I am not just any mom. I am mother to three children. They are Andrea, Vanessa, and Brandon. Whenever I am asked how many children I have. I have three always. One has gone to Heaven but he is my child still. A mother is no less of a mother because one of her children may be gone from her. I have learned these past eight years how to answer those questions that were so difficult in the very beginning. I know how to dodge questions and change the subject. I know how to be bold and direct if need be. There is a part of me that feels bitterness rising about certain things. (Please God, get rid of those feelings. I know they interfere with our relationship.) I have anger, too. It comes and goes, and thankfully does not dominate my life. It is that phase of grief that resurfaces the most.
My personal opinion about the grief stages is that they never really go away. How could they? My Brandon is not coming back here. I must remember that everyday: no phone calls, no visits, no sharing holidays or weekends, no silliness or creativity, no more having mother and son conversations of the serious sort, no laughter, just no Brandon. Here. In My Life. It is only in the next that we will be reunited. I can only imagine…as the song goes. Oh, what a glorious day. Grief stages have certain times they raise their ugly heads. Anger does come along with profound sadness. My anger is pointed to not just anything or anyone as much anymore but I will pray with an edge to my voice…in my heart. That edge is jagged and agonizing. It’s a “me” that I wish I did not know. I still have questions. I still wonder about the injustices of his death and those people who were involved. I do not feel guilty about the humanness of my curiosity. It never had to happen is how I feel about it.
I am able to be happy but not joyously so, as in the days when all three of my children were on this earth. I smile and laugh. I am alive. I have gardening and a hobby of learning to make stained glass. My husband is dealing with health issues and it makes life a little more unbearable as we age. Our attitude is with each groan and ache…each passing day…year…we are closer to getting to see our son again. To be in a heaven where there is Jesus in person, love expressed to and by every soul, no tears….but also..NO HOPE. Think about that for a minute.
We will have no need of hope in heaven. We will just HAVE.
Some days are harder than others. Mother’s Day is a day I do not attend church. I will never again go there unless it falls on the day of my memorial. And even then I will only be there in spirit. I find it very stressful and tearful. I just don’t want my emotions to be on display. God has given me that day off. Anyway, I AM the church.I tried being brave the very first Mother’s Day after Brandon passed but it was too soon and it was a bad experience because of the sermon. It was as if every nerve ending was exposed and every eye on me. A bit of paranoia for someone who had just lost her son. I was also aware that perhaps religious people might be somewhat critical of how my son died. I felt so uneasy and afraid. Now, I am defensive and almost hostile sometimes whenever that topic may come up. It’s a tenuous tightrope. Never knowing when I will be confronted with the topic of suicide in a public setting, which I am very guarded about. I see so much on television, the news, movies, etc…that make me angry. The handling is always botched in my opinion. I don’t give them much room to explain. I turn it off before it gets too far. Like the Netflix show, “Thirteen Reasons” or the Redford film, “The Discovery.” I DO NOT want to know. If a program or movie is contemplating that their story line isn’t interesting enough they will throw a surprise suicide into it. I hate it for good reason. Too many programs do that. Of course, it is just another way of dying but they use death as a “surprise factor” to off a significant character…or insignificant. But none as much as suicide because there is no time to prepare yourself for that. None.
It is Mother’s Day weekend. A time to be with my daughters. I wonder if they think how I must feel sometimes. They have their own children who each are at a crossroads of sorts in their young adult lives. I hope they never know just how it is to experience this kind of loss. That is my hope for them. I just don’t want to face the loss of another family member ever. Let it be me, Lord. That is truly my wish.
Mother’s Day is difficult to we mothers who have lost a child/children. All of the mushy sentimental commercials that flood the networks. I press mute. It is hard explaining this divided feeling between what I have had and lost and what I still have. The memories are prompted at any given moment but mostly when there is a holiday or birthday….or these days, it’s Facebook…any of the social medias. I just got on Facebook after a long hiatus. It was self-preservation. I don’t know why I thought I could be on there now…or ever again. Brandon’s friends, those friends’ parents, etc…posting, posting, posting. All about their children and grandchildren. Photos of adults whose faces have a strange resemblance to the yearbook kids. Everyone has a wonderful life…smiles and smiles. Then it hits me. All of my photos of Brandon are frozen in time.
There are many well written blogs on WordPress on the topic of suicide by those who have experienced this tragedy. To me, it is only we who who have lost someone this way who are qualified to do so. If you are a reader who has lost someone to suicide, I hope that you find your way to those blogs. I am inept at including links but will try to figure it out. When Brandon died, I could not get my hands on enough reading material on the subject of suicide and also spiritual help in this matter. Since then, I have started this blog and have included some of the writing material in my menu from guest bloggers whose words have been comforting as well as, informative.
I ask God to bless each of you who have lost a child, and most especially if you have lost a child to suicide. It has been labeled a “complicated grief” for good reason.