I wonder if I’m doing it right. This whole grieving thing. I have never walked this path. I am fortunate enough to still have my parents, my siblings and closest friends. Death has been foreign to me. I’ve been to funerals. Some were expected, others ambushed us. Some came too close for comfort. Like the passing of my half brother a few years ago at the age of 24. I think that at the time, I was too busy being the big sister, supportive daughter, and dutiful step daughter to let everything sink in and by the time it did, my life had got in the way. My father and ex-step mom did not take it well. They were older parents when they had him and truth be told, left a lot to desired. My step mom had some issues she had to resolve within herself, one of them guilt, for not being there for her son and leaving him with my father to raise. My father didn’t even raise me or my siblings. He was never a touchy feely type of dad anyway, and he certainly wasn’t one then. He grieved for his son and was devastated as any other parent would be but I don’t think he ever moved on from the anger stage of grief. BOY was he angry and to this day he is still angry and even more bitter. I remember thinking ‘why is he being like this? He still had other children..why was he being so aloof..so mean?!’ It took me having to go through my own grief to understand, to some small degree, his new and more sullen personality. My father, without trying, taught me I didn’t want to be like him as I began my own grief , world ripped apart, journey.
I read how it has been several years since someone’s child has passed and they are still grieving as it was the first day. It takes all their might to get through each day and night. They wonder if they even want to. Then there are those that lean on God or some other spiritual life force and encourage the rest of us to smile and let God or S.O.S.L.F. take control of our lives and our pain. They imply that if I close my eyes, I will see fields of daisy’s with a spiritual being holding his arms out to me smiling ear to ear. I hear no sounds but I can hear it speak to me words of comfort. Rather foolishly, there have also been those days where I wonder if by taking two extra Benedryl, it is just enough to do the trick (BTW, no I am not suicidal, though I wish I could be with my Joey).
There have been a few days that I wake up happy, with a renewed spirit. That is how I felt the day after the 1st anniversary. I almost felt a sense of relief when I woke up. I was smiling and felt light on my feet. I think it’s because the ‘pressure’ of the year of firsts had finally passed and we made it. Not entirely intact, but nonetheless, we made it. Then, that light on my feet feeling turned to shock. I felt a sharpness of guilt! I should not be this happy! My life hadn’t changed from a year ago, but somehow, I wan’t as sad as I thought I should be! I am scared. What if, one day, I just stop thinking about him?! What if I wake up one morning and suddenly realize that his passing hadn’t consumed me the previous day? Did that mean I would soon forget the sound of his voice, the scent of his skin, the roar in his laugh?! What do I do now? What should I do? Is this even in the stages of grief manual? Someone, please tell me I’m normal and not going quietly insane.
In the serenity and solace of my room, I often wonder if I am a normal grieving parent. I wonder what normal is. Is there even supposed to be a normal. The only thing I know for sure is…
My life will never be normal again