Held By Grief

I don't know about you but I feel as though I have been kidnapped and held by grief. It will be 1 year and 6 months soon. To be held this long in the depths of sorrow seems like a hi-jacking gone terribly wrong. I have to remind myself that my feet are not bound, I can walk outside, my face is not covered, I can smile, my mouth is not gagged, I can speak, my eyes are not blind, I can see. To remind yourself of these things that were once as natural and easy as breathing also reminds you that you are a hostage to grief. It holds what you can never get back.

A year and half may seem like a long time to many, but to the grief stricken each day is a moment in time and an eternity in hell. In many ways we have lost the time concept. Yesterday, my son was right there smiling at me. Yesterday was a year and half ago. How is that possible? How does time warp itself so completely that I can't remember if something happened now or then? They tell me it is just another symptom of grief. The mind works hard to heal itself from the trauma of loss, time is lost, time is misplaced, memory scars over. How many symptoms does grief have? Oh, it has many in various degrees of length and depth.

We never knew that life as we know it could come to such a sudden halt. We did not know we would have to rebuild from the bottom. We all know someone who has suffered a devastating loss, but because we had not, we did not know how deep, how life changing that loss was for them. We did not know that they learned to hide their sorrow so completely, we thought they had found a way through it. We know now what we could not conceive of then. Grief is not just a word, it is here to stay. It has many facets, many emotions. There is no step program to help us through or give us hope. It does not follow an agenda nor a time constraint. Grief has a color and it is violent red. It has a voice that is a continuous scream from the heart. It destroys worlds.

I think that I have been in this place for so long, my thoughts are not what I want them to be. I know I cannot go back to what was, it is gone. But I don't want to stay here either. We learn that grief will be with us until our last breath. We also learn that we have to find a way to live with it. What does that mean? Learning to live with it? Sad to say, it means that depending on the depth of the sadness as to how you will live your life. Some of it, we have no control over, some we do. It is learning how to control the emotions that we now have. I still cry, but have learned to cry when I am alone. Tears may come to my eyes, but I don't let them fall in front of other people. Don't hold them for too long because it becomes an uncontrollable raging river that can be scary. I have started to look for the positive for the negative has held sway for too long. I don't succeed much, but it is the trying that will get me there.

I will not forget nor stop grieving for my son. He holds a place that is empty without him yet still echoes who he is. His name is Tim. I have days that are so dark the sun would not dare to rise. I have gentle days too. Something I did not have for a long time. The heart becomes silent, the mind becomes still. I am learning to give anger the back seat for it has been in the driver seat way too long and it is, quite frankly, exhausting. The learning is overwhelming but what else can we do? I wait for something good to come out of this. Don't know if I would recognize it if it does for what good could there be with the death of a loved one? Still, I'll watch for it. I cannot conceive that this sorrow is all there is.

I heard his voice today. I walked into the house and heard, "Hi mom." It floored me and I lost it totally. You hunger to hear their voice again. It becomes a mantra in your heart. Just one more time. When it happens, it is a shock. Later, you try to convince yourself that you were just hearing something that wasn't there. Why do we do that? After all the heartache, why do we deny what we have begged for? I know it was Tim and not just imagination, but at first, I denied. Earlier in the day all I wanted was something to tell me he was okay. Thats all, just okay. Something, anything. There it is. We can take it or leave it. I choose to take it. We are held by grief. Where we go from there is up to us. 

About the Author

 My son, Tim, passed on January 5th 2014 at the age of 34. He chose to end his life. So many things happened to bring him to that point. Believe it or not, I understand why. No matter how our child died, that is the keyword 'our child.' I wish you all gentle days and nights as you walk your path. Barbara, 'Forever Mom.'

I'm Grieving, Now What?