What a bumpy road this has been and is still……it’s an emotional roller-coaster ride having lost my only son seventeen months ago.
When my son, Ssgt. Jeremy D. Smith USMC, transitioned on 04-06-11 I was literally in a fog; walking around in shock. I was thankful for the built-in shock system knowing that if it weren’t there I would not have survived such horrifying news. Then the shock starts thinning out a bit and your mind lets in a sliver of reality; at that point I was thankful for denial. I have never faced such fear and darkness; what my son in his last letter to me referred to as “Midnight”.
I have mentioned that I have run up and down the seven rung ladder of grief; many times and I know that I will continue spending the remainder of my journey learning acceptance.
I have also mentioned that acceptance for me is that my son still lives; just on the other side of the veil. I can accept that he will not return physically albeit very difficult and challenging but the finality of physical death is too cruel but with the knowledge that my son has transcended to another dimension is what I can “live” with.
The inception of the news delivered to my front door was utterly shocking. I have spent months trying to find the balance of physical earthbound realities versus spiritual enlightenment. All my beliefs, values, priorities, confidence and almost everything I stood for was either out the window or re-evaluated.
I have literally reverted to a “new birth” having to learn coping and survival skills and techniques and to walk and live again; finding a “new normal”.
I have seen myself at the embryo stage curled up in a ball with thoughts of where am I, what have I done, why my son, why not me and the list goes on. I have since learned to lean on my Source for guidance, strength where I find the peace I always mention that surpasses all understanding.
I am a newborn infant; I can’t even take care of myself. But as time goes on I learn to sit up, I learn to crawl, I have learned all about baby steps, waddling around and at last walking myself through the day and getting back to somewhat of a routine; almost everything has changed in the last seventeen months. But I have made baby step progress.
I have faith that I will report that I run again; marathons even and that I will learn to play and laugh carefree as a child. I know to live again is in my future and I know that my son wants me to be happy and to live life to the fullest.
The truth is that for me this is the fullest today and that is one of the skills I have learned. I must know my own limitations and embrace what I can only when I can and not be too hard on myself. Others may think that it has been long enough to “move on”. The thing about that is that you do not move on from your children, you don’t get through this for you are never done with them and this is one thing that time will never heal but you do learn to put your grief in a special place in your heart and learn to hold their hand from a distance.
I have lost a parent, a few years ago and that was very hard. But, a child transitioning before you is the big daddy of challenges but one we can face and find that new normal so that our journey is completed with enlightenment.
There is hope, there is light and life is a gift to each of us and we must never take it for granted but learn to be thankful even in our darkest hours.
In love and understanding,