I hate driving. I’ve been doing it again begrudgingly for 2 weeks and I hate it. I hate cars and other drivers. I’m so scared there will be another accident. It all just feels so random and out of control.
I used to love driving, where I could be alone to think and plan. I enjoyed the anonymity of the surrounding vehicles. My commute to work would easily be 2 hours one way, including getting the kids to daycare. It was my quiet place to think, or completely zone out.
This is another thing that the accident has taken from me, another way in which its changed me. I hate the music on the radio. I hate driving alone, I always end up in tears. I hate the anxiety I have every time that I park the car. I feel like my world has gotten smaller and my options are limited. I used to be so independent, god I miss that. I miss ‘me.’
Today Darcy asked me about the accident. The first time that she asked came across as accusatory, she wanted to know if I was paying attention, if Benny was strapped in tightly.
She started off by asking how my mom died, and then why. I knew what was coming, so I braced myself. I tried to remember that she’s only 5 and not to tell her more than she’s asking for.
It started simple, ‘Mom, how did the accident happen?’. ‘We were outside of the car and it began to roll.’ ‘Oh, how did you get hurt?’ ‘The car hit us.’ ‘You should have been in the car.’ ‘We had just gotten home, we were getting out of the car.’ ‘Oh. How did the car hit you, I don’t understand?’ ‘My door was open and it hit us.’ ‘Where was Benny?’ (Insert the sound of my heart breaking, if there’s anything left) ‘In my arms.’ ‘How did you get hurt?’ ‘The car door knocked us on the ground.’ ‘Did you cry?’ ‘Yes’ ‘Did Benny cry?’ ‘No…he was gone.’ ‘Gone where?’ ‘To heaven baby.’ ‘Oh, I didn’t know it can happen that quickly.’ ‘Sometimes it does.’ ‘OK, I thought the car had runned you over. Maybe we should change the driveway, plant grass instead, that way if you fall, you won’t get hurt.’. Silence, don’t really know what to say to that. Of course I’m driving, so I can’t completely break down.
After a few minutes I said,’sometimes things happen that don’t make sense, like my mom getting sick or the accident. We’ll never know why it happened.’ ‘I think a spring in your car broke.’ ‘I think we live on a hill.’ ‘Oh, yeah.’. ‘Are you OK with what we talked about?’ ‘No, I’m not Mom.’ ‘Me either…’
‘Life has some nerve going on like nothing happened, doesn’t it?’
Darcy shouldn’t be growing older. Parker shouldn’t be back at work. Time is supposed to stand still. My life has, how is it that other people can still go about their daily activities?
It’s truly frustrating. I try very hard to put on this mask and pretend that all is OK. I’m pushing myself to do things that I’m just not ready for to prove that I’m OK. Maybe that’s the problem, I’m not OK. I don’t want to go to your child’s birthday party when my son doesn’t get to grow older. I don’t want to drive a car because I miss him being in it with me. It all feels like moving on and frankly, I don’t want to.
I ache to move backwards. My arms ache to hold my son. My lips ache to smile, and laugh, really laugh because something is funny, not to make someone feel comfortable.
I fucking hate this. I hate that 4 months have gone by and every day we creep closer to his birthday in May. I hate that people have disappeared, how easily they have seemed to move on. I hate feeling stuck. I’m trying so hard, but I really don’t want to anymore. I’m so tired of being OK.
I’ve always been a night owl. For some reason I was always more productive after 9 PM, usually in bed by midnight. Now I see 2 AM most nights. I’m exhausted and would love to shut my eyes and my brain, but I can’t.
I read endless books, troll the internet or just lay there. I wish I could be one of those people that sleep through their grief, just lie there and soak it all up. It would be a much needed break from this new reality. I just want to close my eyes, close it all out and enjoy the blackness and the silence.
Instead I get out of bed and check on Darcy. I need to just be sure of her, see the rise and fall of her chest, surround myself in her. I need to know that she’s OK and that she’s still mine. I will never trust in her future, or any of ours. It changes too quickly.
