After having just read the Refuge in Grief weekly letter*, the persistence of memory, I felt pushed to share my own thoughts on memories despite knowing many will disagree with me. 19 months after my beautiful lively healthy fit 27-year-old youngest child, Amy, collapsed and died in front of me because her heart just stopped, memories hurt.
Amy had not left the nest yet and only worked a few blocks away from me so my collection box of memories are overflowing and my day-to-day world screams the news very loudly. When others share their Amy stories, I am overwhelmed with such longing and sadness. Yet I want everyone to remember my lovely daughter was here and to speak her name. Hearing how my daughter affected your life is music to my ears. Those memories are a lifeline between here and there. I treasure the exchange. Please realize that and don’t tiptoe around the fact that Amy was indeed here and touched your life. Ignore my tears and reaction because I am a mother who does not know what to do with the fact that Amy died. I mean it. I have become a walking contradiction who has no idea who I am, what I want, who I can trust, aside from my husband, and what I should do next.
And I don’t want Amy to be a memory. This is all so unnatural. I am not the only mother living without a child but I am the only mother living without my child. Nothing in life prepared me to bury a child. My life screams Amy died and that reality is like a graffiti written all over people, places and things. I try to embrace the memories too because everyone who travels this long painful road reminds me it is all I have now. But hello! I want more. I want more. I want more. Can you read a frustrated mother’s tantrum as I am so sick and tired of trying to find a way to live without my child? Dammit, I don’t want to do this. Sometimes I feel as though everyone is waiting for me to collapse out of pure exhaustion and say “uncle.” The day I do that will be the day I truly do become a totally unrecognizable Dee.
These past 19 months have been so f”d up. Losing friendships because they made the choice to bail on a broken family and dance along their merry way. Family members who do not even speak to us because they do not know what to say or did not have the depth to do the right thing. Yet, we, in our broken state, are expected to rise above it all or rise to the occasion and brush ourselves off and move forward without a young woman who was a vital part of our lives and whose absence has forever debilitated us. We will never again be the same.
Each time I suck it up and jump into your world I feel so off-balance. Many times my head is spinning as I try to find a close enough octave to hear your words. I speak but my words are even Greek to me. I listen but never hear all of the words as my mind wanders. I engage with fear of what will be discussed which always has the potential to leave me in worse condition than when I arrived. Your perfect untouched lives gives you no clue of what it’s like to exist in my shattered world. Do I sound jealous? You betcha!
Yes I realize I go on and on inside even my own head repeating the same words over and over with no resolution. I write the same reruns on my blog. Why Amy? Why me? Why my family? Why all these kind people whom I have met along the way? Never ever proclaim how special I must be. Screw special. Anger or sorrow attached to most words and thoughts. How does one survive this? Where is my choice? Timeline for choice expired on Devastation Day! What is my whimpering broken soul trying to teach me? Leave me alone with your life lessons. Haven’t you done enough? Oh boy do I know the answer to that.
Believe me, I am capable of writing about of all the life lessons I have learned over the course of these past 19 months as well as chirp lies about how God is carrying me through all of this but I am just not feeling it. Do you get me? Do you hear me? Yet I do try to pray now. Some habits are hard to break.
Sometimes I still think it would have been easier if I was banished to the land of forgotten broken people. However, I feel as though I am expected to ride through the storm on my tired donkey and arrive on the other side of this tragedy on my white horse wearing my shiny new armor, compliments of losing a child. It’s all such bullshit.
Today I write a tantrum. It’s another Sunday morning, the absolute worst time of my week as I am overshadowed more than usual, by the shocking memories of when the worst possible thing that could happen, happened.
Always remembering Amy and still wishing you were here.
*Refuge in Grief” written by Megan Devine. Worth reading. Google it if interested. I am not a savvy blogger and have no idea how to include a link.