As I looked at the light inside the jack-o-lanterns last night, it reminded me that we all have a light which exists in our soul and shines through our eyes and actions. Shortly after Devastation Day, I glanced at myself in a mirror and noticed my eyes. Dull and lifeless dead eyes were looking back at me! So, this is what losing a child looks like …
Looking into the mirror that day made me realize how the sudden death of my youngest child had affected my soul. If our eyes are indeed a window to our soul, then it would seem that Devastation Day put my light out.
Looking back and based on the way I feel now, I would say some of the light in my soul is probably gone … as if I am burning on a 60 watt bulb instead of a 150 watt. It is my sincerest hope that Amy took a bit of the best parts of my light with her on “that day” which travels along the golden cord and connects our souls together forever. Maybe some day when my heart is not as heavy with this debilitating grief, I will also feel the beautiful light which Amy left behind in me — a beloved gift from her to me — which no death could ever steal away from me. But for now, that beautiful light seems to be overshadowed by tremendous pain. So maybe some day the light in my eyes will get brighter with the help of some of my Amy’s peaceful light.
So almost 15 months later, my eyes no longer look dead but make no mistake they are forever changed. I remarked last evening to another knowing woman who lost her son over 20 years ago when he was the same age as Amy, that through my eyes now, everything in the world looks dimmer without Amy. Even the brightest sunny day appears to have lost its luster. This kind knowing woman comforted me as we shivered outside on Halloween night chatting, she with her dangling flashing pumpkin earrings and me with my tear stained face holding my witches brew bucket filled with candy for the kids.
Just as during other conversations with this woman, she left me with food for thought. She always reassures me that while it will take a long time, over time I will feel better. In her case it took almost 7 years. She has a strong faith now but she said it took years to rebuild it. She shared with me that in the early years when she prayed, despite that her trust was broken at the time, that she would say a simple prayer to bless her son who had left this world as we know it and to bless her other loved ones. However, she ended each prayer the same way: “so these are my prayers but I already know You are going to do whatever You want to do anyway.” Guess that’s what they call the freaking “plan.”
Yes! A believer whose faith was tested after her Devastation Day and who also felt the same as I do now but found her way back to trusting again … It gave me hope because along with missing Amy, I miss trusting. Yet I now try to say a prayer each night as I light a candle for Amy and for my struggling family.
Another grieving Mom told me that she read it is the belief in one religion that the prayers from a mother/father have the strongest impact on their child’s soul once they pass away. I definitely am not taking any chances of letting Amy down so I pray. Regardless of my own crisis of faith, its something I can do for Amy as I will always want the very best for my sweet child.
As I continued my conversation with my new knowing friend, I confessed to her that it never occurred to me that Halloween would make me cry and miss Amy so much. Halloween — no big deal. However, again, just as last year, I felt the need to flee to my daughter’s house instead of staying home and giving out candy to the children in my own neighborhood.
My home has now become the house on the corner which breaks my heart every time I arrive home and notice one of the lifeless windows on the second story. Many times I would look up to see if the light was on in one of the rooms to see if Amy was home. I still find myself doing that before I exit my car.
Regardless if the neighbors still remember the activity which happened on Devastation Day as they pass my home, I will never ever forget. Call me grief obsessed or paranoid, but I still believe that everyone whispers “there is the mother who lost her child”. Probably because that is how I view myself now. No, it’s not just me because I have seen people look at me and whisper like they have a secret to share. It used to make me want to run and cry during the first year, but now I want to throw something at them — and trust me I am not talking about throwing a feather.
So Halloween — just some kid holiday until I noticed the little ones dressed up as pumpkins and remembered when Amy was a pumpkin. Or when I noticed the Twix candy bars, Amy’s favorite, mixed in with the candy my oldest daughter was giving out. Or I saw the parents standing back smiling proudly as I fussed over their children’s costumes. Just another night in paradise, right? No day is the same without Amy. Just look deep into my eyes and you will see the eyes of the woman who lost a child.
Always remembering Amy and her beautiful light …