CYG – Day 17: Secondary Losses
Secondary losses are those that are felt after the loss of a loved one. Looking at this through the lense of someone nearly two years out, I cannot believe how much has changed in our lives. That day, that moment, those 6-9 seconds that now define our lives.
I’ve talked extensively about the relationships that are no more. There are people that just couldn’t be a part of our ‘after,’ our new reality. Losing our son was too real for them, like a disease they could catch. They were there for the services, said to call them if we needed anything and then just faded away slowly.
I used to love driving. I had an awful commute and spent hours in the car everyday, but I (disturbingly) loved it. Even though I was outside of the car when the accident occurred, driving reeks of responsibility. It also made me realize how unsafe cars are in general. Sure, I’ve been in several accidents before, mostly fender benders. I still won’t drive further than 30 miles or so. I now prefer being a passenger, which comes with it’s set of challenges for Parker as I constantly panic over his driving.
I’ve left my job. This was (mostly) my choice (see driving above). I couldn’t imagine being in the car again for hours on end. I couldn’t imagine seeing my clients again, most of whom I had known for years. I honestly couldn’t imagine the responsibility at first, the long hours, the focus needed to get stuff done. I wasn’t in the right mindset to handle my own projects, never mind someone else’s.
I lost the ability to answer questions about my children. The worst ones are ‘how many kids do you have?’ ‘what do you have, boys, girls?’ and ‘how old are they?’. Something so simple, gone.
I’ve lost my carefree child. Darcy was so young and innocent when Benny was taken from her. No four year old should ever have to endure what she has. She has no trust in the universe now either. Her innocence is gone. She’s scared if we’re late, thinks something has happened. She panics when anyone is sick, often asking if they can die from it. She often asks me how old I’ll be when I die. I can no longer promise her like I would that everything will be ok. She’s become incredibly sensitive and insecure. It is so painful to watch your living child grieve when there’s nothing you can do to fix it.
I loved my house. Sure, it was tight, but it was ours and we had done so much work over the years to make it ours. It was where we brought our babies home to from the hospital, where Parker proposed to me, where the kids grew up and made their first friends. Until recently, the driveway was off limits to me, I wouldn’t venture there. This proved troublesome because that’s where Darcy’s bus stop was, the mailbox, where I could park without getting ticketed during the day (trust me, it happened when I parked on the side street). I only started using it again because it was the only way that I felt safe carrying Fletch into the house. Now I’m trying to figure out where to put Fletch for the time being. I don’t want to take away Benny’s room, his dresser. It looks more and more like he’ll be moving into the closet for now (which isn’t as bad as it seems, it’s 5′ wide). I feel like I lost my house and security it once provided.
I’ve lost my ability to trust myself as a mother. I survived, Benny didn’t. This is something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Mommy guilt x 1,000,000. Since the accident, I noticed that I have problems on stairs. I couldn’t figure it out until I talked to my therapist and she pointed out that my body has physical memory from the accident. I’m nervous carrying Fletch down the stairs, anything downhill. It brings me back to the accident.
I miss being able to meet new people and not think, ‘do they know??’ I hate that that causes me anxiety and insecurity. I want the ability to go out and just have fun and not worry if people know about what happened or not.
I’ve always been a bookworm. I love getting lost in other peoples stories and adventures. I find now that I cannot fully focus or concentrate on a book. I’ve started several since the accident and two years later I can honestly say that I’ve only finished a handful. I used to read several books a month! I keep trying though.
I feel as if the universe has let me down. I can no longer trust that ‘everything will be ok’ or that ‘everything happens for a reason.’ I’m constantly convinced that something bad will happen to Parker or the kids. I’ve always tried very hard to see the good in every situation, make lot’s of lemonade. These lemons are too sour and there’s not enough sugar in the world to change that.