100 days of searing pain….


Does time really heal all wounds? Mothers who have lost  a child to death assure us that “it will get better.” Friends and loved ones have started telling me that “it is time to get over it and get on with life.”

Researchers say that a mother never ceases mourning the death of her child. I believe this finding.

In those immediate hours, after my precious child’s death, time stopped.  My life ground to a halt.

At Vic’s Memorial Service I was amazed that people rushed off after the service and tea to meetings, to pick up children from school…I remember thinking that everyone had already moved on…

I stood next to the hearse not wanting it to leave.  I rested my hand on the wood of the casket…I wanted to pull my child out of that darn coffin and wrap her in my arms.  I was not ready to say goodbye.

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Today it is 100 days filled with searing pain and longing since Vic left home for the last time.

I have begun to mark time differently.  I count the number of days, weeks and months that I have mourned and missed my child. 

I know that every day that passes is one day closer to me being with my beloved child again.  I know that Vic’s suffering is over; I know that it is for the best that Vic’s dreadful pain filled life is over…. It does not make my mourning less.

So today I am burning candles for my child.  I am praying that my child is at peace.  I am praying for grace to endure this longing.  I pray that I will have the strength to continue honouring Vic’s memory….

I pray that I will be worthy of the trust she put in me to look after her precious boys.

On the surface it appears as if the boys are coping well.  I heard a comment from a teacher this week saying that, despite the trauma they went through with Vic’s death this year, they are actually doing better than last year.

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It was so difficult watching her suffering!

So today, once again, I say “Rest in Peace my beautiful Angel Child”

 

Grief attack


Jared and his Mommy - 10 days before she died
Jared and his Mommy – 10 days before she died
I have sunk to a new low this weekend.  I had every intention to attend church this morning.  I woke up with tears streaming down my cheeks.  I must have had dreamt of Vic.  I knew that I could not handle the gentle arms and words of sympathy at church.
Maybe next weekend…
I would like to share this wonderful writing from a Facebook site – The Grieving Parent.  It articulates my feeling beautifully.
I had a grief attack yesterday and again this morning….

2 hours ago ·

  • After my daughter’s death, I learned that the first year’s grief doesn’t flow neatly from one stage to the next; it has multiple patterns, fluctuating cycles, lots of ups and downs. First-year grief will surprise you in many ways, but here are a few things you can expect.Expect sudden “grief attacks.”
     
    Practical matters demand attention in early grief when we are the most confused and least interested in things we used to care about. We must decide how to get through each new day. Some days, getting out of bed may take all the energy we have. Trips to everyday places like the grocery store feel so different. In my case, simple things like seeing my daughter’s favorite cereal on the store shelf brought immediate, excruciating pain.
    I call these unexpected reactions “grief attacks.” And unlike the response we would get if we had a heart attack while shopping, those around us don’t know what to do. We get good at hiding our pain, at postponing grieving for a more appropriate place, a better time.
     
    Expect exhaustion and disruption. Early grieving is perhaps the hardest work you will ever do. It is common to have difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite and blood pressure, tense muscles that are susceptible to strains, a weakened immune system.Many bereaved parents return to work, school, or other activities feeling vulnerable, less confident about their capabilities, less able to concentrate, distracted by memories, and flooded with emotions that disrupt thinking. For others, work is the only place they are able to concentrate- focusing on tasks helps take their mind off their loss for awhile.
     
    Those around us may have unrealistic expectations as we return to work or school. When one mother whose only child had died returned to work, her supervisor greeted her by saying: “I’m sorry about your loss but I want to talk to you about improving your work performance.” Expect to be stunned by the ineptness, thoughtlessness, and discomfort of some people, and to be thrilled and deeply touched by the kindness and sensitivity of others. Sometimes those you expect to support you the most can’t or won’t meet your needs, while others you weren’t that close to before reach out unexpectedly.
     
