In the years since Benny died, I find it really hard to try to force myself to do something I don’t want to. In the early days it was honestly hard to do anything besides breathe. Getting up and living was about my limit. And that’s ok.
Now I find that the amount of fucks (pardon my French) I have available on any given day is minimal. I’ve really been able to refocus on what actually serves me. And if it doesn’t, I’ve become pretty good at letting it go.
It’s not always easy. Saying good bye to a relationship is hard. Setting boundaries on what I will and will not spend my time on is hard. I’m a people pleaser and I like to help. But I’ve learned through my grief that I can’t help others if I’m run ragged or if my heart is not in it.
I’ve come to learn that I cannot force how others feel about me and I think I’m finally ok with that. So much of this grief process for me has been making peace with many different aspects of my life. It can be exhausting. But sometimes, it can also be a little bit freeing.
I’m done forcing things. If it doesn’t fit into my life, it’s time to take stock and decide how I want to handle it. Life is too short for me to be doing things if they don’t make me happy.
Well damn. Here it is. Every day of my life. Every little thought that something could go wrong. Some days are worse than others. When you’ve lost as many people as I have, maybe you’re just more aware of what can happen. The anxiety certainly doesn’t help though.
I used to sing this song. All of the time! When we had Bennett, there was never a grand plan to call him Benny. He was named after Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice and Bennett also happened to be my husband’s great grandfather’s last name. It was kismet.
But like most names, his was shortened. Never to Ben, it just didn’t work for him. It was ‘Bennett’, or ‘Benny’, or ‘Bennett Fletcher’ when he was really doing something he shouldn’t have been. Which was often.
We sang ‘Benny and the Jets’ in our house. We sang it a lot after Bennett was born. And today it came on in the car as I was driving to Walmart for my pick up order. And by some small miracle, I was alone. For the first time in nearly 3 months I was by myself and actually able to lose my shit.
I’ve been crying a lot lately. I’ve been crying over the uncertainty, or how unfair things have been for my kids, or how awful and divided this world has become. I’ve been crying over what I am missing. But I have not been crying over my Benny.
Today I had this beautiful moment. By myself. In my car. I had this moment to cry for my lost son. I had the space for a few minutes to grieve. I cried about him and not about any other injustice going on right now. I cried and I felt better. I felt good that I was able to hold this moment for him. Because with everything else going on, it’s been really hard to have my Benny Moments.
I needed this so much today. Thank you buddy. It’s so rare that I’m alone these days. It’s even more rare that I’m in the car going somewhere. Maybe he knew I needed this. Maybe it was kismet.
I fear that I have fallen so far down the rabbit hole (though I’m not entirely sure which one, because this one is so very complicated), that I’m not sure where I’m at anymore. Every month in 2020 has been one tragedy following the next. And I’m tired. And I’m unsure of who I am and what I’m meant to do with this life. It’s all just so overwhelming.
I miss my Mom. I miss my son. And even though he could be an awful pain in the ass, I miss my dad. There is so much complicated shit going on that sometimes I forget that grief. It blocks it out. Just for a moment because it’s so overwhelming. But then it comes back and the hurt and the love and the pain are all still there.
It hides there for a bit under the surface. I find it under the sorrow of watching our world crumbling, witnessing the awful divide of our country. I feel it in the anger of the injustice of what continues to happen unchecked by those in power. I glimpse it in the helplessness I feel at this very moment. What can I do to help?
And it’s a lot to carry with me through the day. My heart feels very heavy and my soul, weary. And my grief feels ever present. I miss my people. There are too many gone from this life.