10 Months ‘AA’


I don’t really know what to say.  I cannot believe that it’s been 10 months.  10 months since I held him. 10 months since I kissed him.  10 months since I breathed in his little boy smell.  10 months since I’ve seen his smile. 10 months since I laughed at his antics.  10 months since I shook my head and secretly smiled when he was misbehaving.  10 months.

I have a lot of anger.  I’m not really sure what or who I’m angry at, but I’m angry all the same.  I’m angry that we have to live in a world without my son.  I’m angry that Darcy doesn’t have a sibling.  I’m angry that people have disappointed me.  I’m angry that time keeps marching by, yet I’m still stuck here.  I’m not sure where ‘here’ is though, some place between the past and the future.  I couldn’t really call it the ‘present’ because I don’t always feel like I’m here.  I just exist.

My therapist thinks I’m using my anger so that I don’t have to deal.  I would agree.  Being angry is so much easier though!  It’s easier to write people off rather than deal with the fact that they have disappointed you.  I enjoy how freeing it feels to have a good rant and let it all out.  It keeps people away and leaves me less vulnerable.  They can’t hurt me as much from farther away.  I want to go back to my bubble, where there was never any judgment, just acceptance and support.  

I don’t know where to go from here.  The common theme seems to be that this is about everyone else and at some point it has to be about me.  I have to own my emotions, no matter how awful they feel.  I have to stop turning away from the hurt.  I have to try to be me, but not the old me, that person no longer exists.  

I think back to where we were a year ago and I have no idea how we got here.  Sometimes it feels like I’m living someone else’s life.  This wasn’t supposed to happen!  We’re not supposed to be here!  I want to yell this, but there’s no one to yell at.  My wise friend Sue said it best the other day when she said that it’s amazing at how little control we have.  Just one little thing can set something in motion that you can’t undo.  

So here I am, scared to move forward and scared not to.  Terrified of feeling empty.  I miss my son.

Author: sheriroaf

Sheri Roaf is the mother of four wonderful children who turned to blogging after her 17 month old son Bennett passed away unexpectedly. Through her writing she has found a way to help herself and her family move forward in the face of tragedy.

13 thoughts on “10 Months ‘AA’”

  1. I love that picture. But you are right, this wasn’t supposed to happen! I know this isn’t really normal, but sometimes I read your blog hoping to see that you’re doing better, having a great day, because I can’t believe we live in a world where things like this even happen and then on top of it the world doesn’t stop! I still wonder if this is a nightmare for you, I can only imagine what YOU think!
    On another note, I spoke to a family friend who lost two sons years ago, at two different times. We were at a cookout. When she brought them up, a could feel the silence, and her apparent feeling of awkwardness at the fact that no one acknowledged her (all people who knew these sons). I am thankful that I’ve read your posts, and thought of you, how upsetting their reactions would be. I asked her about them, when they died, etc. we had the nicest conversation. She’s five plus years out, and she and her husband just beamed with pride telling me about them. So thanks for teaching me to listen.


    1. Tara, that’s such a beautiful story, I wish that more people reacted the way that you did. You saved that women from feeling awful, and feeling like she could share her child. It’s like the big purple elephant in the room sometimes. Thank you for acknowledging her loss.


  2. I wish I could give you a hug. You look SO happy in this picture and he is absolute perfection. I don’t know how you live in a world without him in it, you must feel trapped in this world all the time. Trapped between what you had then and what you are left with now. I can’t begin to comprehend how you navigate between those two things. I can’t believe that this kind of hell on earth is allowed to exist.

    I’ve been thinking of your family as the season seems to be shifting. Your mind must be filled with so many memories of those months you had with Benny as fall was beginning to approach last year. I know your family was doing the same types of things that mine was, and as those things start to come around again I’m thinking of you guys each moment. I know I didn’t him, but I know of him and I will never forget him.


  3. Who wouldn’t be angry? Who would just accept this? You know how angry I have been, but it is softening a wee bit. I understand; wish I didn’t, but since I live with the unimaginable pain you speak about, my heart just breaks for you. Sheri, others farther ahead of us promise it won’t always hurt this much. All I can say is I hope they are right. For now, I am told our grief and loss is still fresh so we are in a very painful place which is difficult for most to understand. Just know you are never alone.


    1. I know Dee, unfortunately there are too many of us that know this pain. But I know that we’re all there for each other too, which is such a comfort during this awfulness. In that, I’m lucky.


  4. Love this picture of you two. Was it from his birthday? I don’t blame you for being angry. Know that we think of you and Benny all the time.


  5. It was the morning after his party. That bouncy house was his happy place, and mine because I knew that he could run, jump, do whatever and not get hurt. He still looks so little to me in this picture.


  6. For what it’s worth- sometimes I get mad for you.. like when I see that Joan Rivers died, and everyone is all upset- I thought about Benny, and you guys and how unfair it is that some people get to live to be that old and people call it a tragedy? I was mad. I get angry for you and I just know of your situation- to be living it, I think I’d be bullshit every waking moment. It’s just as valid an emotion as devastation the two go hand in hand.


    1. I told my therapist that I seem to lack empathy. She’s a little kinder and calls it ‘perspective’. Joan Rivers would have been a great example.
      The problem is, my emotions haven’t been going hand in hand, it’s been mostly anger, and lot’s of it.


  7. Katie is so right. I’m angry for you too. I’m not sure if more anger will help you, but trust me you are not alone. I believe in God and I was really really angry with Him about Bennett for a very long time. I feel like I am just coming around.


  8. I’m just on a roll here. I had a dream last night that Parker was installing a new mailbox at the end of your driveway, on the left if you’re looking at your house. It had a stone post or stone wall near it, and he had either a black conductors hat or captains hat on, and a red button down shirt. We were in your house and you and I were watching him. You said this was a sign he was healing. Just thought I’d share!


  9. Anger is probably a more familiar emotion to identify with. How do you go through “feeling it” when it comes to your child being gone? It’s beyond comprehension. I like to think it’s a defense mechanism your brain puts into effect so that you don’t dissinegrate into nothing, even when it seems impossible not to. The injustice of it is worth being angry over. Your post about Simple Man left any parent in the world who has read it, in shreds. I just got married this past summer and I actually thought of Benny when my husband had his first dance with his mom, because my son was there and I thought of my son and what song he would pick. My thoughts always go to you and Benny in those moments. The devestation in that post is palpable, even if surrounded by anger the majority of the time – it just seems to hit you in pieces, when you let your guard down for five minutes. It is still so fresh, I think the shock hasn’t worn off yet. It takes 9 months just to adjust to the idea of having a baby, so to spend a year and a half with your son, learning him as a person, hearing him coo and laugh, rocking him to sleep every single night, watching him take his first steps, loving him with your whole heart and having him love you with his… that can’t be undone. “Feeling” that kind of loss seems impossible to me. I think your therapist has it right… it is perspective. You won’t ever be able to empathize again with people who go through the natural order of things. Losing your mom and now your son? One of those things should NEVER happen and the other shouldn’t happen until you are in your 60’s. I’d be pretty angry too. I know that this isn’t even on the same planet as what you’re experiencing but when I lost my best friend in a car accident, I was so angry whenever I’d hear of car accidents where people survived. I still feel pangs of that when I hear about car accidents. I lost empathy for my friends who were losing their grandparents and they seemed so devestated. That’s supposed to happen! I couldn’t relate anymore. You have every right to be angry that you have to live this life now walking around in a nightmare. It’s just not fair.

    I like Tara’s dream. I have seen nothing but sunflowers everywhere lately.


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