    Expect ongoing “echoes.” We experience so many emotions after our child dies. We may feel relief that our child is no longer suffering, then feel guilty about being relieved. For a time we may be unable to feel much at all. While learning to live with the hole in our heart and fatigue in our body, other responsibilities beckon. We must file insurance claims, pay bills, write thank-you notes, decide what we want to do with our child’s possessions, and on and on.Just when we think everyone surely has heard of our loss by now, the reality of our child’s death echoes back to us. A call comes from the dentist’s office about scheduling her a checkup, or we run into our child’s old friend who just moved back to town. Once again we must tell our story, respond to someone else’s pain, experience fresh waves of grief. Knowing certain events are coming, such as seeing the grave marker or reading the death certificate or autopsy report, does not prevent us from hurting. These are tangible reminders of the reality of death, while part of us still hopes it’s all been just a bad dream.
     
    Our child’s death causes us to re-examine our beliefs about the Universe, God, and how the world works. Your faith and belief system may comfort and sustain you during the first year or you may feel angry and disconnected from it. Remember that it is okay to question. 
     
    You may be drawn to people who have experienced a loss like yours and can understand some of your feelings and questions. This is one reason many people in early grief find comfort in bereavement support groups. But remember that no one can ever totally understand your grief, your questions, and what your child means to you. Like all relationships, each person’s grief is unique and complex.During early grief, you may want to stay busy all the time, avoiding painful emotions and the exhausting work of grief, hoping time will heal you. There’s no set schedule and no recovery period for grief. But time alone does not heal- it’s what we do with the time that counts. Take the time you need to do your grief work. But also take time away from grieving to do things you enjoy, to rest and replenish yourself.
     
    When our child dies, our hoped-for future dies, too.
     
    Beginning in this first year, and continuing on from there, living with your loss means taking on new roles, new relationships, a new future- without forgetting your past. Sometimes, life takes surprising turns. 
     
    Before my daughter’s death, I never would have imagined I would become so involved in grief support. It wasn’t part of my “plan.” Confronted with loss, we can weave the strands of our past into a new, meaningful future we never would have planned to live. Doing so is a conscious choice.
     
    Getting through the first year of your grief is like winding a ball of string. You start with an end and wind and wind. Then the ball slips through your fingers and rolls across the floor. Some of the work is undone, but not all. You pick it up and start over again, but never do you have to begin at the end of the string. The ball never completely unwinds; you’ve made some progress.
     
    My daughter’s spirit and our continuing bond of love gives me strength each day. May your child be there to help you during this painful first year, and in all the years to come.
    Jon-Daniel and his brave Mommy - January 2013
    Jon-Daniel and his brave Mommy – January 2013

I will not close down my blog


559940_412504292172338_2020785244_nThis is a very emotional time in all our lives.  It is 8 weeks and 2 days since Vic died.  We have all lived on our nerves for a long time and although we thought it would be a relief that Vic’s suffering was over, the grief has been overwhelming.  Not only for the boys and I but also others that loved Vic…

I know the family is concerned about me.  I know their concern stems from love.

I however need to blog.  I need to hear from other bereaved parents that I am not going mad.  That my grief is normal and that it is okay to grieve for my beautiful child.

I have subscribed to several blogs or sites for bereaved parents and it is not working for me.  It is other parents words.

I will however borrow these words from another grieving parent

Dear Clueless

I would like to share with you my pain but that isn’t possible unless you have lost a child yourself and that I wouldn’t want you to have to experience. So with that being said, I would like to say this. I will try to my best to understand you if you try to understand me. I lost my child. My life will never be the same. I will never be the same again. I will be different from now on. I no longer have the same feelings about anything. Everything in my life has changed from the moment my child left to go to heaven. I will, on some days be very sad and nothing you say will changes that so don’t feel like it is your job to make me feel better on those days, just allow me to be where I am. 

When you lose a child you not only lose your reason for living, you lose the motivation to go on. You also lose your sense of self. It takes a long time to come to some kind of understanding for why this has happened, if ever. Of course we who have lost children know we have to go on but we don’t want to hear someone else tell us too. Especially from someone who has not lost a child. It makes me and anyone who has lost a child want to say who are you to tell me that? Did you bury your child? I don’t want this to sound like I don’t appreciate everything you say because I know you mean well, but I just want you to appreciate where I am coming from too. I want you to understand that some of the things you say hurt me and others like me without you really knowing it. I know it must be pretty hard to talk to people like myself, not knowing what to say. That is why I am writing this letter. 

