It’s been sixteen hard months of grieving for my son. It is a very challenging journey. I have lost friends and therefore only a few friends have been able to stick with me through the processing of my grief for Jeremy. It is sad that we are not taught or well versed on such tragic loss for each other. I can’t imagine how heavy the cloud of grief was over NYC on 9/11. It is what catapulted my son to join the Marines. He was in high school and when the horrid and murderous incident of our fellow countrymen dying by the plotting of terrorists he and many of his friends signed on to protect and serve America and their loved ones. It is such an honorable and noble calling. They each went straight from high school into boot camp and then to war.
My son felt a life calling into the Marines and after two tours to Iraq he volunteered his third tour because he had trained the “boys” who were fresh from high school and he felt responsible for them. It was the same for his fourth tour in Afghanistan when he gave his final and ultimate sacrifice for his men, for the country he loved and for his family and friends that he loved and hoped to protect.
It breaks my heart as a mom that no one protected my son and his medic. My son was protecting his men and his medic would not leave Jeremy’s side because he was protecting my son. They had no idea that they would end up as the target. That is a very hard thing to accept.
However, with that said, there is so much to be learned from this kind of loyalty and love for your brothers and sisters; the love, loyalty and dedication so deep and true that they laid down their lives for the men they were fighting beside and for their families.
I have been thankful for what I can cling to and I know each parent finds a ray of sunshine that they too hold onto; that part of your child that you want to hold onto forever. I have found that it doesn’t matter the vehicle by which our children have transitioned; the bottom line is they are no longer in the physical realm with us and it is a nightmare without them. It is almost impossible to bear the days ahead and it takes much processing of shock, denial, time and it is a relentless circle of emotions.
It has been sixteen months as of yesterday; I was very blue and depressed and all I could do was stay in bed. It is still so hard and what I know is that the fact that they have transitioned will be something we will face daily and we will miss them more with each day ahead of us, however; we are strong mentally, our bodies have built in mechanisms that help us carry this cross and our spirits are infinite and vibrates with strength, wisdom and courage.
I have spoken to many moms and they all have agreed that they have felt the presence of their son or daughter and that they also knew that they were being watched over by them. They spoke of the great peace and comfort that it brought them and as mom’s to know they are well, happy, loved and blessed means everything to us.
Part of my journey now has been Jeremy’s presence being with me and he be the one orchestrating certain things in my life to help me out, he watches over me with love and there have been times he has done things in his nonphysical realm that has actually made me laugh.
He has held my hand, tucked me in at night, sat on the edge of my bed and watched over me making sure that I would awaken the next morning, he has told me hundreds of times “you can do this mom, you can do this”. His encouragement and I’m not wishing to put any guilt on him and to help my daughter was the catalyst that moved me forward and in time I realized that I also had to do this for me.
I have to find my “new normal” and be open to how God would choose to use this in my life. I truly want to give back; Jeremy has given so much and others have reached out to me and I so want to give back and help other parents with their child/children’s transition.
I have learned that on days that I am more fragile than others to never push myself. If I cannot or do not want to do something, go somewhere, answer the phone or go to my door then I need to respect myself enough to grieve how I need to grieve and not try to please others in the process.
When a child transitions the best we can do for parents is be there and talk when they need to or not talk…..and just let them know that we are there for support and love them no matter what condition they are in, for better or worse. For us to be able to say “I get it”….means the world or it has to me. To know that someone truly understands the depth of loss and pain it has caused is priceless. It doesn’t get easier, we don’t get through it and we aren’t going to overcome such an overwhelming loss in our lives but we can learn to integrate a new life experience and journey when we start facing the land of the living again.
We can find our own special way to complete our own personal journeys and hopefully bring inspiration to others, to give hope where there seems there will never be hope again, to help someone have visions and dreams of a life that works around the transition of our children. We will find a special way because the way we perceived the world is not our perception now. We look at the world differently and our priorities have changed, our goals are perhaps changed, to know there are others that are looking at the world as we do now just simply helps…..because you know that someone “gets It” because there is no describing the pain and it’s magnitude and how it affects us, there are no comparisons to the grief we endure, but to know there are others that so understand the path we are on does make the world seem a little more sane.
So today I will say yes it is extremely hard and nothing compares, but we are capable after the shock and denial start wearing off to go forward even though one baby step at a time. It is a pain that we will learn to integrate into our lives but it takes time and more time, I would even go as far to say it takes practice. Jeremy says to not go to midnight and I have learned that when the darkness, the midnight wants to overwhelm me and cover me in its cloth of agony “with practice” I have learned to switch the light on and let the light bath me in peace and the certainty that my son lives on. I don’t focus on Jeremy’s physical departure; the darkness that waits for me there is steeped in agony and torment. I focus on Jeremy’s new journey and adventure that is full of life, light and love.
Because he is in the light that is filled with serenity, love, kindness and energy that is so peaceful that it ministers to my soul and heart and I realize I can move forward another step.
In love and understanding,