These are my confessions or should I clarify by admitting the only confessions I am willing to share. These confessions will not be pretty or inspiring so if you have stumbled upon this post looking for hope, you may be wise to stop here.
There has not been one life lesson on the other side of Devastation Day which I personally wanted to learn. The sudden death of my child has not added anything positive to my life. Anyone want to sign up for a lesson in pain and suffering? Who knew such a relentless pain could overtake your mind, body and soul? I have grieved other loved ones, but oh how I wish I could have escaped this lifetime without ever experiencing the unimaginable loss of my child. Of course I realize grief is measured by the depth of love. That being said, no living being should ever have to suffer this unnatural horrific debilitating life stealing pain.
Living in a world without Amy has not strengthened my family. We are four wonderful souls who no longer connect in the same way we did when we were a complete family of five. We continue to love and gather amidst an unexplainable weirdness as we limp along attempting to remain a family.
The four of us each grieve differently and that creates inevitable disharmony at times. We are being asked to do the unthinkable — continue on as a family without one of the members of our sacred tribe — our Amy. Almost two years later, we have not figured out how to do that. I could hide my head in the sand and lie and pretend we are all fine, but we are not. It is not my intention to say what others want to hear or pretend for the sake of keeping up appearances. When a tragedy strikes a family, everyone has to deal with the loss individually in their own way. We all mourn who Amy was/is to us. My son misses Amy’s laughter and sense of humor the most. He finds he still has so much to tell her. As a mother, it has been difficult to witness my family retreat to their own corners to grieve the way their heart leads them. It has been even more difficult to realize the Mom who always tried to make everything better cannot fix this.
I remain compulsively busy but the tragic news is relentless and nothing I do quiets the reality of who is missing. My life is still unrecognizable but I will always recognize those who have willingly stood with us in the midst of our total devastation. Death sure separates the men from the boys; the weak from the strong; and ready or not, you find out who your friends are very quickly. Maybe I did learn a lesson: actions speak louder than words and we acknowledge receipt of a few of the “don’t call us; we’ll call you” memos. Oh those boundaries that self-entitlement, stay in my happy place fears prompt.
No one understands how much the world has changed for me as I try to exist without my youngest child. How could they possibly know? If they could see inside of my broken heart, they would wince from the view and run away.
The love I feel for Amy continues; that love has not been redistributed among my remaining loved ones now that she has left this side of the veil. My heart loves all of them exactly the same as I did before Amy’s sudden passing. Maybe Amy is the only one I am able to love more because I just ache for that girl. Death changes everything.
Some day I would love to be a grandmother, but that is not up to me. However, if that day should come, no grandchild will fill Amy’s spot because my heart has a special place designed exclusively for grandchildren. Amy cannot be replaced by anyone. My heart has its own unique spot for every person I love or will love.
My faith is not stronger. Today as I was driving to do an errand, I found myself sobbing and screaming at God. “Why did you take my Amy from my life?” This is my confession and these are my words today. Prayer remains difficult, but I continue to try. Oh how I miss my blind faith and the safety net faith provides. It is my sincerest wish that some day it will return but it will take more time to regain all that I lost in a few hours. No one knows the depth of my faith prior to devastation day so don’t even go there. I was born believing and this disconnect has only compounded my pain. This is between me and God — and not up for evaluation by anyone who is not privy to our relationship.
Every night I light a candle for Amy because death has robbed me of every other motherly task I long to do for my youngest child. Oh right — then there is my new task of taking care of her grave at the cemetery always making sure her grave reflects love. I will never get comfortable with that task.
With an open heart I continue to read the words of parents farther along on this journey without a child and I want to feel hopeful that some day it will become easier to get through another day. I confess that today I feel millions of miles away from peace and grace.
My true confession is that I resent every single part of being a grieving mother. I resent how difficult it has become to move through another day. I reject all platitudes and cannot find a reason why my child is gone. Every day I want my daughter back. Time does not heal all wounds. Whomever coined that phrase did not lose a child.
Always remembering my Amy.