My survival toolbox, the different people in my life who have offered me support, shared their love, concern, and memories with me, allowed me to cry, cried with me, let me know they are thinking of me, asked me how I am doing really wanting to know the truth have all played a part in helping me to survive. I can’t explain how I have made it this far. Every day of my life seems impossible. But each person in my toolbox, at different and seemingly perfect times, brings something with them that helps me. It’s always a surprise and I am so grateful that I have people in my life who are willing to try and bear this burden with me.
A difficult part of being on this side of child loss is that I can never explain it or describe it to someone who isn’t here with me. Don’t get me wrong. I do not wish this pain and sorrow upon anyone, but there is a frustration with having these feelings, these aches, these thoughts, and even though they try, some of my survival supports just can’t understand. God bless them.
This weekend my aunt and uncle came into town. They know the pain of child loss and they have been there for me from the very beginning. On the first day of their visit, I was able to just talk to them. I have never really just talked, face-to-face, with another grieving parent about how hard it is simply because no one can understand how we are different forever. Forever. We will never be the same people we were.
The feeling of not having to explain, or try to explain the daily torture was so comforting. I felt a freedom to speak honestly about the hurt. I felt like someone heard me and I listened. Though we cried, the understanding I felt was a comfort I didn’t expect. I have spoken with, cried with, talked to, and sought out many different people for many different things. My aunt and uncle are amazingly strong and courageous people. They know. They know that child loss is something you can’t explain, something you live with, and something you will never get over.
I don’t know what the hell I am doing. I don’t have a plan. I can’t see my future. Right now is all I can take and sometimes right now is more than I can take. I am sure I have mentioned this before, but I have PTSD so you have to deal with repetition. One thing I am fairly certain about is that I need people. I need to talk to them. I need to listen to them. I need to hug them. I need to know they aren’t giving up on us. This is so hard. I can understand the temptation or need to bow out, to take a pass, or simply drift away. I get it. This is too much to live with. I don’t blame anyone who is afraid to talk to me or to reach out, because I know how complicated and painful it is. What the hell do you say to someone who lost their child? I’m sorry? There are no words, so I don’t blame anyone for not finding them. But I will tell you this, I need you.
No one can do this alone. I am living a nightmare. I am enduring daily torture. I am clutching at straws. I am drowning in the middle of the ocean and the people who remind me again and again that they are there, the people who just hug me, the people who listen, the people who truly understand (you know who you are) are saving my life. That is not a metaphor. You are saving my life. Thank you.