I write to no one, which helps. I still can’t seem to make sense out of this. I’m hoping that by writing I’m able to release some of the madness that has taken up residence in my psyche.
The irony is that Benny slept through the night at 6 weeks old. Here I am still awake, exhausted, without my baby.
“I’m so tired, but I can’t sleep, standing on the edge of something much to deep. It’s funny how we feel so much, but cannot say a word, we’re screaming inside but can’t be heard.”. Sarah McLachlan
I love the signs. They are everywhere if you’re open to them. I picked up a book about a girl who lost her mom to breast cancer. There’s a brother character named Bennett.
I’ve been feeling super guilty lately. Have I been grieving enough? Do I think about Benny enough? Have I been a good mom to Darcy today, a good wife to Parker? I’m trying so hard to be everything that my family needs, and pay bills, and fight insurance and do laundry, dishes and renovate the house. I’m in the present, in survival mode. Feeling like the worst mother because I’m not missing my son enough. I can’t hold it together and miss him though.
My friend Mac called to chat. I was telling him that Darcy was having a tough time and he can relate because his kids lost their mother. He told me that he just had to keep moving forward for the kids, be in the moment. It took him a few years for it to really hit him. He told me not to feel guilty and just keep doing what I’m doing, that I’m a good mom. He said he had a feeling that he needed to call me, that I needed to talk.
I don’t know how he knew what I was feeling, I hadn’t even said the words aloud to Parker. It’s funny how the Universe has it’s way, although, I’m sure there was a little help from a beautiful curly headed blue eyed boy and his grandma. My god, I miss you Benny.
Am I grieving enough? Am I truly feeling Benny’s loss every moment of every day? I feel like people have these expectations about how I’m supposed to act or feel. I don’t even know how I’m supposed to act or feel!
I don’t know if I’m actually dealing with this or I’m still numb. Am I looking at Parker’s anguish and Darcy’s outbursts and once again deciding that I have to be the strength that this family needs to keep it together? God, it gets truly exhausting. I’m terrified that if I start to fall apart, I will not be able to stop. It will be like the first 48 hours all over again, where I just sat and cried, over and over again. I will loose myself to the pain and never find my way back out again. It was easier then because I was physically broken too. I reveled in the pain because it was something that I could accept and feel.
I’ve jumped into house projects with a vengeance. The laundry is all done and put away and the sink is empty of dishes. Dinner is on the table every night. Everything in the house is in order. I’m keeping busy, it’s what I’m supposed to do, right? I need a rule book for this!!
Am I overthinking all of this? I don’t cry every day, am I supposed to? I don’t think about Benny all day long, am I supposed to? I still cannot even wrap my head around what happened, and I was there! I’m numb to the accident and it’s aftermath. I feel as if I’ve lost a leg and I’m just doing my best every day to learn to walk again.
I remember at work they always used to say that I was ‘flexible’. Am I also flexible about my sons death? I hate this. I hate questioning my mind and wondering if I’m losing it. I hate the fact that I have to make the best of EVERYTHING. God, I wish that I could just give in and wallow a bit…
I cannot begin to fathom how we have survived without Benny for 3 months now. It isn’t easy and usually it sucks. It’s hard looking at this picture everyday and missing that beautiful smile. It’s hard not seeing him at Darcy’s side. I miss their laughter as they would tear through the house together.
I don’t sleep at night. I try really hard and even when I’m tired I just don’t sleep. I read, watch TV, but mostly I just lay there and think. Not about anything specific, I just can’t shut my brain down and relax. I think it’s so that I don’t have to think about that day, my coping mechanism.
I miss the sound of the waves over the monitor and always having to be quiet at night so as not wake him up. I miss how much noise he would make rolling around in that crib at night and I would hold my breath hoping that he wouldn’t wake up. It was like listening to a pin ball machine. What I wouldn’t give to just hold him in my arms one more night in the rocking chair.