Here it is. Here is my post after one year+ after losing my son to pancreatic cancer. This will not be a letter to my son, but a letter to the Universe and all who reside within – including you.
If you are judgmental, if you think you know the answer of how to cope the loss of a child, no matter their age, do not comment unless you have been there – do not read further.
All death-losses are unique. Losing my son is not the same as losing a spouse (I’ve been there, done that), nor a parent (been there, done that).
My stepson told me that upon the death of his two-week old child, they mourned. His wife and he ended up divorcing. His ex-wife, 12 years later, still sets a plate at the table for their dead child. He told me that he could not imagine losing a child who had a “personality.”
“Dead” is the truth, it’s an ugly word. It’s ugly, but, it’s the truth, and I will use the word “dead”. If you’ve been where I have trodden, you know the blatant truth of the use of words.
Do not read further, if you cannot handle the truth about the death of an adult child.
I have “survived” the first year anniversary of Michael’s death. I lived my life striving to “do” what was denied to my son. I listened to the mocking birds. I savored the scent of the lilacs. I tried to live for my son in my limited existence.
I thought that every breath I took was a breath he was denied, and pushed myself to make it worthwhile.
Every sight I saw was something he couldn’t see… the deer in the woods behind our home, the mocking birds, singing every song they memorized. Even the crazy squirrels who chewed up my bird feeder – I found purpose in every living thing.
Problem was/is, I could not find MY purpose in continuing to exist in this plane.
He had so much for which to live – his 2 yr. old son, 4 yr. old daughter, a loving wife, 3 brothers, co-workers, friends… and me, his mom. His dad was deceased when he was only 8 yrs. old.
I have lessened my activities. I perform that of which my life requires and nothing more.
The second year is the year of awakening.
Recently, I have had three “breakdowns”. Talking with those whom I trust, who love and know me. No, not siblings, lost them a long time ago – breast cancer. Friends who really know and love me listened and shared their stories.
Yet, there is something I need to release. I have identified it as “guilt” for outliving my child.
When I broke down, three nights ago, I realized that I need help. I searched local churches for bereavement groups. It seemed my quest was a failure. However, I am impatient.
I did attend an online support group today, to which, I will not be returning. It was more of a cackle of hens…
I was new to the group. Another woman had just lost her son only a week ago and little attention was paid to her. It seemed as though “regulars” were there to talk about camping and weeding their gardens. I was, at first, angry, and then dismissive. I will not be returning to that group. I will not be judgmental.
Meanwhile, I received a phone call from a church, actually, the first church I contacted – I have a really, really, really difficult time with organized religion – however, this non-denominational church returned my request via phone message with an opportunity to meet with its Pastor. Oh, I had contacted four churches – one responded with something to the effect that I could have a phone conference. Uh,… no. Did you not understand my request? Did you not understand my circumstance? I can phone my friends if I want a phone conference.
Anyway, this church was my first choice in requesting help, and … patience must be a virtue. I don’t know that I will find solace, but, I am on a journey and I’m going to exhaust every avenue available to accomplish that end.
The first year is not the hardest.