Survived another Thanksgiving. Unlike last Thanksgiving, I remember most of it although I did forget to turn the oven on so our turkey sat resting for two hours before anyone realized it was not cooking. What I do remember about last year is that I cooked like a robot and was so disconnected from the day.
Yesterday morning when I woke up, I could almost feel Amy urging me to dig deep to do whatever I could to be present for my husband and kids. Any griever knows that trying to control your grief requires a lot of energy. I have read how you are supposed to “lean into your grief”. Maybe that means don’t fight it yet the world grows weary of grievers so I am not sure that leaning or giving into it is as possible as those words imply.
For me, whenever I try to step outside of myself and attempt to function around my grief, the consequence is that the next day feels like a set back as a deep sobbing incident follows. Today is the consequence of yesterday.
I have a photo of Amy on the visor of my car which I can easily view if I glance up. It has been in that location for quite some time but only recently have I been able to look at it. Keep in mind I have seen this photo numerous times, yet now when I look at it, the tears come immediately. So the clueless would say, then don’t look at the photo. Seriously, I will deal with the tears but I hope and pray the day never comes where I consciously decide to put my Amy away somewhere in the back of my mind in an effort to make my own life easier.
I have no choice but to learn to live with this invisible wound. Since I choose to always remember Amy, I seriously doubt that I will ever return to a place of total peace and contentment while I am here on this side of the veil. That is the consequence of losing someone you love so much — not a choice.
My life was designed to be a mother of three beautiful children and pretending, for other people’s benefit, that I am okay without one of my kids is not going to happen. I will, however, do whatever I can to always pump myself up for my kids whenever I am around them as it is never my intention to compound their sorrow.
When someone thinks about me or my family just around the holidays should I be grateful? Have we become a forgotten charity case that some are only reminded of a few times a year? Oh, poor Dee and her family, are having another holiday without Amy. Newsflash, it hurts EVERY DAY!! But most times I am glad to hear you are alive and well. Just don’t expect me to catch you up on what life has been like since the last time we connected because there is nothing about this time in my life that I want to revisit just to keep you up to date.
By now, we get that some people have to be in the mood to deal with us and our sad story. Rest assured they will work us into their busy lives when their time or energy permits. Please note it is just as easy to send a text any day rather than wait to think of us during the “holidays.” I will never ever understand people.
I read many blogs. Many written with faith and/or loaded with positive thinking and encouraging messages which makes me reluctant at times to share my true thoughts. It’s not as though I don’t have moments of being grateful or I never smile or laugh. And it’s not as if I haven’t tried to write words which will sound as if I am grieving forward and making progress, but I never publish those posts because the words are not authentic and do not accurately reflect my life on the other side of Devastation Day. Quite honestly, I typically only write when I need to release the painful thoughts as I rarely ever pick up the phone and call anyone when I am in the deepest despair.
Every time I write a post I make a choice whether I am going to say what others expect or would like me to say or be honest and suffer the consequences of sharing my raw feelings. Recently, I stumbled upon an article written by a griever who had decided after six months of grieving that the show must go on … I believe I gasped out loud at the very idea that one could lose a child and then just return to business as usual after six months. Of course we return to work and have to keep moving, but a conscious decision to return to normal just boggles my mind. Kudos, I guess, for not needing to design a “new normal.” I never make judgments of other grievers but it kind of rattled me. What really surprised me were the comments which followed cheering this griever on for making that decision. Huh? As if it’s that simple?
I can never catch up with anyone who is farther along but I can relate to those whose Devastation Day is still “fresh” as my grief has been called. Grief does shift ever so slowly. Just when you say to yourself, I can do “this” or I have to do “this” because there are others watching who love me or there is no way I can handle this intense pain one more minute, it shifts just enough to allow you to breathe or just enough to knock you out. It’s been my experience that on any given day the elephant sitting on my heart will move many times in both directions. Peace is fleeting.
As I said, today has not been a good day, a consequence of attempting normalcy on a holiday for my table of four. Who knows what tomorrow has in store for me, but it’s not as though I am looking forward to it anyway. Maybe I should end this post with something chirpy, but I cannot find the words to even fool myself.
Remembering Amy every day.