The Great Pretender


When Tim died, the normal everyday mask was torn off, like blinders from my eyes. I suddenly found that I had no filters, no mask, and no give a shit. It didn’t matter to me how people perceived me, or if they even came around, which they didn’t so the loss of filters is very serious. Once everything hits you, you are in a storm that the earth has never seen. If your grief, anger, and sorrow could swallow the whole world and spit it back out. You deal with pain so unknowable there are no words for it. It cannot be measured or boxed up. So what do we do with it?

We embrace our child’s life no matter how harsh they may have been toward us or angry, they are our babies, our child. In some ways, that child is giving back to us. Little tokens suddenly left around the house, a feather from nowhere, a gentle kiss on the cheek. Ah, see, you know what I am talking about. It’s there, it’s okay to believe it is real. Feel the peace that your child is just right there, there with you. I know it sounds like bull, I felt that way too but, I found that if I opened my heart just a little I would realize that I had been getting tokens all along. For me, that is some comfort and believe me, I will grab at all the comfort I can.

As some of you know, Tim’s death date is coming Jan 5th. It will be 6 long hard tearful years. It cannot be more than a moment, but no, thousands of moments. Time can be so deceptive. It promises comfort, in time, but does not say when that will be. I do notice now that it has gotten a little easier to get out of bed, a little easier to start a new routine that does not center around my loss. Some things have eased a little. Peace has not arrived yet.

One thing won’t change. When I am around people I have to get into a different character so I could deal with it all and not make others uncomfortable. We are all different people now and have the ability to be whoever we want. Sometimes, it is like a stage play and the audience only knows what they see. In time, you may come far enough to see that you enjoy some people’s company and are learning it’s okay to smile and laugh again to let that mask slip a tiny bit. We really are the great pretenders. But maybe that is what is keeping us moving forward, at least for now. I wish you all peace, love and gentle days, “Forever Mom,”

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.'