As soon as I opened my eyes this morning I felt the hearts of parents who have recently lost children. I read about some of the horrors online, reports from news on local stations, and others keeping me informed of things going on around the world.
I just want to say to all those who have recently lost your child that my heart and my family’s hearts go out to you. We hear of news of Afghanistan and more men, our boys, KIA and we just look at each other and know from the depths of our soul what you are going through. I am, we are truly sorry for your loss.
I know that some of the things I now write of are not yet for you if you have just entered the throes of grief. I have earlier memoirs that I know would help you, but I have started these as a book and just recently decided to blog them in hopes to reach out to others.
Please know I am not trying to advertise, but should you want to take a glimpse of where my family and I were when we first learned about Jeremy; it is what I now call the book with two endings. I dedicated the last chapter to my son; the book was written in 2007. “Is It the Beginning or the End?” Written by Sandra K. Harris-Smith on Kindle/Amazon, Barnes and Noble Color Nook; you can find it by searching my name or title.
I started having people contact me with words from Jeremy and I had pretty much started feeling his presence two to three months after his passing. I am not certain to be honest because those days were so hard; I have no idea about much said or done in the beginning. I can remember shock and denial being a huge part of my life then and remember saying “I don’t know how to do this”.
I didn’t immediately start jotting things down and mostly it was Jeremy saying in my head “You can do this, Mom. You can do this”. I knew immediately how desperately he wanted and needed me to survive.
I am not and never have been mad at God nor the military in any way, shape, form or fashion. Jeremy was happy being a Marine, he loved the Marine Corps and his country; he loved “his” men, his brothers. These Marines are so tight you are almost envious of their comradery; not that I ever was in the least, they all called me mom and I loved they did. You are one huge family with the Marines and I would think so with each branch.
I have been on this journey of losing my son now for ten months today. Again, I want to say that earlier memoirs would better suite those of you who have just lost your children.
It doesn’t seem that it has been ten months, but then again it seems a lifetime. It has taken me this long to be able to just breathe again. Everyone grieves differently and I am not saying how I go through my grief will fit you; everyone has their way and there is no wrong or right way. It is just a matter of finding how you can survive the tragedy, for me it was like I was meeting death for myself; staring it right in the face. Maybe that is why Jeremy has been granted to overlook me and keep me safe. I do feel as though he is definitely my guardian angel; at least for now.
I am entering into an acceptance stage and Jeremy has helped me there. He has stated to me that this cannot be changed and I can choose which direction to go and as I said in an earlier memoir; I suddenly saw a coin with two sides. One side was light; moving forward in life, the other side was total darkness, death, agony and turmoil.
I know I have referred to Eckhart Tolle’s book many times “The Power of Now” and it amazed me that this morning I found in the book that I have had for years a chapter “Transforming Suffering Into Peace”. There is no way I could have been ready for this chapter until now, but I would like to quote part of his wisdom: “If you abide in this state of acceptance, you create no more negativity, no more suffering, no more unhappiness. You then live in a state of nonresistance, a state of grace and lightness, free of struggle.”
He further states to embrace the pain and grief and allow it to be there, surrender to it and the miracle of surrender transmutes deep suffering into deep peace. “This is your crucifixion. Let it become your resurrection and ascension.”
In the beginning stages of your grief there is no way for anyone to be able to do this and he does address that there is no escape, no way out and suggest that you we face it fully.
The importance of this to me is going back to the coin when Jeremy was guiding me to make a decision regarding which path I would take. Tolle states “Don’t let the mind use the pain to create a victim identity for yourself out of it”.
The choice of going forward has not diminished the pain and agony of Jeremy never coming home, but it shines a light on the darkness, the “Midnight”, and it helps you to accept a minuscule piece of reality, bit by bit, small tiny pieces at a time. I also decided that I didn’t want anyone feeling sorry for me or to become a victim. Especially now that I understand that becoming a victim starts in the mind with a mere thought and one choice away. Was I to be diminished in life or to be a champion?
I have been driven by the fact that I wish to be as brave in life as Jeremy was in death and he be proud of me and that my daughter can look back and say that she wishes to be strong like her mom.
I, given the chance, would trade my life in a Nano-second for Jeremy to come home, but he and God had other plans and going back to the very beginning I named my son after Jeremiah the prophet; I just didn’t know he would be a prophet in the Marines.
God bless our military, every man and woman. May they keep from harm’s way and return home safely.
For parents who have lost their child to other tragedies, I hope and pray that you find some semblance of light in my sharing my path with you. Even though you may not be of a military family; bottom line is we have lost our babies and there is no way to ever get over that. I decided with Jeremy when I “saw the coin” that if I have to suffer this and go through it, then I am going to go through it right. If we have to do this, it is not in the doing, but in the how we do it.
Let’s be champions for our children who have gone before us and for our children who are with us now.
In love and understanding,