It is normal to resist the cold hard truth of losing a child....it is nearly impossible to wrap your mind around it. In fact, it takes time to do so. I am thankful for shock for it buffeted my mind from literally exploding with the news we received. It is still so painful to ponder.
It has been three and a half years...give or take....and I can report progress. I still have to be careful with triggers, but there has been marked progress.
The progress hasn't been overnight. I look back and see the tiny steps taken and even though there were large steps backward; ultimately I have gone forward. I have managed this cruel twist of fate into my life.
There is no magic formula and each parent has to do it their way....even if no one understands your way. There is no short cut and you cannot hide from the truth; it always seeks you out. No amount of sleeping or activity or no activity can change the fact that your child has left this dimension. Your child is no longer with you. So hard to swallow and so hard to bear. It is so close to being unbearable I have wondered if I was going to make it and truth is.....sometimes I didn't want to make it. There were many times I wanted to "go" too. I found ways to stay. In LARGE part my daughter kept me grounded along with my grands. I was never actually suicidal and even remotely close to purposely hurting myself, but I would have gladly taken a bus on.
I share this only to say if you are having these feelings it is truly not unnatural. (If you do truly contemplate suicide please seek professional help.......) I have been open and honest about the dark side of grief because I think it should be exposed. I do not think a parent should be in the dark alone and not feel safe about what they are feeling and going through. I think the world needs to address grief and learn how to help those you are in the inception of their grief. It isn't as though anyone can truly help you, but the comfort and understanding and the genuineness of truly being there can help wonders.
There is a balancing act to grief. You can't just give way to it or it can consume you. Cannot ignore it because it will overwhelm you. You have to find the rhythm that belongs to you in the Universe and go at your own beat....your own heartbeat, your own pace; and do it your way. By the way, there is no snapping out of it .......even years later. It evolves and you evolve with it.
You learn to integrate the pain and loss in your life. You learn to manage. There are words used....surrender, accept..... and honestly I have been guilty of the play on words. But sometimes they just offend me. But what I know for me is that ....that in and of itself was my way. I never not accepted my son's transition but the word death is harsh. Besides, I believe he lives on.....I know in my heart of heart Jeremy lives on......it is a death of sorts....his physical manifestation, but he lives in another dimension. So I chose the word transition. I have for a long time been aware of the spoken word and for me words are important. Words can shift identification with form and reality, time and space.
In the end it doesn't matter the word or label. What matters is that we as parent learn to go forward and live again. Life is the best and most beautiful gift given to each and everyone of us. It is to be lived and our sons and daughters....no matter their age......want us to go forward and find that new normal. Even though we carry them in our hearts eternally and never forget them in any given day or moment; we can live again. We can make new lives for ourselves.
I will be the first to tell you that being able to say that has been a long time coming.....a journey harder than I could every perceive.......but yet ....here I am.......cheering you on and saying:
You can do it. At your pace and your rhythm ......your timing and your heart beat.....you can do it too. Just give time....time. And.....if necessary give it more time.....as much as you need and when you can ..... the unbearable becomes more bearable; and truly....the unacceptable does become acceptable......still sucks a tree trunk.....but we are strong and we can bring honor to our children by living.
In God I trust.......and in honor of my son.....Ssgt. Jeremy D. Smith, USMC 03-09-85-04-06-11
I love you Jeremy Daniel....you are my Sonshine xx