There is an invisible drawbridge which I cross many times each day. One direction takes me back to a time when Amy was present and the other direction is my uncomfortable here and now. There is no schedule which warns me when the drawbridge is going to open and throw me into the tunnel of despair.
One minute I am bebopping along in a “I think I can” mode when something so insignificant happens to remind me that I can’t.
When anyone mentions that someone had their third child, I remember…
I have to work so hard just to get through a day and always reminded why.
Even now, there are places I can no longer go. What may comfort me one day ends up being useless the next day.
So I wander across the bridge with no real direction. Change is inevitable and necessary in order to survive:
Full definition of SURVIVAL 1 a : the act or fact of living or continuing longer than another person or thing b : the continuation of life or existence.
Survival sounds horrible to me “continuing longer than a person”. My sweet daughter. Time and time again, I try to wrap my head around what exactly is expected of me now?
Go forth and carry on? Maybe it’s my age that keeps me from doing that? Maybe it’s where I am standing in the middle of this nightmare? Maybe it’s my relationship with Amy? Maybe it’s my personality?
Quite honestly, I find little comfort on either side of the bridge. Going back to my yesterdays where my memories are stored of life with my complete family hurts. Oh how I long for those yesterdays. To live in the moment on the middle of the bridge while never knowing when the bridge will suddenly open keeps my grief heavy and fresh. Letting go of the memories to be present without Amy is necessary sometimes but seems so wrong — as if I am erasing her from my life now as a means to move forward. Of course no one would suggest I do that, right? Cherish the memories and live in the moment but who among us who has suffered the tragic loss of their loved one does not long to go back to the comfortable warm and fuzzy side of the bridge when your loved one was here.
Looking ahead without one of my children makes my stomach sink. There will not be an Aunt Amy and my beautiful vibrant child has been reduced to a memory to anyone who joins our family in the future. Trust me that is not an easy pill to swallow. Try drawing a silver lining around that …
Making peace with the memories takes time yet I find I live in an impatient world. Say what they want to hear not what you feel has been the message I receive from many who are anxious for me to jump back on the merry-go-round of life. After all, seize the moment because you still have a life to finish here. If only it were that simple? I wish that the world could understand the merry-go-round makes me dizzy.
Initially I felt a pressure to grieve quickly and get over myself which is an unauthentic reflection of my shattered heart. Personally, I find it awkward existing in the present moment without my child. It is becoming crystal clear that there are unrealistic expectations of grievers as we are expected to return to work so quickly and carry on business as usual. My invisible wound of the loss of my child is with me 24/7 yet only truly acceptable in grief circles.
There continues to be times where my dazed and confused dead eyes still haunt me and they have a voice too. Stuffing a platitude or painting an imaginary silver lining around the loss of my child is cruel and not helpful. Checking your calendar and assuming its time for me to move on is unrealistic. Move on to where? Define moving on.
Everyone loves a happy ending and it is inspiring what many do after a tragedy to make the world a better place in memory of their loved one. I personally applaud their efforts. My efforts to help others in memory of Amy has been to reach out to other grieving parents and bear witness to their broken lives and shattered hearts. Many of my kind compassionate friends and family have assisted me in these efforts. Many of these same kind compassionate friends and family remind me that Amy will never be forgotten. There is a unique comfort when someone accepts the broken version of who I am now. In a weird way, I understand why others reject who I have become as I am unrecognizable even to myself.
Once I became aware of the unimaginable pain which exists on the other side of losing a child, I have made it my mission to write through the pain and to share it via my blog. The response to my truth has been overwhelming among other grieving parents and siblings but I feel the resistance among many who do not want me to go there without a silver lining or a happy ending. I am the first to admit that I do not know how it will all turn out as even now my head is still spinning from the reality of how can my child be dead.
As I have said many times before, grief has no graduation or expiration date. It takes as long as it takes. Many of us may never find a comfortable place to dwell on the bridge. Eventually I guess we learn to make peace with the discomfort and learn to exist in a lower octave from the rest of the world.
I miss my Amy. Anyone want to talk me out of that?
Always remembering my Amy.