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

1 comment:

  1. Thought provoking. Thank you for this.

    I'm trying to remember the last happy time. And we do shutdown.

    We feel the need to protect ourselves from more hurts. And, let's face it, folks who have not lost a child just do not understand some of our lingering pain.

    I've found the important thing is to find someone or something that is a "safe" harbor. A sanctuary where we can feel safe.

    love you posts
    keep on keeping on