I have plunged forward trying to start over…..a new life; especially this past 24 months. I have moved to a new town, purchased a new home, have added to my animal-family and own my business. My mom lives with me for a year now. I have new doctor/s, shopping locally, etc. Everything is “new”. I will use the catchy phrase of “new normal” as I reflect over the last few years.
I am now facing this catchy phrase I used over and over at the inception of the tragedy for me and my family – my son’s transition to the afterlife.
This catchy phrase served me well I suppose – giving me hope and helped me focus to move on….but what I will tell you as a mom that has had to live without her child – there is NOTHING normal about this.
It is all different, but it is not normal to be on earth without my son. You hope to go back to some kind of normalcy; especially in your heart and mind. You struggle to be cheerful and happy – carefree. But it is not in the cards for me now – not like before.
I have learned to integrate Jeremy’s transition into my life, I have learned how to push down fear and tears, I have learned to control myself in front of others and I smile and am polite when I am not up to the task.
I look at others while they are laughing and being so carefree and I have to admit; I envy that kind of light heartedness (knowing we all have our burdens) and I wish for that kind of joy and giddiness again.
I have more “good” days now and am much more functional and have created a “safe” place for myself. I do laugh and act silly again; it is just not with the same breezy glee and untroubled heartiness that was in my life sharing life with Jeremy.
I am looking at five years of absence in April and am facing Jeremy’s 31st birthday in March…..holidays are brutal but these dates are beyond comparison to any other. Five years and we have missed out on so much with him.
Good news is – I know he is in a much better place. Sometimes I think how stressed he would be with all that is going on in our world today. Jeremy did three tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan and I can tell you he would not be pleased with choices and decisions made in our Great Country. I asked him once about how he felt about fighting in the Middle East and he said that it was better to have the war there than in the U.S. I have to believe he knew exactly what he was talking about.
I don’t share these thoughts to say that there is not hope and that there can’t be happy times again. It has taken five years for me to see some happy times and I am more “content” with my life now than I was even three years ago.
What I am sharing is that it isn’t normal to go before your children and it is still my opinion that it isn’t acceptable. It is all play on words or how you view them, but sometimes it helps me to understand that no matter what I do, where I go or who I am with…..there is a large part of me that is missing.
I had a “real dream” with Jeremy Friday night the 22nd: Jeremy came home and I was with him hugging him and I could do nothing but cry and cry – he was consoling me….I said to him “I died with you” and he said “I know, Mom”. He was about to visit someone and I had much to share that was so hard for me to share with him before he visited; very devastating news for him. It was a soul wrenching dream and you would think that I would be jumping up and down with happiness but it was so intense and so real – it was very much the opposite. It has been a long time since I visited with him spiritually and what I have surmised is that it helped me to let go of some deep wounds caused by others and to grieve with him – it was sad but cleansing. My pain from others I can lay down now. You are still very protective of your children no matter where they are or how far from home they are.
I love you Jeremy – thank you for helping me to heal once again.
Proud Mom of
SSgt. Jeremy D. Smith 03-09-85-04-06-11