I am writing this to anyone who has experienced the loss of a child.
This month it will be one year since my son’s death.
I have been traveling the journey (such a hackneyed term but can’t think of another) of the loss of a child for the last year. 11 months and 4 days so far.
So as the date of my son’s death approached I wasn’t sure what was going to happen to me emotionally; if there was going to be reckoning based on the fact that I was approaching an anniversary of sorts. I mean, does a certain day make a difference in a constant process of dealing with loss?
For me, experiencing emotions is something that happens in my body as well as my mind. I get a lot of pain in my body, and that pairs up with my emotions, which include anxiety, fear and sadness. I also experience paranoia, self-loathing, bouts of delusional thinking and despair. And although I have had ups and downs this year, there is no doubt that all of this is intensified as the date approaches. If everyday this year had felt the way these last weeks have felt, there is no way I could have made it.
My son was not a child, he was an adult. But he was my child. I can’t stop feeling like I failed him. In therapy I am told I need to keep boundaries, that I am not to blame, that the things that I did do to help had meaning. I am told it seems like the Universe is telling me that I need to have more boundaries to protect my own sanity. I know for myself that I have to find meaning in surviving or I won’t be able to keep going. When everyday is like fighting against an onslaught of pain and sorrow, it get’s exhausting.
Universe, could you lighten up please? It seems like my spirit is rubbed raw by interactions with people at work or in my world, I don’t understand people any more and I am desperate for any evidence of kindness. Is my boundary to be: You can’t hurt me because I love myself? Or maybe it’s Nobody gives a shit about you, so don’t worry about what they think. People seem awful mean these days. But then again, maybe it’s just me. I hope so, I hope the world isn’t as grim as it seems to me. I still want to believe in love and redemption and compassion.
In the meantime I have precious things to be grateful for. I have the solace of my son’s children and the loving and lovable woman he was married to for many years who is truly my daughter. They are my family and I treasure them so much. I am so grateful for them. Most importantly, I need to show up for them in the ways that they need. We share our sadness and our experience, but each from our own perspective. I don’t know what it’s like to lose a dad or a husband. All I have to go on is the love I feel for each of them.
I am also so grateful for my wife who has my back in all situations, no matter what. I know I have a level of support that many people never experience.
In the meantime, I choose to keep on keeping on.
Thanks for listening.
11 more days until Day Zero. Send me strength.