Anxiety

Living With High Anxiety

A friend shared this on FB.  So much of it rang true for me and so mich of it used to be because I was ‘too busy.’

Now anxiety is different.  It changes once you’ve lost a child.  Now it centers on my children’s well being and less on me.  Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I care a little too much what people think.  It’s just different now.

It’s the anxiety I used to have over the kids x 1,000.  Mass shootings, bacterial infections, accidents, etc.  My brain can come up with any set of circumstances.

It’mothering to exhaustion.

Please Stop the Judgments – From a Grieving Mom

Copied from my Huffington Post article:

Our 18 month old son died when my car hit him and myself in my driveway. The easiest way to explain to people is ‘car accident’ even though he was outside of the car upon his death. As a family we just refer to it as ‘The Accident.’

     It was a very public story in New England when it happened. Family and friends alike saw pictures of our house, my car and heard my address through the news and social media before we even had a chance to contact them. Almost all of the information that they portrayed was incorrect and conflicting, but the fact remained the same – our son had died.
     People showed up in droves. Neighbors we didn’t know wanted to hold a candle light vigil. More food than we could eat in 6 months showed up at our doorstep. Cards, books on grief, very personal letters began to pore in from around the region and even across the country. People donated money, meals and their time to us.
     There was a theme here. In the darkest moment in our life, humankind was beautiful. Strangers banded together to support us. It was like what you saw in the aftermath of 911, except it was happening to us.
     As a grieving mother who was frantically trying to figure out what exactly happened, this was healing. I suffered with ‘what if’ scenarios where I convinced myself that if I had just done something differently, reacted quicker, etc. my son would still be alive. Truth be told, I still do over two years later.  I harbor so much guilt over what happened, even though it was an accident.  Knowing that we had the support of so many people behind us made it a little easier to breathe those first days. And not a single person blamed me.
     No one asked why I wasn’t holding my son tighter, or why I didn’t run faster or why I left the car on? Not even my husband, who I thought was more entitled than anyone to understand what occurred. These are all questions that I asked myself anyway. I didn’t need anyone pointing a finger at me. Condolences came in from all over and showed up in various places on the internet, all saying the same thing, ‘I’m so sorry. You’re family is in our thoughts and prayers.’
     It’s taken me and my family a long time through therapy to get to where we are now. We’ve worked very hard on ourselves and coming to terms with what happened to our Benny. I think that one of the reasons that we have done so well with the hand we’ve been dealt is because we have had the continued support of so many people. So much love was sent our way when we needed it most.
     I don’t know what I would have done if I had been blamed. I don’t know if I could have handled it if the internet turned on me and demanded to understand why my child wasn’t alive, why I wasn’t being charged. It sickens me to think about because we as a family have come so far, most in part due to all of the love from strangers, what if it had been hate instead?  How would we have coped?  How could my daughter get through that on top of the loss of her only sibling?
     I’ve watched in horror the last few weeks as parents that are suffering tragedy have been viciously scolded by an unfeeling mass of internet users.  Going so far as to form petitions for DCF involvement and ask over and over why they weren’t watching their children. I’m here to tell you that what you are doing is causing more harm to these families that have already been through so much. How can you cast judgment on a situation that you weren’t involved in? I can also tell you firsthand that the information that the media provides isn’t always accurate. They are working so fast to get a story out that they don’t always have their facts straight when they hit the air.
     Please stop the blame. I’m begging you to open up your eyes and realize that these are human people that you are hurting. They are hurting enough and don’t need your opinions or judgment.  Unless you have stood where they stood, you do not have the right to sit behind your keyboard and judge. I beg of you to find your humanity and try to realize what these families are going through.  Accidents happen, they’re called that because there’s no one to blame!  This is how I explain the word to my seven year old child, how come grown adults cannot grasp this?
     During an accident, the police are always involved.  If there is someone to blame they will in fact be charged. The lynch mob that sits behind their computers and condemns these families need to leave that work to the investigators involved. When a tragedy occurs, we should always lead with love. You never know how that words that you type might affect someone that’s already gone through the worst. I can only imagine how these poor families are coping given the judgment placed upon them.
    Please think before you type. Make a point to ask yourself if you would be willing to say what you type to the persons face.  Don’t jump to conclusions and depend on the media for your information. As someone that has been in this situation, I’m begging you to please stop the judgments!
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Overwhelmed

Ever have one of those days where your support system bails for whatever reason?  Maybe they’re sick, perhaps busy.  Whatever the case is, they’re not there.  And you’re all alone.  Overwhelmed.  Slowly going crazy.  Maybe they’re right next to you and just completely clueless.

I’m in one of my moods where I just want to hop in my car and drive.  I don’t necessarily have a destination in mind, but just want to get away by myself.  Feel the wind in my hair and sing along with the radio.

I want to feel connected to something.  I want to be able to feel something beyond crazed and harried.  I would love to take a deep breath and feel silence around me.  I want to step off the perpetual roller coaster that has become my life.

I want to sit down and think.  I want to wrap my mind around Benny and his life and marinate in that for awhile.  I want to pay him some much deserved attention and spend some time with him.

I want to hold my daughter like she hasn’t been held in what seems like too long.  I want to snuggle her and breathe in her scent and memorize every detail of her smile.

It would be so nice to have all the time to just sit and play with Fletch.  I wish that I could devote hours to reading and ball and floor play.  I wish I had more patience when he pushes me just over the edge like he does so well.

What I wouldn’t give for some sleep.  In a bed.  By myself.   I’m not greedy, a four hour stretch will do.  To be asleep before 3 AM would be a dream.

I know it’s just a moment in time right now.  This too shall pass and things will calm down.  But just for a moment to dream…

 

You’re Here

Even though you’re gone, I can feel you.

You were a part of me for nine months, and I watched you grow for seventeen, that doesn’t just end.

I feel your happiness in the sunflowers that now fill my home.  I didn’t intentionally add them, they just started showing up as gifts through others, probably your doing.

I see your face, from baby to toddler smiling back at me from our walls.  It’s as if you are watching over us with those bright blue eyes.

I touch your blanket and surround myself in its warmth.  It reminds me of your snuggles.

I see your name, just about everywhere, from tv credits to magazines.  It is still in block letters in your room and now your brother’s name has also been added to your wall.

I see your likeness in your brother and sister.  Both physically and emotionally, they have little pieces of you that they will carry on.

I hear your crazy laughter still in my memories.  I’ve never met a happier boy.

As much as I miss you, I know you’re still here, all around us.  That doesn’t end.

 

Mother’s Day History

So I did some googling tonight as to the history of Mother’s Day because I was curious how it all started.

A woman by the name of Anna Jarvis held a memorial ceremony in May of 1908 three years after her mother’s death.  She wanted to celebrate her mother’s life and all that she had done for her children.  She was honoring her late mother.

Anna’s mother Ann Reeves Jarvis had had thirteen children over the course of her life.  Seven of her children had died before Anna was born.  Seven.  She was a bereaved mother.

Because of a lot of hard work on Anna’s part, the US recognized Mother’s Day as an official holiday in 1914.

For those of you missing your moms today, this holiday was started for you.  For those of you missing your children today, this holiday was also started for you.  It was grief that brought forth this effort to create a day just for Mom’s.

So when you think of Mother’s Day, don’t just associate it about being for those that are here.  It began for those that are not.  Happy Mother’s Day!