More Than Grief


This is the passing of child grief and self grief. I hope I can write this so you all understand what I am trying to say and if I don't succeed, you will let me know.

It took me more than a few months to realize that I not only was grieving for my son but for my lost self also. The day he died, I died, all of me from head to toe. I was grieving the loss of self. I was no longer who I used to be but someone different who rose out of the ashes of my loss. I didn't know the person in the mirror. I no longer knew me. A total emptiness surrounded me when I realized that I was gone. That is a dangerous place to be. One that tells you to go ahead, who cares if you join the dead or not, you are already gone.

That was the day I started building a new me. I found I had more compassion for those who truly needed it, felt more deeply for others' pain and sorrow. The world had lost its color, being only gray and then slowly it started bleeding back again. I started watching wildlife and understanding their cycles and that helped. I decided to become whoever I wanted to be. Not an easy process when you don't know what you want except your child back with you. I had to build a world without him but never is he far from my mind and heart.

I grieved for the family and friends who turned their backs on us. Maybe they couldn't handle our grief or the fact that it would always be there. My niece wrote to me that they were all just waiting for the old me to return. They could not understand that the old was gone. They could not accept me for who I was, a grieving mom. Many walked away, mostly family. So I grieved for their loss and then let it go so I could move on. A few came back, but how does one trust after all they had been through? Cautiously, that's how. I could not have my heart broken again. There is not much left of that heart. There are spots for the family and friends who stayed by my side, Tim's spot will always be his and it hurts to know that that is all I can give to him, a piece of my broken heart. It will always be broken.

One learns to live with their grief. How? It just seems to happen that it is beside you and not surrounding you anymore. It is not a betrayal to our child to move on for they will always and forever be in our hearts and minds. My son may want me to let go, but truth be told, I don't know how to do that or what it really means. I can't let him go, he was my baby and only son. So now, after six years, I am going to take his pictures and put them in his son's room for that is what his son asked of me. It hurts a little to do so, but I can still see him in my mind as clear as day.

I read others' sorrow and it becomes my own for a while. So many of us, so terribly many. There are no 'Parents should go first,' I wish there was. So now I live my life in motion. My hands need to stay busy, my mind needs to rest. I cannot conquer grief but I can put it away, always felt but not always at the front of everything I do. We grieve for so many things that were lost when our child died, but that's okay. Grieve for all of that and then let it go. Become the new you without worrying about what others may think. Be what you think your child might want you to be and go for it.

I hope that you have understood what I am trying to say. My heart goes out to you all with silent tears that flow like a river. I send you all my love and hugs. '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.'