Let the Tiger Roar

The are times when the warrior tiger comes out in me. For me, it is a new trait that started when Tim died. When someone says something so wrong that the tiger rises up in defense. Am I selfish in my loss of my son? You bet I am. It is not that I don’t see others pain, or feel pain for them, it is that my loss is personal. We will see the loss of our child as the greatest loss of all. I am not ashamed of that or embarrassed or feel I am a bad person. Whether others like it or not, our personal loss is above all else, how could it not be? They are our children, the ones we brought up, the ones we spent our life loving more than anything else. It is not really selfishness, it is loss, it is grief, it is pain, it is our child. Our world has come to a sudden stop and there is nothing we can do but weather the biggest storm known to humans. We are not thinking of others, we are thinking of our child. We are searching for hope, any kind of hope.

The death of a loved one, no matter their relationship to you, is just as great, just as painful. It will be above everyone who has lost someone. Because it is personal, it is your loss. It is okay to be selfish, if that is even the right word. I am not an expert on others pain, I only have my own to go by. We all share this desperate sadness, yet our grief is different from one to another. Your grief may be deeper than mine or it could be there other way around. It does not matter, it is not a contest to see who hurts the most. We all do. Some of us will move on from this, some of us won’t. There are no rights and wrongs or sign posts to point the way. All we have is others who came before us, who understand our basic pain.

My complaint is that like it or not, people will say stupid things to you. Yes, they may mean well, but because our senses have been heightened we feel that harsh judgment more than before. We resent it when someone does that. We even search our own memories to see if we said those very same things to someone else at some point in our lives and cringe when we see that we may have. There are also those out there that are naturally careless with their words. In the state we are now in, are we suppose to be able to tell the difference between the well meaning and the mindless? Not going to happen. I am at a place in my life where I do not have the room to try and figure out if someone is well meaning or not. Is that selfish? No, I don’t think so. I have enough going on without adding that to the mix.

When Tim died, many things happened. I lost my filters, I gained phobia’s and so many other things. I did not know about losing filters. It confused those who knew me, it confused me. Losing filters means that no one, and especially yourself, will know what will come out of your mouth. It is not something you do on purpose, it is something that happened when that moment destroyed your life. When you became forever changed. Filters come back, in their own time and are probably not the same ones you had before. Along with losing these filters, depending on your loss, you may also develop PTSD. Something that could last a lifetime or eventually leave, who knows? All the phobia’s, light on at night, loud noises that scare the crap out of you, color gone from the world and the list goes on. So, with all of this happening as well as the horror of loss, we need to worry about being selfish in someone else’s eyes? No, I don’t think so. That is their problem, not yours.

We have very little room in our broken hearts to worry about how we look to the world. The world did not lose our loved one, we did. I wear dark sunglasses so the ‘world’ cannot see my pain. I do that for myself. I talk less about Tim to others when we go places, I do that for myself. I walk and swim, read and write, searching for relief, I do that for myself. Yes, it has become all about me and how I will learn to survive second to second, the loss of my son. If it is selfish, then so be it and let the tiger roar. Until you have walked in my soul, you may still not get it. That is okay. I don’t need for anyone to get me anymore because I know that unless they have experienced this, they may never get it. For those who have been here, who are still here and who are coming here, I am grateful for you and I cry for your loss that has brought you to me.

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?