Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling better after three really hard days of tears, missing my son and asking the “why” questions from many different angles. I know that “they” say not to drive yourself crazy with asking why, but I feel that if I don’t his death will be in vain.  I think it only fair to give us the chance and the room and the understanding to ask “why”?  I always conclude with “whatever the ‘why’ the only option I have at this point is to learn from it, sometimes ask for forgiveness from it, and move forward from it , and maybe help others from it”.  I don’t feel like it is paralyzing me, it is helping me to not feel like he died in vain.  In this journey foward the common pattern of  2 steps forward (sometimes 1 or 3 or 4) and 1 step back (sometimes 2 or 3 or 4 or 5) is emerging.  It helps for me to see that so that I know in my good days I don’t feel the guilt and fear that I will forget him and leave him behind. I know that the deep painful days filled with tears and longing will re-visit me, reminding me of how much I miss him and just how painful his absence is. And in those dark days I know that around the corner I will come back and be present with my living family and friends. And honestly, sometimes this all happens in one day as well.  All it takes is one moment to pull me into that deep pain and in a moment of diversion I am pulled right back into the present with laughter. Our new puppy (almost 7 months) is very good at that ( I will write more about him later).  In a weird way, knowing that the deep pain will re-visit every few days or hours is beginning to allow me to be able to enjoy the days that it is not there because it is in that deep, deep painful grief that I feel that I communicating with him just how much he is missed and just how much I love him and won’t ever foget him. It is my memory stone for me and for him that I walk with him daily in my heart (and head).  And in the good days with laughter, my living kids know how much they matter and how much I love them and I feel good about giving them permission to live their life and not die here on earth before their time.  The new phrase for “moving forward” is “integrating his death into our life” and I love that!  I’ve never been a big fan of word “policing” because I feel like people are still doing whatever it is you are policing….such as saying “we are blessed” instead of saying “we got lucky on that”  there is gratitude in each of those statements that attribute another source other than your own doing.  But for some reason integrating does feel better to me than moving forward. The wheel of grief, leaving the present moment, coming back to the present moment, and laughter is all a continuous circle of integration while continuing to live.  I am not stopping one thing and starting another. I am putting one step in front of the other with the grief and all the pain that carries and my present life and all the joy that carries!

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The New Normal

Three and ½ months ago, my sweet sweet son died by suicide after many years of internal struggles.  It appears that I am just beginning to let the pain of that start to come to the surface. The constant threat of tears and nausea has loomed below that surface these last 2 days.  I am not sure why it is happening now….I have been pushing everything down and thinking I will let it all out when the routine of Fall settles in and I will find a moment to be alone to just cry all day.  This new vulnerability is coming at an inopportune time.  My daughter starts back to school in 2 days and it has been my singular focus to make sure that I set the tone for her to have a great start and finish of her senior year.  My living family is the only thing that holds me together right now.  I recognize the dichotomy of wanting to just stop and cry and cry and cry and me knowing that I can’t do that right now.  I have 2 other children who need me to show them the way and to give them permission to move forward with some joy and hope and way to integrate the unimaginable pain we are all carrying in that movement.  Over the past 3 months I have been able to provide comfort to those who learn about my son’s suicide or his friends or our friends….”we are doing ok” “we are so thankful for the time we had with him”  “I have a deep faith that will hold me up”  “I don’t understand, but God is God and I am only human and I can’t understand his ways of this world”  BUT today I don’t.  Today, I just want to cry and be mad at God and be mad at the world and be mad at myself and everyone else.  Today I just HURT TERRIBLY….