Confessions & Ramblings from a Bereaved Mom #100bravethings Project #20
Well here I am before you ready to peel back another layer, take off another piece of armour and invite you into some of my innermost personal thoughts and feelings through loss. Maybe you’re thinking what does that have to do with bravery but I assure you I’m stretching here and pushing myself further outside my comfort zone. I’m letting go of what others might think and boldly standing in some of me deepest thoughts and feelings. Some of which I know are irrational, crazy and even unfair but that doesn’t make them any less true. I hope that if you’re struggling with loss or trauma that my confessions might make you feel less alone.
It’s been one year, 6 months and two days. 549 days. 13,176 hours. 790,560 minutes. No matter how I describe the amount of time that’s passed since Braedon, my son was called home there simply is no way for me to bring you into my world to understand what that feels like; nor would I want you to know that kind of pain for even a moment. It feels like a life-time ago and in the same breath like it was just yesterday too. Now I cling onto memories because that’s all I left and it feels so unfair. Embrace yourself tribe as I confess some of the crazy, irrational, unfair ramblings, thoughts and feelings that have become my life.
- Sometimes I feel guilty for experiencing joy and finding moments of happiness. I question how can I possibly have it in me to laugh and carry on when my only child now lives in heaven. What kind of mother am I; I wonder. I know it’s irrational but it doesn’t keep those thoughts from making their way into my mind.
- Sometimes feel like a complete failure as a parent. I feel like somehow I should have done more. Again, I know it’s irrational but there I am on many occasions trying to combat the voices in my head asking what if you did this or that. Why didn’t you? What’s wrong with you?
- Sometimes I resent you for complaining about what feels trivial to me and well I lost my child so a lot of what you’re complaining about feels trivial. I know my pain doesn’t take away the stresses of your life. I know you’re not comparing your fender bender or work stress to my child’s passing but sometimes when you talk about it I resent you anyways even though I know it’s not fair of me to do so.
- I sometimes wake with a loneliness that seeps deep within my bones, an ache that can’t be soothed, a longing that can never be fulfilled and it’s scary knowing I’ll live with this forever. It’s not something I’ll get over or move on from. It gets different over time but it’s still there; a vast emptiness that can never be filled. Sometimes that occupies my days or even my week. I move aimlessly from this to that but accomplish nothing. Sometimes even when I’m surrounded by others that loneliness still swallows me up, still takes over and feels so real.
- When you say, oh my gosh I wouldn’t even be able to get out of bed. I wouldn’t be able to do this or that it feels like you’re saying that somehow your pain would be greater than mine. We are all different and we break and heal differently to so stop say what you would or wouldn’t do. The reality is you have no idea what you would do or how you would heal from such trauma.
- After everything we’ve been through when you don’t show up for the important stuff it hurts me deeply. I know it’s not fair of me to have these expectations of you and trust me I wish I wasn’t so fragile. I wish my feelings weren’t so easily hurt. I wish I wasn’t always one teeny tiny step away from a total meltdown but that’s where I find myself. I don’t blame you. I know we’re different and we show up differently too. What seems important to me might not be to you and deep down I know that.
- Even though I look the same and perhaps even seem the same losing Braedon has changed me so much. I know you don’t see it and there’s no way you feel it. What I care about and what matters to me are so different. I feel more deeply. I want different things and on a deeper level. I am stronger, braver and more determined than ever before. I am living for Braedon now too and I refuse to take for granted what was taken from him.
- It’s hard to admit that grief & loss are great teachers. It feels incredibly wrong to look for the lessons in these awful experiences but the truth tragedy of this magnitude shakes us in ways we never knew was possible. It forces us to appreciate more, reminds us what’s truly important in life and stretches us in beyond anything we ever could have imagined
- We’re supposed to teach our kids but the truth is I learned so much from Braedon and even in death he is still teaching me every single day. Everything that I am is because of him. Everything that I strive for is for him. Nobody in the world has had a more profound impact on my life and everyday I am so grateful that he chose me.
- Stop saying you don’t have time. Braedon doesn’t have time! You have time for the things you make time for as do I.
- I’m always happy for your joy.
- It’s ok to talk about my son- In fact I want to talk about Braedon and share memories. If something reminded you of Braedon or made you think of him I want to know. He may be gone but my love for him transcends time. He is still my son and I’m still his mom. It’s also ok to talk about your kids too. It they scored the winning goal in soccer or said something funny at dinner I want to know. Remember I am always happy for your joy.
- I’m constantly looking for signs that he’s still out there, that he still exist, that he’s ok and that he knows how truly and deeply he is loved.
Perhaps the most important confession I want to make – Life still doesn’t feel normal for me. Even though it’s been 549 days it still feels like it’s someone else’s life; like some terrible reality I’m trapped in. Maybe you think I should be able to do more and accomplish more by now. The truth is most of the time I feel lost, overwhelmed and disconnected. Understand that every task I do takes me three times as long to complete because it’s so hard to focus. It’s a constant fight against the urge to retreat to my bed and pull the covers over my head. It’s a constant battle to not stay in the darkness soaking in the pain of it all. It’s a constant battle to fight against the voices that tell me I should stay down and that I shouldn’t have the strength to carry on.
Whatever you’re going through. Whatever crazy, irrational and unfair thoughts you might be having; I hope you realize you are not alone.