This past weekend and this week have been a heavy week. Physically and mentally, I have just felt drained of all of my energy. Friday, my dear friend pointed out we are six weeks away from the one year anniversary of Zachary passing away. I knew it was getting close but, I didn’t realize it was THAT close. I think I have just been in denial that it has been that long since I’ve physically held him and talked to him.
Also Friday, a young man in Broken Arrow who suffered with depression lost his battle and lost his life. A teacher in Broken Arrow was killed during a robbery protecting his family over the weekend. Then, Monday, the Las Vegas shooting happened.
All of these things before would have made me sad of course but, after losing your own child, you literally feel the pain the other parents are going through.
(Zachary age 14)
You can literally feel your heart break all over again as you know the phone call they will receive, in our case, from the hospital telling them to get there fast. You know the disbelief when the doctor is trying to get you to understand what he is saying but you just can’t understand because how can something like that happen? You know the feeling of running in and demanding to see your child only to be greeted by about eight people and have them try to take you to the chapel instead and you refuse. You know the absolute ripping apart of your heart when you see what CPR actually looks like (hint….it’s nothing like you see on television). Your heart aches for those parents who you know are experiencing the same thing.
My family doctor worded it perfectly to me at my last visit. He said, “People can empathize with you all day but, unless they’ve been through it, they have no idea. Even as your doctor, I’ve seen you and Jonathan in here and seen how bad you are but I don’t really understand. I’ve never lost a child.” And sadly, it’s true. People can be outraged all day but, unless you’ve walked in our shoes, you truly have no idea how heavy it is.
I wasn’t able to go volunteer today. It was raining here and the days had just taken their toll on me. I did get up and make myself go to my grief class. It is run by a fellow loss Mom. I don’t think I could go to a counselor who hadn’t lost a child. Just like Dr. Jacob said, they can’t truly get it. So I went and met another loss Mom and Dad who came. There is something about talking to fellow parents who just get it. You can say whatever and not have to worry about being judged or people thinking you are crazy. The four of us lost our children in different manners but they were all sudden deaths.
For an hour and a half, it is just people who all have a tragedy in common who just get each other. It truly helps to lift some of the weight off as I don’t feel like I am shouldering it alone with just Jonathan and my family. I also am so thankful for my “Warrior” loss Moms and Gerald. If you were in our group, you would understand Gerald. They will never understand the load they help me carry everyday by the little messages and sharing of crazy things our kids have done to let us know they are still with us.
(Zachary, age 17 with Biddie)
I guess the point of this post is that everything can get really heavy some days and it’s okay to take a mental health day. It’s okay to take a few days and let it out but, you can’t stay there. You have to seek out those who help you. You have to go to grief class. You and to talk with your tribe who truly gets you. You have to seek help or it will always be heavy. The heavy seem to be a little more frequent as we are getting closer to the anniversary date and that’s okay. I’ve got my family, my friends, my Loss Moms, my tribe, and all of you to help carry the load. Thank you for being part of my life. Thank you making life less heavy.
(Zachary, age 13)
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