If you don’t know what to say, say nothing or just say I’m sorry. That always works for me. If you want to talk ad say my child’s name feel free I would love to hear his name anytime. You not saying his name didn’t make me forget it, or what happened to him. So by all means say his name. When special dates come or holidays come please forgive me if I’m not myself. I just can’t keep it up on those days. I may wish to be by myself so I can think about my child without putting on a front. Most of all I want you to know I’m having a hard time with the death of my child and I am trying my very best to get back into life again. Some days it may look like I have accomplished that, and other days like I am at square one.

This will happen the rest of my life periodically. There are just no words to explain the living hell this feels like. There are no words that could ever do it justice. So please bear with me and give me time and don’t put your own timetable on my grief and let me be the person I am now and not have to live up to the person you think I should be. Allow me my space and time and accept me for me. I will try my best to understand you. 

Love, Your Friend in Grief  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Whispers-from-Heaven/604565892890783

So, if you are going to read my blog read it through my eyes and see my heart.  If you are unable to handle the rawness of my words know that you are reading my soul.  Remember that I don’t easily verbalize my emotions and this blog is my coping mechanism.

I have found hundreds of notes and journal entries in a file called “Our Story.”  Vic loved my blog and wanted me to share “Our Story”.  It was her wish.  I will continue to do so.

So, love me in my time of sorrow and allow me to cope whichever way I can….  I love you too and appreciate your caring.

 

You Will Never Get Over it


Vic as a little girl
Vic as a little girl

I have subscribed to a club…The Grief Club”.  I will share the very first post I read with you.

You Will Never Get Over it

By

Corinne Edwards, Guest Author

 

We had a shocking loss of a young person in the family.  My 21 year old son died in an accident. The next day, a friend came to see us.  His son had been killed by a drunk driver. His words surprised me.  They didn’t sink in until much later.

“You will never get over this.  If you know this in advance, you won’t try.  You will not struggle and condemn yourself for not succeeding.”

He was right.  His words became a consolation.  I stopped trying. That’s why I decided to write this article.  I wanted to share my friend’s words with  you. The old normal is gone.  There’s  a hole in your heart and your being that will never be filled.

I related to so many things the women confided.  I read their stories – did the same things.  I also felt my son around all the time.  I went to psychics to try to contact him.  I even attended a séance. I prayed for messages.  I dreamed about him often. I imagined I saw him in a crowd of people.   I wouldn’t let him go.

One psychic told me that those who have gone on to the other side are allowed to stay around for a while to help and comfort, but they won’t be here forever. I started feeling him less and less.  I dreamed about  him only once in a while.  But  he’s never left my heart.

After a period of intense pain, you’ll be different.  The person you were is gone.  It is an amputation.  Eventually, a new person will emerge.  It will be the new normal. A new life will start to take shape, but the limb you  lost won’t grow back.  You will have something in common with a soldier who bravely runs a marathon despite having a prosthesis for a leg.

As my friend said, you’ll never get over it.

This new person will have a life which includes peace, love  and even laughter, community and new friendships.  It can and will happen in your own time.

I believe there is a tiny gift inherent in every unspeakable tragedy. One is compassion.  I could not have written that article for widows if I hadn’t experienced the grief of losing my husband.  I would not have been able to connect.

Another gift is knowing how to help someone who’s in  extreme pain.

The world doesn’t give you much time.  You hear platitudes like “Life goes on” and “Thank God you have other family.”  They say it as if another person can  replace the one you  lost.  You get about two months to get over it. The truth is, they don’t know what to say.  What they don’t know is that all they need to do is listen.

Part of the gift is giving someone else your time to listen far beyond the window  normally allowed.  You know they have no one to talk to.  You reach out more. You know how important it is to tell the story, over and over.

The sharing of this gift, when you are able, will comfort you. You’ll stop struggling to get over it.  You’ll trust that if you’re  still on this earth, there must be a reason. The new normal person will find that reason.  It may not  exist yet, but every day it becomes more real..

© Corinne Edwards

http://www.personal-growth-with-corinne-edwards.com

I have so far to go!