sad journey, were not able to keep their promise and bolted sooner than later.
Fortunately, I have only experienced a little of this behavior. However, sadly the ones who have disappeared were ones whom I predicted would not be able to stick around so there have been no surprises in that area (yet). I remember one woman saying, don’t worry, I will help you through – hmmm, haven’t heard one word from this woman in well over 2 months…. Thank goodness I was not counting on her … sadly, I count on no one, with the exception of my husband and probably my sisters. Yet, there are many whose kindness has lightened my pain along the way and helped me to get through another day.
Of all of the people in my life, I will say that Amy was one of the few people who I totally trusted and who never betrayed me. If you knew her, you would understand why I would say this because she was fiercely loyal – especially to her Momma. My husband is another person whom I trust – now, more than ever, as he knows better than anyone on this earth how our lives have been blown up by the loss of our precious daughter.
However, what I could not predict were the people who were made of such good stuff and who have stood by me in a way I would never have dreamed. I am so grateful and I know I do not say it enough. I consider their willingness to listen and cry with me a blessing. They have no problem stepping outside of their own comfort zones and taking time from their individual lives to support me.
Season and reason probably applies to those whom are leaving us behind. Or are we leaving them behind? Does it matter? Probably not. I always talk about being so misunderstood and up until recently, I didn’t totally grasp how difficult it is to be in the minority and exist in this world without your complete family.
Recently I read something that describes the world as not being conducive to losing a child. (Yeah, I read a lot but rarely finish anything). Apparently, his or her theory was that years ago, religion sustained you; neighbors carried you; people had time to be compassionate to one another. Families were like tribes who lived close to one another and they really helped with the grieving. Sounds like a fairytale. Fast forward to current times — busy lives and get over yourself as quickly as possibly prevails. If it feels good, do it. The support network is broken and sadly if you suffer a big loss today, the writer predicted years of pain. As I have written before, somewhere I read it takes over 9 years to mentally and emotionally process the loss of a child.
Currently, I am listening to the audiobook “The Shack” written by William P. Young. This book was highly recommended to me by a good friend and my Mom so I downloaded it on my kindle before Devastation Day but never took the time to read it. Just as a sidebar, I have not finished the book so have no idea how it ends. In a nutshell, this book is about a man (Mack) who loses his youngest child (Missy) and then later spends a weekend with God. As I was listening to this book on a trip to visit my Mom, I remember wondering if the author had lost a child and if he didn’t, then he must have spoken to someone who did. Otherwise, I can’t imagine how he could describe the loss as if he were living inside my mind and body now.
“Little distractions like the ice storm were a welcome although brief respite from the haunting presence of his constant companion: The Great Sadness, as he referred to it. Shortly after the summer that Missy vanished, The Great Sadness had draped itself around Mack’s shoulders like some invisible but almost tangibly heavy quilt. The weight of its presence dulled his eyes and stooped his shoulders. Even his efforts to shake it off were exhausting, as if his arms were sewn into its bleak folds of despair and he had somehow become part of it. He ate, worked, loved, dreamed, and played in this garment of heaviness, weighed down as if he were wearing a leaden bathrobe – trudging daily through the murky despondency that sucked the color out of everything.
At times he could feel The Great Sadness slowly tightening around his chest and heart like the crushing coils of a constrictor, squeezing liquid from his eyes until he thought there no longer remained a reservoir. “
Yes, this author describes how I feel. Yesterday, when the narrator read the above words, I found myself screaming Yes! That’s how I feel but have no idea how to communicate it to others. His words struck such a cord that I found myself searching for those words on my kindle version.
I have begged since day one, please lower your expectations of me. Please don’t punish me further with your wrath if I cannot be a better version of myself on the other side of Amy’s death.
Please put away your crystal ball, your prescriptions which will make me all better, your GPS and your calendar. Please honor the time it is taking for me to mourn my sweet, sweet Amy. There are land mines everywhere as I travel on the other side of Devastation Day which pull me backwards to a place I never want to revisit again. My actual Devastation Day. Sunday mornings; songs; people, places and things … am I better? Please define better. I am EXHAUSTED! I am SAD! I am LONELY! I am BROKEN! I miss my girl! I still cry every day as her death seeps into my soul while my mind and heart are screaming No! Please, No. Not my sweet girl.
Always remembering Amy…