It’s Back-My Two Sons

I wasn’t expecting it to come back.  I figured we had moved past this.  It’s like an unwelcome visitor that shows up unannounced, unpacks their bags and settles in.  I want it to go.

My insomnia is back.  You would think that having a 7 month old that doesn’t sleep would be able to cure my sleepless nights.  I cannot remember a night where I was asleep before 12 or where I got more than a 2-3 hour stretch.

I thought I was over this already!  I thought that I had moved on, but I suppose that with grief or PTSD you never really ‘move on.’  It’s just more of the same.

Someone was holding my second son and telling him all about his firsts.  How he would walk and talk and how 2016 was going to be amazing for him.  This was all said with so much love and hope.  All I could think was, will he?  Is his future any more guaranteed than mine?  Than his brothers was?

Dark, right?  Awful, terrible thoughts.  I had thought that 2013 was going to be amazing once upon a time.  I had expected that my first son would learn new words, might hop on a tricycle or sing his ABC’s.  That never happened.

As I watch this little man grow, I hate that these thoughts even enter my mind.  I have hope for the future, I do.  I want to think that things will be amazing and that I will grow old alongside my husband and children.  These thoughts are like my insomnia, unwelcome and unconstructive, but won’t go away.

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.

4 thoughts on “It’s Back-My Two Sons”

  1. I have these thoughts too. My parents chastised me for buying too many gifts for Christmas because “they will never remember it”. I said to them “but it’s not about that. It’s about how big their smiles are right now. How they feel joy right now. I don’t know if either one will be here when they are 5, or 7, or 10 or whatever age they need to be to remember. They might not be here tomorrow”. They thought that was an “awful thought” but when you have unexpectedly lost someone that’s how you think. You never think the future is guaranteed or live under the blissful delusion that sudden and horrible things happen to other people. For you, having lost not just a child in your life but YOUR child, and so recently – I would be consumed by these thoughts if I were you. There was an accident on 128 yesterday. A tire came off the axle of a truck and it bounced onto the other side and into another car and killed the driver instantly. He was like 27 I think. Probably just driving to work. Maybe kissed his wife and kid before he left (I have no idea if he had a wife and kid, just thinking about it). Just like that. That’s how delicate this love is. You want to wrap your whole self around them because at any second they could be gone. Imagining Benny riding a tricycle and singing his ABC’s, makes me cry. A normal expectation, and exciting expectations for your baby’s firsts to come. People think those things are a given, but really they are an incredible gift. We’re lucky to have every second we have with them. I heard about that tire accident and my husband wants to take my son to his mother’s tomorrow and I don’t want him to go. Even before Benny’s accident, I refused to let my son travel separately from me for the first two years or so just in case something happened to him. I was really paranoid about it and particularly about car accidents. Even now, I think of Benny every single time I park my car on a hill. I park sideways or not on the hill at all if I can avoid it. It is a troubling change when you experience a sudden tragedy and in my experience, it is a permanent change. Mine wasn’t my child, it was just a friend and it was a long time ago but this shift in my thinking changed the day it happened and it has never gone away. This was your baby. The blissful coping mechanism that most people have to be able to live happily and carefree (that bad things happen to other people) was stolen from you. It’s awful. The trade-off though is that you will appreciate every tiny giggle, every tantrum, ever wrinkle in their tiny baby hands, ever imperfection, every-waking-moment more than anyone in the world ever will. A lot of mothers want to rush through the baby years because they are so inconvenient. That will never be you. Yes, It comes at the cost of constant anxiety but you will enjoy them more thoroughly than you ever possibly could have before this happened. It seems like you were one of the rare ones who already did cherish all of those little moments with Benny even before you lost him. It must be so hard to see the promise of your second son being spoken out loud to him while at the same time grieving the loss of that promise for your first. I don’t envy you in those moments. Keep on doing what you have to do. Insomnia is pretty bad here too so feel free to email me if you’re up! Madeline just turned 8 months and still wakes up every 2-3 hours. Riding this rough wave of sleepless nights along with you, my friend.


    1. Yes, yes & yes! I sometimes forget that this is a journey (hate that word), but that there’s no end. Silly me to expect things to go back to normal, whatever that is anymore. Can’t take a moment for granted, even though I still sometimes do and then feel guilty and then overanalyze feeling guilty, which in turn leads to sleeplessness. It’s a vicious cycle. Hopefully you’ll be getting some sleep soon as Madeline gets bigger!


  2. As sickening as it is -I think it is sadly, a normal reaction. I still panic around common colds or fevers…someone cries and I automatically jump to the worse case scenario. I think it’s just your mind trying to come to terms and put everything in place.


    1. Every little thing sets me off and then I usually have to call someone to talk me down. It’s hard not to panic over everything once you’ve been where we are.


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