Joey is always on my mind. There are days that that with every gentle breath I take, memories of him fill me with overwhelming happiness and peace of mind. They make me smile. Other days, the memories of him weigh so heavy on me that the thought of him leaves me gasping for every breath I take. I feel I am a horrible mom because when I think of him, I try to shake off his glorious image from my thoughts. An agonizing guilt bears down on me because when I remember his beautiful smile, the memory is quickly followed by images of his lifeless body laying on a table. Sometimes, it is just too extremely painful to remember him. The reality and tremendous pain of never seeing him again punches me in the gut robbing me of air, quickly suffocating me. How can our brains be so sadistic and twisted? How can it trick us… play brutal and hurtful games with our memories? I never, EVER want to forget my son yet the mere thought of him takes me back to 13 months ago when I last saw his lifeless body. How can I ever get those agonizing images out of my mind? How can any parent forget the last time they held their dead child?
I try so hard to keep my mind stable. No ups…no downs. No emotions…no feelings. Don’t think. Carefully pace every breath I take. I am afraid that once memories start to fill my mind, the brutal reality will begin to consume and drown me in despair.
My husband often wonders why I watch meaningless shows on TV. I tell him that I need to shut down my brain…my thoughts. I need to escape to mindless shows filled with ‘canned’ laughter. If I don’t, I will go mad. Insanity will overtake any normalcy I have left. The quiet only intensifies my torment…reopens up my wound. Doesn’t it seem so brutally ironic that what fills my heart with love and joy can also savagely and ruthlessly shatter it with more vengeance than ever? Conversations with my husband become less and less fulfilling. I answer with quick short answers. I am afraid that one of us will say something that will stir up memories and take me back to a dark ugly place I don’t want to ever visit again. I miss what made me fall in love with my husband. Our conversations.
I miss my beautiful son so much. I miss his face…his laugh…his soul. I miss everything about him. I yearn to see him again, even for a minute and yet when that contagious smile crosses my mind, I want to heave! The loss becomes overwhelming. I can’t bear it. How can I ever learn to separate those two? What price do I have to pay to erase those dreadful images from my memory bank? Someone please tell me! I’ll gladly pay the ransom ten fold!!
Why, dear Lord, do you make me a hostage to my memories…