Monday, June 19, 2017

Yin and Yang

Today I went to see Harrison and the wave of sadness, horror and grief overcame me.  It always seems to amaze me how it feels just as painful as the day I lost him.  It doesn’t get easier as people would like to believe or wish it would.  You think you’re tired of hearing it? I get tired of feeling it.  A heart can only break and be broken so long.

I live my life daily with the pain of being without one of my kids.  I adore my children, so in love with my children.  And to not have one around is torture, pure torture.  But what can I do? 

I live. I wake up every morning, grateful my eyes open.  I say a quick prayer, sometimes I don’t even realize I am thanking someone for my morning. I take in the beautiful sunrise, even when it is the wee hours of the morning. I appreciate my health, house, food and all.  I don’t take these things for granted. 

And then I hear them…  I see those faces…  My heart melts like ice on a summer day.  And I know, I know why I live, what makes me happy, why my heart sings every day.  Regardless of the smile or frown I get from the grump heads, I can’t wait to be around them.  Big and small, young and old, it doesn’t matter.  Add in a daughter in law and a granddaughter, and I feel my blessings daily.  Warm, fuzzy and loving every day is a joyous day with them. 

I am sure it sounds silly or even overboard, but if you’ve seen me with my children, you know the love for them pours out of my being.  They amaze me, thrill me and, most of all, love me.   So, when I think of not having Harrison around, it naturally kills me. 

It’s the yin and yang of life.  Extreme joy and extreme pain, co inhabiting one heart, every day, without fail.  I can feel warm from a wonderful, loving memory and be crying, uncontrollably, missing my baby all at once.  It’s an experience I have a love/hate relationship with that I never 
encountered before his death.  But I can say it’s made me treasure the memories more than ever.

I know this entry is a jumbled mess.  It’s just my heart pouring out emotion today.  Never an easy day, but I know I am loved.  But even better, I love!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Warning: Brutal & Graphic!

Warning: Brutal and Graphic!

It has been brought to my attention there are rumors about me floating around, mainly about my mental health.  This is the only forum I have in order defend myself now.  I apologize to those I may offend.  Tender heart…don’t continue reading.

Please do not judge me and the journey I walk for you do not know what it is like for me.  Not even Harrison’s father is on the same journey.  He and I experienced different things on the worst day of our lives and have our own personal demons to battle.

I want to paint a picture for you and explain why I may appear, as told to me, crazy, losing it, emotional, and whatever else a few select people have decided to say about me while I am not around.  And let me just say right now I find it cowardly to not just say it to me directly.  I welcome any feedback you may have for me.  I am a big girl and can take it; just expect a response back.

For those of you with children, imagine your child, motionless, breathless, yellow, gray, blue…

Imagine the feeling of just being told your child is dead, the idea of trying to wrap you head around this.  The idea of never hearing, seeing, smelling, hugging, touching, sharing, anything with your child again.

Feel the pain and heaviness in your chest and heart. The air being sucked out of the room and from your lungs.  I can’t even imagine finding my child like this, can you?  Imagine the desperation of trying to wake your child up and knowing in the back of your mind he is not going to ever wake up again.  Can you?  The fear, the terror, the anguish and the scream all coming to the surface.  The realization you have something horrible happening kicking in. 

Imagine having to call 911 and tell them your child is not breathing, not moving, has no pulse.  

Watching the paramedics trying to treat your child and then pronouncing him dead on the scene.  Talking about calling the coroner to come to the house.  Having the police kick you out of your son’s room until said coroner arrives to check out the scene.

Imagine having to call the mother of your son and say, “he’s dead” to her.  Can you?  How do you?  

Imagine trying to drive over to the house where you child is lying dead in his room, police standing guard not allowing you to go in and hug your child for one last time. 

Imagine trying to comfort your other children who have seen things they should never have witnessed in their lives, never experience. 

Now, imagine saying good bye, kissing your child before they take him away to the coroner’s office with the body bag around him, zipped down to his chest.  Imagine having to shield your children from seeing him wheeled out in a body bag and driven away. 

Can you?  I see the images in my head 24/7, without fail.  They haunt me.  Yes, I have issues.  Who wouldn’t.   If you want to judge me, go right ahead.  If you want to spread rumors, I ask for the courtesy of letting me know what you think about me and not just talking about me behind my back. 

Again, sorry if I have offended anyone.  Not my intention.  Just a dose of my reality.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

It Takes A Village...

It's an odd phenomenon what happens when your child dies.  You become an oddity to quite a few people.  People's reactions, statements and judgments are magnified more than one can imagine and can pierce a grieving parents heart like an arrow.

First, understand there is no rule book to guide us on this journey.  And since every parent's experience is different from the next, we can only hold each other's hand but cannot tell another exactly which direction to go.  Hopefully that made sense.  Although I am not alone, my journey is mine to walk alone.  Even Harrison's father is walking a different journey than I am.

With that said, we each handle how we live with our grief differently.  On my car, it states "My Angel: Harrison 11/97-3/14."  Why I felt compelled to do it I don't know, but I did it.  It draws attention and sometimes people will come up from behind and intentionally look inside my car, while driving, to see what I look like I am guessing.  At first I would become slightly agitated.  But I have come to learn I put it there and can expect people to react how they do.  Others don't have a rule book either.

Staring is common.  My daughters experienced it a lot in elementary school when Harrison first died. They felt singled out and like every one was talking about it.  My oldest daughter has learned to not mention it to anyone, even to a friend going through the same heartache of losing a brother. My youngest daughter doesn't mind sharing as much anymore.

People tend to shy away from a crying, grieving parent, like we might be contagious or crazy for that matter.  I had a doctor hardly want to touch me when he found out about my son. As a nurse, I found this one of the most offensive things to happen to me.  Although, words hurt more than actions.  Keep that thought in mind.

Crying, my friends, is as natural in life as laughing.  As I've said before, society does not like grieving parents to cry.  It's good for us to cry...healthy mentally and physically.  It doesn't mean we are weak, not healing, unable to function, unable to work, not living, etc.  It means we are on a journey of loss. The reality is we will never stop crying, tears are always just a moment away.  Certain things--a song, memory, smell--can trigger a tear.  It's not a step back, but a reminder of our love for our child. Please don't steal that from us.

Instead, support us.  Hug us, ask us for a memory, cover our job for a couple minutes, or just get a tissue.  Something, anything, but judgement, fear, staring, running, anger. I can assure you we already feel negativity for so much and don't need help in that department.  Most of us have lost family and friends when we started this journey and somewhere along the way.  Hard to believe but true.

I always say it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to bury a child.  No one should have to walk the journey alone.  We need as much support as possible to help us find a new normal. No we will never be the same, but we can live again.  Help us along the way instead of hindering us. Please...