Grief-The Loss of a Son
This is not just a story; this is a Real Life Story, and it is a process that I try to master every day…this is my process of grief after the loss of a son. Updated 10-16-2023
My description of my only child-
He was a dreamer, a hard-working young man, and although he never experienced all of what most people would call a normal lifestyle, he never complained. It was his choice.
His dreams were often larger than he was, but he dreamed anyway. He expressed his love for sports, fishing, and hunting. It was clear to his dad and me that he seemed to be at peace when he spent the day at the lake or in the woods.
He thought I should be perfect; I’m not…..he accepted that but loved me anyway. His love for his dad was like most; “us men stick together.” He and I shared many things about adversity during his 48 years of life. His life was not entirely stress-free, or without disappointment, but he was a survivor.
He did not understand why he had to die, but he made peace with the fact that he had a disease that was non-curable. It was his choice when he made the decision to not have cancer treatments. It was then that he accepted his time was limited.
I have always been where I could write words. I have had a hard time finding the words that might be proper for some time now. The difficulty began sometime before January 1, 2019, when my son went to sleep forever. Those words were hard to say, and they still hurt, but I had to find a way to accept the facts regardless of how it hurt. A way to release the confusion, the questions about life and death, the last breath, the last days, the last; I love you which was a sweet whisper. It still takes my breath.
As I have seen written before, life goes on, and on and you are left with your memories and your grief. Yes, there are stages that most are convinced of and professionals seem to feel are necessary to heal.
I have read about grief. However, I am not sure that it can be explained in totality, or that anyone can help you help yourself. I feel it is a process that you must wade through, one step, one day, one moment at a time.
If there were a set process, it would have already been mastered, and there would be no grief….left on this earth. That is not going to happen in this world.
The fact is that no one can feel your pain, or your grief exactly the way you do. You may try to compensate for something that makes you feel better for a while, and that is a relief. The distraction only lasts for a period, and then you settle back into reality, the grief is still very real.
So, how do I explain what grief is to me? Let me try to find those words or expressions within me
My mind will only think so far now, and when it hits the forever button, it flies to something else. Even when I try, my mind will not linger too long in the final chapter. It cannot because I do not think I would have a good mind left if I allowed it to.
It is as if I am lost somewhere in time, in a backward dream, and cannot find my way to the present. I want to go back to the day before it happened for just a little moment, and no, I know that cannot happen.
The day before, he would say, “Help me, I feel funny” and I did not realize what it was. That hurts so badly. I thought it was the meds. Oh, what could I have done for him to make him feel safer and not afraid? He also stated; “I’m ready.” I wasn’t ready and never will be.
I feel alone, but I know that I am not. God has helped me, and yes, friends have been near and dear, but I still feel no clear peacefulness inside.
I think sometimes we go through the preliminary processes to help with what might be coming….though we do not realize it at the time. My entire family will never forget 2018, the entire year dictated different stresses, and illnesses surrounding each of us.
I still feel lost, and empty, sometimes. Why? I find myself still praying for him, and I try to catch myself and pray for myself.
To be completely honest, I could not seem to pray as I did before. I don’t know why, but I know that God is with me. I know he loves me, and I love him.
I am thankful for his mercy, and love, and my scripture for today gave me solace. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am the bread of life.” John 6: 47, 48
The impact of it just being my husband and I seems so far-fetched. The three of us have been together more than most families.
For the most part, my safe space is home. I can show my emotions, I can stare into space, I can weep, I can pray, and I can ask God what I could have done differently. However, if there were a need to do things differently, it is too late now. That is why it is so important to live as if we are going to die at all times. We forget we are not promised tomorrow.
He Was Loved More Than He Knew
Not just his dad and I, but other people who knew him loved him so much. We did not know exactly how others felt until he was gone, and I am not sure that he knew. He would have been so surprised at the compassion, caring, and comfort that his friends gave. My son was oh so blessed to have so many friends.
I am trying to find the words that describe the blank, the void, the expectation of his evening entrance for dinner that no longer occurs. How we waited to know he was safely home sometimes in the evening. If he was later than usual, his dad would call to make sure everything was okay. The response would be, “I am on my way home.” He will never come home again. That is like being drenched in ice water on an already freezing day.
To say that our life was perfect; I would be lying. It was not, no one’s life is. Admitting that is, expressing that what matters most in life for a mother and father is nothing compared to past imperfections. Those past things are like dreams also; however, their importance is non-existent.
When I sit down to think about the time, it is almost as if time has stopped. As of today, this moment, it has been 4 years, 9.5 months. I previously wrote this, it has been one month, 13 days, 6 hours, and 30 minutes, give or take. I have to remind myself that it is still okay to have grief and mourning.
Grief is explained in the dictionary as deep sorrow, especially when is caused by someone’s death. Also described as sorrow, anguish, pain, distress, agony, torment, affliction, suffering, heartbreak, desolation, and much more.
Mayo Clinic states that grief is a natural reaction to loss. Find the full explanation here.
The Grief Recovery Method states that the most basic definition is: “Grief is the normal and natural emotional reaction to loss or change of any kind. Of itself, grief is neither a pathological condition nor a personality disorder.”
Two Free eBooks On Grief @ The Grief Recovery Method
How Am I Going To Recover From My Grief?
I think you learn to cope with it. Most professionals believe one can gain a new perspective with time and effort. Maybe, it is hard to know for me and I do not know if it is possible to recover completely to who you were before, from the loss of a child.