I am behind with my blog lately and have many to catch up on but wanted to start with something I’ve been struggling with….
Since the loss of my Jonny; my grief has changed me in so many ways. I often think of my life before and and feel it’s not real; or maybe this one isn’t. I have so many memories but they seem so far away yet like yesterday. I yearn for them so deeply that sometimes I pretend they aren’t real to get through the next moment without falling apart. It’s easier to go through the motions as if I’m a robot than to face reality.
Social anxiety has to be one of my worst new traits. If you knew me before the loss of my son, you know me as a very social person. I loved people….I loved helping people….I knocked on doors of complete strangers and took on their whole life story trying to improve their tomorrow. God what I wouldn’t do to go back to that person. The thought of making a phone call often scares me. I see people calling and I just can’t do it at that moment so I avoid it. I don’t know what to say or what they want me say. How am I? I often answer “ good” or “ I’m ok”. Truth is; I’m not ok….I’m not good….I’m so broken inside and nothing I do makes it better. In public I feel like people assume I only have one child; or now two. I just want to scream at the top of my lungs “ I have a 4 year old son; his name is Jonny but he can’t be here”. I don’t want people to think he didn’t exist.
For events with friends, family, or community members I’m the constant elephant in the room. I walk in and I’m the mom who lost their son. I’m defined as this. I have lost my self identity to this. I died when he died. What do people expect to see when they see me? I battle with how I’m supposed to “be”.
Being around people is hard. I want to engage and be myself; but I don’t know who that is anymore. I don’t know if I’m supposed to act like everything is ok to make others comfortable or do I speak the truth that I want to crawl inside a hole that is my grief. I feel like I am very good at playing the part and putting on the face; but it’s not easy. Recently the birth of my daughter has been the main focus. “Congratulations”people say. Inside I know what they mean but I’m also feeling the battle of what I had to go through to get her. The price I paid was more then I ever wanted to. My son died so she could exist. As a mother try and imagine that battle. It’s pure hell and too much to comprehend.
For now I will continue with what I’m doing. I will stay alive for my children and give them the best of what I have left. I will continue to honor my son and ensure no one ever forgets him. I will share my grief publicly in the hope that it helps another mother. I will try and grow around my grief because I can’t possibly live the rest of my life like this. I can’t promise it won’t take forever though.