Another day, another family to victimize…
I miss my son. Sometimes so desperately that I feel like I can’t even breathe. Other times it’s a dull ache. I miss who he was and who I think he would become. I miss who I was. I miss our life from before November 8th.
We are officially 4 years after the accident now. Four whole years. I think back to the broken people that we were. We are still not whole, I don’t anticipate that we ever will be. We will live the rest of our lives ‘incomplete’. We are learning to deal with that.
I was just reading my other ‘AA’ (after accident) blogs. I’m amazed at how much my life has changed. It gives me a glimpse into the shattered person that I was and how I have had to put myself back together. It has been a slow process. I don’t think that there will ever be a point where I will feel ‘healed’ or ‘better’. It just is for now.
Every day a part of me is sad or anxious or both. I’m terrified of what could happen. I nag my children, constantly trying to keep them safe and close. I snuggle the little ones a little too much, just wishing that they would stay small forever. I worry constantly how Benny’s death will shape his older sister’s life. I’m wistful for the naive life we lived before, where we couldn’t even imagine something bad happening. I’m sad that I miss my son.
He would have gone to kindergarten this year. He would have been 5! If I concentrate really hard, I can almost see him heading off for his first day of school. He would have been a big brother. What I would give to see him and Fletcher playing together! Maybe he would have played a sport or taken up drums, or furthered his interest in the cars.
Four years later and I still don’t have any answers. I don’t know why this happened. I don’t know how different my life would have been if it hadn’t. I celebrate my mini victories and life milestones as they occur and try to take each day as it comes. Grieving is hard work! Choosing to find joy in each day is even harder.
Sigh. I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know when it began. Maybe I’ve been like this forever. Maybe the grief intensified my needs. I’m going to admit it here, shout it out loud to hold myself accountable, I have too much stuff!
There, I said it. I thought I was doing good before the move. I felt like I had gotten rid of so much stuff! It’s really hard to sift through 13 years of living in one place. Parker and I both had our own stuff and lot’s of it. We had lived on our own before. It didn’t seem like much until we put it together. Then add in 4 kids and pets and a house that is busting at the seams! It is completely overwhelming.
And that’s just life. We all probably have too much stuff at the end of the day. We can all feel overwhelmed by it. First world problems. Here’s where it gets complicated though. Grief compounds this.
My mom died when I was 16. You’re damn right I want to hold onto as many memories of her as I possibly can. I have to teach my children about their grandmother because they will never meet her. It is so important to me that they know who she was and where they came from. Does that mean that I need to hold onto her early 90’s mint green track suit to do so? Or her costume jewelry from the 80’s? I honestly don’t know.
Once someone is gone, how do you make that distinction about what is important to keep? Even some 22 years later I don’t have any answers. I try really hard to hold myself accountable. I try to weigh how important it really is to hold onto a physical memento. I’ve been able to let some things go. Others have been harder.
What do you do with 10 lbs. of toddler clothing from your deceased son? I’ve had a few blankets made with some of the clothing and I’m thinking of having memory bears made for the kiddos, but what do I do with the rest? I was able to talk myself into donating some of it, but there is still a good trash bag full. How about the diaper bag that remains untouched from the day he died? Sure I’ve looked at it. I just don’t know what to do with it now.
There’s this whole Konmari method of cleaning out where you’re supposed to ask yourself if the item in question bring you Joy. I’m not sure these items bring me joy, but they bring me back to a point in my life that I can’t ever get back to. When things were simpler. Less heartbreaking. My ‘before’ if you will.
Do I need these things? Probably not. I don’t know how long they will remain in boxes in the new house simply because they are not items that we use on any type of frequent basis. But still they comfort me, knowing that they are there.
I don’t know how long it will take me to let go. Maybe never. I guess that will just have to be ok for now.
Day 16:. Conscious Gratitude
Today is a day of gratitude. Part of the description for the day was about how hard it is to feel grateful while grieving. I find this interesting. For me, grief and gratitude are two very separate emotions and just because I was grieving Benny didn’t mean that I couldn’t be grateful for the good things that came into our lives. This is not every persons reaction, it just happened to be mine. I remember thinking a few days after about how grateful I was that Darcy was at school. Parker and I talked about how grateful we were that the car stopped when it did, that it didn’t hit or injure any other drivers or pedestrians. We felt tremendous gratitude to our community that did so much for us in the days that followed. I could go on and on. This is just how I’m wired. I wouldn’t say that I’m an eternal optimist, because I’m certainly not. In fact, I think I tend to be more negative than positive in general. But when it comes to making lemonade, I’ve become somewhat of a pro. When things are really bad, you just need to find something good. It will be there, I promise.
Day 18:. The Grief Shift
Where am I my grief journey? How have I come to terms with my grief? This is why I love I love this project. I would never think to ask myself this question otherwise. I’m not even sure I have an answer, but it certainly makes me think a bit.
I’d like to think I’ve made my peace with things, but I’d be kidding myself. I will never be at peace with losing my son. Maybe that’s me being at peace about never being at peace? Or something like that? Grief is complicated to say the least.