There have been times during the past couple of weeks when I would open up my iPad to a blank WordPress page only to close it. Rendered almost catatonic by the realities of August and the loss of my child. Defeated in many ways by out-of-order death. Exhausted by listening to the ‘I think I can’ chant playing in my head while my heart is reminding me ‘oh no you can’t’. Not now, anyway. Sick and tired of sharing my raw and honest despair. Not interested in writing about anything other than the pain I am desperate to release in an effort to be a better woman, mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend to those who remain important to me on this side of the veil.
How many times can you write the same words over and over again? Grief has destroyed my vocabulary. If I had a $1 bill for every time I wrote the word pain, I would not have to worry about quitting my job before I was of retirement age.
Two years later, I have concluded you cannot teach anyone about the depth of this life altering relentless pain resulting from out-of-order death. Out of order death shatters lives and cannot be compared to any other loss. That statement comes from my own personal life experiences and in no way reflects the views of others. And you know what, I am tired of feeling the need to add a disclaimer in an effort to explain every single word I write so as not to offend. Overall I am just so darn sad that my youngest child died. Just maybe it is time to stop trying to get others to understand my heart.
My family has been the victim of out-of-order death 4xs beginning with my father at age 36, followed by my brother at age 35, my niece’s beautiful 5 month old son and then the one which finally tested every fiber in my being — the tragic death of my daughter Amy at age 27.
Just as I have learned that God is going to do what God is going to do, people will believe whatever they choose to believe regardless of the facts. Whispers continue to label me as the woman who has lost her child and I can only imagine the emails exchanged worrying about what will become of me. Calendars insinuate that there should be more progress. Better is a relative term in my new world. Intention continues to be almost laughable to me.
Retreating from time to time is necessary. Even during my best moments, without warning, down the rabbit hole I go. Before you judge me, take a moment to pause and remember that it has been over two years since I have hugged and kissed Amy or had a normal conversation with her. Some days it seems like only yesterday as my relentless grief insists on replaying the events of “that day.”
Finally I am beginning to realize the full impact of the toll that life has had on who I am today. Can’t means can’t. Broken means broken. Shattered means shattered. That is okay for now and accepting my limitations until I have more energy seems right.
Two years have taught me that I have had a steady stream of support which makes the world easier to engage in some moments. I have learned that you can love a stranger and maintain a real nurturing friendship with someone you have never ever met. I have learned that my family was not the only good family targeted by the devastation of out-of-order death. I have learned that blessings remain abundant but total peace and happiness is no longer available to me in this lifetime without my Amy. It is my choice to make her physical presence that important in my life and hush your mouth if you believe otherwise.
Do not rush me and do not follow me as I have no idea where this jack-hammered road is taking me. Life goes on, I get that. But my life is forever changed and I am ready to stop fighting who I have become now and accept that life will never be the same. As I have always said I am not looking for admiration on the other side of this devastation or to win the grieving mother of the year award by inspiring others. I write from a place of pain — my words have no other source or agenda.
I am no longer interested in convincing the world that I am strong enough or the universe is large enough to heal this invisible wound because quite frankly I just don’t know if it is. Despite worries and concerns to the contrary, the fact that I am still standing is a testament of survival. While I remain uncomfortable among most for any extended period of time and do not trust that the world is a great place for me, the fog has cleared enough to allow me to be grateful to everyone who has supported me with compassion and patience for two solid years. For those who have not, well that is out of my control and I am saying uncle. If you had grown accustomed to seeing the worst of me before Devastation Day, my brokenness now is giving you plenty of ammunition, so do with that as you choose. As my husband reminds me, our load is too heavy to take on those who have a skewed image of us now.
The passage of time and my unique circle of support has indeed assisted me in learning to cope better with the unimaginable loss of my child. I can wear a mask longer when needed which contradicts the torture I continue to feel inside as I ache for my youngest child. No one knows what will happen next for me so put away your crystal ball. Predictions of gloom and doom are not welcome.
As time marches on, I remain empathetic to anyone living this nightmare. Be kind to your gentle heart. People will unintentionally use stupid and thoughtless words when they attempt to comfort you which only amplifies your pain. Such total disregard will get stuck in your shattered mind making it much easier to be pissed off at them rather than look at the gaping hole in your unrecognizable life. Time will add perspective as to whether this immediate reaction is warranted or not. That being said, I will never make excuses for them because intentional or not, the result still hurts. Surround yourself with loved ones and friends who are patient and kind. Allow the grief in and don’t allow anyone to talk you out of it or worse yet predict that your life is now destroyed and this loss will kill you. That is our worst fear, right? Grief is our mind, body and spirit’s natural reaction to the physical absence of someone you love so deeply and to live without them changes everything. When the moments come when you are convinced you can not make it one more moment without them, that is when you MUST dig deep and push. Seek help when you need it.
It is my intention to keep reading the posts written by other grievers and to respond to comments on my blog. As grievers we worry about one another when one of us goes off of the radar so I felt a responsibility to clarify my silence. Unfortunately we grievers also know what these unnatural deaths of our loved ones can do to our will to survive at times, but I assure you that you need not worry about me.
I am just weary from the battle and have been feeling a push to retreat from writing about my pain. As I have alluded to during the past few months, I also continue to worry that my raw honesty is too much for the newly bereaved. Two years have not healed me and I am just not ready to write much about the light I am sure exists when my heart is ready to embrace it.
I am still only an email away if you need me. firstname.lastname@example.org. It may take me a little while to answer, but I promise I will.
Thank you to anyone who took the time to read my painful posts, comment and support me and to remember my Amy.
This is not my swan song. If I have anything else to say, I will post again next month.
Much love to all of you.
Always remembering Amy.