Today I attended my first serious business meeting in almost three months. I have really neglected my business. Fortunately there was the Christmas recess, so it was not too bad. The series of very important meetings scheduled for the week of the 13th of January was pushed back to the first week in February once I realized that Vic was dying.
I dreaded seeing my (all male) colleagues today. I have known some of them for 25 years and they all knew of Vic’s precarious health.
I sat in my car outside the building and took deep breaths. These guys have never known me to show emotion. I have been stoic throughout Vic’s illness, many operations and setbacks. I was petrified that I would not be able to contain my grief!
Lots of hugs and pats on the back dispersed with the sympathies…a hushed silence followed me into the boardroom. With a couple of minutes to spare before the start of the meeting the guys decided to go smoke.
“It must be a relief for you to not have the responsibility of a sick child any more…” the one said through a cloud of smoke…..
“Yes” said another. “It has been many years”….
I did not have to dignify the insensitive remarks with a response as one of the female directors came out and hugged me. “I have no words for you” she said.
We went into the board room and took our seats. Being our first meeting of the year the normal New Year pleasantries was exchanged. I coped beautifully.
The meeting began and as soon as I started speaking I could hear a quiver in my voice! I was mortified! I shut up as quickly as possible and spent a couple of minutes trying to compose myself without drawing any attention to myself. Breathe in through my abdomen …exhale! Breathe in – exhale… My hands were shaking so I clutched my pen tightly! I put my hands on the boardroom table to steady them.
For years I have NEVER switched off my cell phone in case Vic needed me. If I was away from home (or even when I was home) I would fall asleep in with my phone in my hand. 24/7 my phone was on.
In a way it was liberating switching my phone off when the meeting started.
When I got home this afternoon I sat reading through my old BBM messages from Vic.
“Can I phone you Mommy?”
“Mommy may I have morphine? I am so sore!”
“When will you be home Mommy?”
Tonight the boys went to their dad for dinner. Danie and I popped in at a friend whose daughter-in-law was paralysed in a motorbike accident on the 8th of December. Her three beautiful granddaughters seem a little bewildered. Their mommy is in rehab and their daddy is staying with her 24/7. My friend became a substitute mommy for the girls. I have become a substitute mom to the boys again.
It was strange going to dinner – just the two of us.
Last night I covered schoolbooks… tomorrow morning I will take Jon-Daniel to the orthodontist to have his braces removed. Vic desperately wanted to live for the “event”. I hope she will be there in spirit. Tomorrow afternoon Jared and I will go and make an appointment for our motorbike learner licenses!
I am battling to contain my grief. I am trying to find the time to research “teenage grief”. How do we know how to treat grieving teenage boys? What if we make mistakes? What if we fail Vic and her boys? I fear I am not spending enough time with the boys.
Life is a mess.
I miss you angel child!
13 thoughts on “I miss you Angle Child!”
you grieve however and whenever you need to, there is no time limit or set way. those comments were truly insensitive and i’m so sorry you had to hear them.
i was a devastated child when my grandmother died as she was the only one who cared for me and didn’t abuse me. i know as a kid what helped me immensely was grief counseling. i went on my own through the funeral home. i don’t if that would be something that would help you and the boys?
The return to work and ‘normal life’ is hard, hard on the person returning, and hard on the others, as they do not know what to say, and thus often blurt out insensitive comments. Only way is to take it day by day.
And try to be easy on yourself. No matter how hard you try, you will make mistakes. But your love allows others to see these as mistakes, and support you.
Day by day, moment by moment – sending love, Tersia.
I don’t think there is any exact answer. I think we should simply be truthful and honest with children, and give them all of the love and support they need. I am sorry for the loss. Be well.
You are so very brave and so very precious. I’m sure you are doing a wonderful job with the boys and that you will continue to do so. I’m sure Vic is so proud of her Mommy. You sound like such a wonderful, kind, caring person and you really are an inspiration of courage and strength. Thank you for sharing your heart of hope.
Two weeks today and a life time ahead. The sadness the fears. It must be so extremely difficult to go from 24/7 care to 24/7 of missing your darling child. I pray that time heals. May God cover you in His love and peace minute by minute, day by day. Just take one day at a time. The boys have the best substitute mommy. You are amazing and you are doing more that you possibly could.
will you make mistakes with the boys? absolutely!! no one knows the right thing to say or do for a teenage boy, especially when they have lost their mother. you will do your best and that will be amazing. you’ve got this, really you do! you were able to raise teenagers before while working and having a life, you will be able to do this. it will be hard but you are used to that. my heart goes out to you.
You coped with those insensitive remarks wonderfully, the meeting, everything. Your best is easily good enough with the boys. I always remember reading of how a childcare expert of half a century back said mother’s only need to be ‘good enough’ to bring up perfectly well balanced and happy people, and they had a wonderful mother when younger and have a wonderful substitute mother now who will try and understand their grief. They will be fine!
This reminds me of my first week back at work after loosing my family members. The people I work with were so sensitive and understanding, but the meetings with outsiders were horrible. I would sit in a meeting, hearing nothing at all, using all my willpower just not to burst into tears. My concentration span was around 5 seconds long, for many weeks.
Marita to lose 4 family members on one day is beyond comprehension! I often think of your mom and sister-in-law! You were so kind to Vic. I will always remember that!
You are so brave, doing much better than most under the circumstances. God bless.
I’m impressed you’ve gotten back to work and such so quickly. You are so strong, and I know the boys appreciate it.
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