Category Archives: Grief

Searching for Healing

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.

BEST_FAMILY_EASTER_1200_2

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Dear Mikey

Dear Michael,

BuddyPup1

©Swoosieque

Wow! Today is the first anniversary of having to put down my dog — my white shadow. He played a game (or so my spirit thinks) when I made a post on facebook and when I tried to “tag” his name — a Chef named “Buddy” came up.

You never knew Buddy, but, he was a kid in a doggy suit. You would have loved him. I hope that whatever it’s like on the “other side” that you met him.

Yeah, so, today, one year ago, I had to put my dog to sleep.

I remember that I phoned you to wish you a happy birthday (January, 2015) and something was wrong in your voice. You opened up and told me that you had to have your cat put to sleep. Misty, your cat,  went through many trials, years, miles and tribulations with you. Other stories you never shared. She was your companion. She died on your last birthday.  You did not know that it would be your last birthday.  No one knew.

So, four days from now will be your first death-anniversary. I’ve been thinking about putting my feelings in writing. Should I wait until your actual “death date?”

I prefer to answer to feelings. And, tonight, I am feeling, therefore, I shall write — for my sake, and whomever else my feelings may help, because learning to lose, and live with the loss of a son is a sorrowful, special place. Losing you may be the most special thing about me.

I wonder if I should tell you what this year has been like without you.

No. I want to know about what this “earthly-time” has been like for you in your realm.

Are you free from pain?

Did you fulfill your earth-time goals?

Do you remember us?

Will our souls/light-energies meld again?

Is what I am experiencing, like the angel that came to me when I wished my death at 9 years old, and said, “this is not your time, this is but a dream, you will wake up.”

Oh, my Michael. Have you awakened from this “dream” that we on earth know as “life?”

How much of this “earth-dream” do you remember?

I talked with your brothers today. I talked with your widow today. I told all of them how I am a stubborn person when it comes to limitations, such as cutting down 200 pound tree limbs. It reminded me of how you fought to live, stubbornly, until Death had the final say.

I took a pair of gloves from your garage, before leaving your house. They had your initials on them. I thought they were yours. I was afraid to ask your wife for a keepsake because I knew her tribulations — I too was a young widow with young children.

Later, I told her that I took those gloves from the garage — two right-hand gloves (goofy me). She told me that they were your dog-shit-picking-up gloves. I slip my hands into them and feel your touch — dog-shit or not.

Your gloves sit upon my bedroom dresser, below the picture of you and your wife’s wedding invitation, and your funeral leaflet. I slip my hand into those gloves to feel your energy, to imitate holding your hand.

Beyond holding your hand, I will always feel our last hug.

You held me, your skeletal body grasped me as you left the house to go for a walk. You cried. I couldn’t cry. I was so strong/blocked. I could not let you see my tears.  Even though quiet tears did flow, I did not let you see them.

I hugged you as you told me that you loved me and cried. I, of course responded, still holding back a mother’s tears and my own death-wish, “I love you!”

Can you hear me? Are souls for real? Are we but energies of light that attract? Will I intersect with you again or are you gone forever? Are … is your light but a part of my learning experience in this thing we call existence?

Buddy, my doggy, sent me a sign today, or at least I am accepting it as a sign that he can still reach down to this earthly existence and let me know that … that I don’t know what… maybe that …

I had a dream about your dad the other night. He was happy. He was young. He was frolicking with people in a pool. I wanted to join them but I couldn’t.

Oh Mikey, I am so afraid of heights, but I hope that I have a dream of climbing mountains with you and wake up from this “dream” of life, and climb mountains with you in the next plane.

I have four days to live until your first death-anniversary. As I told your brothers tonight, I am stubborn, I will stint my hand/wrist and  rototill, I will plant, I will pole-saw branches. I am stubborn. My hand injury (torn ligaments) will not be a limitation.

The hardest thing I have to do is live. I survived cancer and feel guilty that I didn’t trade places with you. You had so much to do. You had a family to raise. You had a life to live. All that I have to do is get old.

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