Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"What is NORMAL?" - Grieving Mothers

What is normal?

Normal is having tears waiting behind every smile because my son is missing from all the important events in our family’s life.

Normal is trying to decide what to take to put on his grave that he would have loved.

Normal is feeling like you can’t sit another minute without getting up and screaming, because you just don’t like to sit through anything anymore.

Normal is not sleeping very well because a thousand what ifs & why didn’t I’s go through your head constantly.

Normal is talking of my child’s death and trying to keep from crying each time I say "died" because I still don't believe it. And yet realizing it has become a part of my “normal.”

Normal is thinking of first year without him coming up with the difficult task of how to honor my son's memory and his birthday and how am I going to survive these days. It's trying to find a way to get through these occasions without him.

Normal is my heart warming and yet sinking at the sight of something special my son loved. Thinking how he would have loved it, but how he is not here to enjoy it.

Normal is having some people afraid to mention my son, “Oliver”.
Normal is making sure that others remember him.

Normal is after the funeral is over everyone else goes on with their lives, but we continue to grieve our loss forever.

Normal is weeks, and months after the initial shock, the grieving gets worse, not better.

Normal is not listening to people compare anything in their life to this loss, unless they too have lost a child. Nothing compares.

Even if your child is alive and away in the remotest part of the earth away from you - it doesn’t compare.

Losing a parent is horrible, but having to bury your own child is unnatural.

Normal is taking pills, and trying not to cry all day, because you know your mental health depends on it.

Normal is realizing you do cry every day and night just so you won’t cry when your at work or doing every day tasks.

Normal is being impatient with everything and everyone, but someone stricken with grief over the loss of their child.

Normal is sitting at the computer crying, sharing how I feel with Friends hoping they will understand how I feel everyday without my son

Normal is listening to people make excuses why they did not come and see me or how they could not make it at the time of the funeral and me thinking "it doesn't matter anymore".

I know my son is in “a better place,” but hearing people trying to think up reasons as to why it was my son that was taken from this earth, makes absolutely no sense to this grieving mother.

Normal is being too tired to care if you paid the bills, cleaned the house, did the laundry or if there is any food.

Normal is wondering this time whether I’m going to say I have four children or three children, because explaining that my son has died to someone is the hardest thing for me to say.

Normal is asking God why he took your child’s life instead of mine and asking if there even is a God.

Normal is knowing in your heart you will never get over this loss of my child, not in a day nor a million years.

Normal is having therapists agree with you that you will never “really” get over the pain and that there is nothing they can do to help you because they know if you say "only bringing back my son back from the dead could possibly make me better.” But saying this will make you look insane.

Normal is learning to lie to everyone you run in to and telling them you are fine and okay when they ask “How are you” or say “You look good”. You lie because it makes others uncomfortable if you start crying. You’ve learned it’s easier to lie to them than to tell them the truth that you still feel empty and it’s probably never going to get any better — ever.

And last of all…

Normal is hiding all the things that have become “normal” for you to feel, so that everyone around you will think that you are “normal.”
( I found this on the Grieving Mothers facebook page and had to share it because it said so much of how I've been feeling.  I've changed a few things to make it more personal to me, mainly adding Oliver's name.)

I went to the dentist today and had to decide if I would tell the hygienist all my kids ages and then add that my oldest died, because I said, my son WAS 10.  It's such an awkward thing to bring up, but at least I can share a little bit about him... and yes... I cried.  I sure hope this gets easier over time..


Animator said...

Stacy, I came upon your blog through Tiffany Huish, who is in my ward. I spent about 8 hours yesterday reading it. I want to thank you for helping me to see some of the areas I'm falling short in my life. I too have problems with mental illness, and I have chronic pain and an inner ear disorder as well. But I know there is much more that I can do to reach out to people. The thing that struck me the most was when you said that people spend time thinking about others, but they need to DO something, or the suffering person will never know and just continue to feel lonely. There's a woman in my ward who has trigeminal neuralgia (known as the suicide disease because 50% of people who have it commit suicide within 5 years). I think of her nearly every day - but I've done nothing. That's going to change, starting today. Thank you. I'm so sorry for the terrible pain you're experiencing. It would be hard enough to lose a child, but to have mental illness on top of that - I can't even fathom it. When my Mom was 41 she lost my brother, who died unexpectedly in his sleep when he was 8 months old. Her life has not been easy, as she has always suffered from depression and had a miserable marriage. Now she is 76 and in poor health with diabetes and congestive heart failure. But she's not afraid of death, because she knows she'll be met by my brother. It's been a long 35 years, but at some point she realized that she had probably passed the half-way point between the time he died and the time she would die. And she started looking forward, rather than backward. I don't know if that will help you or not. The pain is so fresh, I doubt there is much that does help. I'll be praying for you.

Linda in Eagle Mountain, UT

Judy Unger said...

Hi Stacy,
My name is Judy Unger. I also have a blog about grief and I'm a bereaved parent, as well. My son died 20 years ago, but I healed from my grief 3 years ago when I began to write on my blog about grief. I rediscovered my love for music and songwriting and it brought joy back into my life. My blog is full of inspiration and I want to help other bereaved people with my optimism. I share this with you because your words are very much the same. I wish you luck, too, as you share what you've learned from grief.