Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When was the last time you were happy?

A few weeks ago someone asked me to remember a time I was really happy.  Usually I can go around this question with no problem.  I can give a patt answer about a vacation, a memoriable event my family has shared in.  Unfortunately this person wanted a real answer and actually cared what the response was.  You know how it is, when it is someone who is  just asking you something out of civilty you can answer without emotion and give them the answer they are looking for.  But when someone truly cares about you and the response, the questions become emotionally charged and sometime difficult.

All I could think of was the very last time I saw DJ alive and happy.  I even tried to think of other things that had made me truly happy over the years but it just wasn't there.  Over 5 years ago DJ turned around and looked at me smiling, waving and saying"Goodbye, I love you" That is the last time I was truly happy.  How much does that suck?  I know it is a great memory, I am so thankful that I had that kind of memory (besides the accident scene) of DJ's last days on earth but to have that be the last time I was truly happy was quite shocking to me.  I didn't even know that.  I didn't realize it, I had no idea my mind would go there and it went there quickly.

I decided to look up the definition of happy and this one hit me the most--"quick or enthusiastic to use or do something".   I haven't been enthusiastic over anything in a long time.  I have had a lot of accomplishments personally and with the family over the last five years--writing and publishing my books, speaking and ministering to people, seeing my daughter Emilee graduate cosmetology school, watching Jake mature and grow confident in who he is since DJ's death.  Seeing my husband regain a positive role at his business and beginning to enjoy work again.  Regaining my real estate license after taking 4 years off.  Standing up and getting out of bed.  But looking back I see my life as if I am looking from the outside in.  I do not feel as if I am in it, enjoying the moments.  I see them, I am watching them but somehow the enthusiastic part is missing.  I am missing my son, and am thus missing who I am as well.  I am not in a depressive mood, only seeing the gloom in the world today I am just realizing that the happy, enthusiastic life is not part of who I am anymore.  I go through the motions, I have fleeting moments of joy and fun but they are viewed from the outside and certainly not internal anymore. 

I know I am not the only person who has lost a loved one, a child that deals with this.  We the bereaved parents only seem to get so close to others and often shut down.  We do not wish to share too much of ourselves with others--is this a self defense mechanism? Probably.  If we don't give too much of ourselves we don't have to worry about being hurt so much by others or the world.  I feel as if I am in a plane and just hovering above the airport, I am in a holding pattern in life. I am circling around, seeing what is going on below and around me but just not committing to becoming fully engrossed in it, engrossed in the emotions of life.  I do not land.

All this said, when was the last time YOU were happy? I hope it has been since your child has passed away, I hope you have landed your plane, are making the trips on and off.  Running along the tarmac with enthusiasm!!!

Side note--my book Flowers on a Child's Grave, Now What? isn't the typical stocking stuffer however, the holidays are here and 14 families have shared how they got through the holidays after they lost their children.(ages 20 minutes to 35 years of age)  If you are interested in ordering please go to my website at flowersonagrave.com.  Lia-forever DJ's mom

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Today I got slammed

     I had my book writing club to go to today.  As I got into my car to leave the radio was on a Christian radio station.  I heard a woman speaking about comparing "something" to the loss of her right arm.  I knew without a doubt almost instantly she was talking about the loss of a child.  As I was listening she was stating almost the exact same thing I have said before....The loss of a child is like the loss of a limb.  You can learn to live without it everyday but you miss it everyday.  As the program continued I became aware that she had lost a child almost 15 years earlier and she used almost the same exact words I have to explain the loss.  I was really struck by this fact that she too explained it the same way.  As the programming continued yet another woman came on to talk about the loss of her daughter.  Half way through the drive to the writing club I was a wreck. 

     Eventually I gathered myself together well enough to go to the group without anyone noticing the tears I had during the drive.  As I entered the coffee shop where we were to meet I recognized the cashier.  I wasn't certain where I had seen her before but was very much aware that I knew her somehow.  As I placed my order for coffee and a roll I asked her how I knew her.  She told me she had gone to Rumsey Station elementary school, I asked her how old she was and upon that I knew how I knew her.  She had gone to school with DJ, same age, same grade, same school. 

     So "Okay God, why are you putting all this is in my path today?"  I have often talked to you all about being aware of triggers but here I was minding my own business and got his twice in a row and hard.  I felt like I had been hit by a 2 by 4, cold on, square and hard.  Why did God put all this in my path today? I have no idea. 

Why did any of us lose our precious children?  I don't know
Why do any of us have to endure this world and it's pain?  I don't know
Why do we have so much fall out after we lose a child?  I don't know
Why does this grief live on so long? Because we loved and still love our children so much.

I don't have the answers today, I only know I lost my precious son and the world reminded me of it yet again today when I wasn't even looking---Be careful out there dearest friends