A few weeks ago, my husband and I were out to eat at a restaurant that typically isn’t known for a loud atmosphere. On this night though, to me, it seemed VERY loud. While I know that I am much more sensitive to all my senses now, I felt that it was above that on this particular visit.
I even commented multiple times to my husband that it seemed loud in the area we were in. In that moment, I knew that I needed some time away from all the “noise” of life. I needed to take a break to recharge myself. Things I used to tolerate, I don’t anymore. I have changed. My family has changed. We have all taken on roles we never asked to take on before, before Big Bubby left this world for a better one. It all came to the top when my husband and I had a hard discussion about Million Dollar Brother and Baby Sis. When I was told they still felt as if I put Big Bubby first. I know this will be seen by them and their significant others, I hope they understand the need for clarification.
FOR ME AND ME ALONE:
Life was good before, life now, is a daily struggle between the great things going on in life vs. the loss I have endured over the last two years. I don’t talk much to family and friends anymore, just my therapist because there is no judgement there when I talk to her (this is not meant to be a negative to my family and friends please don’t read it that way). She listens with an unbiased voice, gives me her feedback to think on, and then we talk about what she has given to me to think on. Although I say that, all of this is for me to muddle my way through. I have no expectations from the family, friends, or others that constantly support me as this is a journey of self revelations. No one can do this for me. I have to accomplish this one solo.
What everyone must realize is that I am doing the best I can at getting to a better place with the cards that have been dealt to me. Am I there yet, no. How long will it take, I have no idea. Will I have set backs or triggers, ABSOLUTELY YES. Do I expect others to understand this, no, I do expect others to empathize with me to the best they can with my situation, that I am making an effort to, for lack of a better term, “get better”. Not trying to be mean or grouchy with this statement but sometimes it does feel as if family and friends closest to the mom who has lost a child expect more than the mom can give in relation to where the family or friend is at.
I wake each day with the weight of knowing I have people counting on me to be strong, independent, and faithful to them. I used to fully embrace this need, now, sometimes I want to tell everyone to give me breathing room. Just because family and friends are handling their loss, doesn’t mean I am. Nor does it mean I am in a bad place. It just means we all handle this loss differently. I am not making things all about me, rather I am trying the best I can to make sure I am that strong, independent, faithful mom I used to be. When I ask questions, I am ensuring that my family doesn’t need more from me. I am not pushing myself to the front of a situation.
I look to share in all the joy of the coming months with two weddings within 9 months of each other. There will be so much activity going on around those and two members graduating from college spilled in between too. This is a special time in our family and I want to be there to support everyone in a joyful way. But I also will need time to myself, time to reflect, talk about/to Big Bubby and what he would think of the events. Those around me need to understand and respect this time for me. If I am in a bad place on a day, let me be in that bad place alone. The last thing I want to do is ruin a happy moment.
It goes without saying that a mother’s connection to her children is something different than anyone else in the world. That connection begins even before the child is born. I am not discounting a father’s pain during a child loss, only trying to better educate those who may take for granted what it does to a mother. Every single day you wake after the loss of a child, you fight the urge to not go on. You remember what you have to live for in the here and now. That is what gets you out of bed each day to carry on. Also knowing that the child you have lost doesn’t want you to live in the past, mourning them until you cross over to them, and alienating yourself from those who love you most. I pray that no one I know has to endure this daily battle and that those who are closest to me better understand what my daily challenges are.
Parents of children lost find triggers that would have never been triggers in their mind before the loss. A good example is early morning or late evening phone calls for me, trigger. News of my child on lock down at school due to active shooter, trigger. These DO NOT diminish the fact of what is going on in the here and now. These DO however, make me more sensitive to wanting to make sure my kids know I am there for them and that I will be there for them always. I want them to know that I am not asking to bring up memories, I am asking because I want to make sure they are OK. I just hope someday they understand that.
It has been wonderful being away from social media for a while. It has allowed my brain to evaluate truly where I am and to just breathe. I continue not to get on social media other than here as I still feel that I am in a better place without the daily contact with it. I will go back to it at some point, we all have our attachments, but for now, my time away has given me a time for silent reflection.