Posts tagged “Death of a Child

Things I learned from “Roseanne”

Last evening, I was taking a stroll on my treadmill.  Which is conveniently located in front of the TV.  As I flicked through the channels I decided to watch “Roseanne” re-runs.

Mistake # 1.

Who knew, that watching a show that had brought much laughter into our younger lives could make one cry so much.  Yes, the show is considered a sitcom.  However, if you sit down and watch a few episodes, you will soon realize the messages within.  Last night’s episode “Her Boyfriend’s Back”.  Found Becky and Mark borrowing Dan’s bike for the night without permission.  We saw Roseanne & Dan trying to parent a teenage daughter.  Becky learned the ultimate lesson of disappointment.  She realized that making her parents angry was one thing but disappointment was far worse to endure.  We see the love Dan felt for his daughter as he tried to bridge the gap between then after their falling out.  Roseanne went to Mark and expressed her love for her daughter and silently told him that she only wants him to treat her as she should be.

Throughout this entire 30 minute show, flashes of my future kept coming and going.  We will never have these times and arguments with our son.  We will never be at wits end because he had started dating a new girl and was missing curfew.  We will never get the opportunity to sit and chat and talk about that pretty new girl and the color of her hair and tease him about their future.  As I sat and watched the show the tears continued to fall.

Who knew “Roseanne” could be so deep!

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Full Circle

Sometimes life has an odd way of talking to you from the past and present.

30+ years ago my family built a new home and moved in. There is a small river running through my little town. We lived on one side of the “creek”. Across the way, are many friends we have grown up with and been close to our whole lives. Traveled on the school bus, friends of my parents etc.

Fast forward 15 years. I met DH, we dated, fell and love, got married. We had never known each other as children and met when I was in my mid 20’s.

My neighbors and friends across the way = my husband’s family. Cousins and Aunt.

Yesterday, as I was preparing to leave work we got word that a family member had passed. My husband’s Great-Aunt. My old neighbor. A wonderful woman in her mid-nineties. Loving and kind. It is the first sibling his grandmother has lost. She is nearly 92 years old.

This morning as I sat down at my desk. My phone rang. It was my mother. A friend’s son passed away in a car accident last night. Two more are injured. This friend was my neighbor, my childhood friend. He is their only child. A loving and kind young man. He is the great-grandson to the wonderful woman who passed yesterday.

All of my neighbors, my friends = my family. We will meet this week at the funeral home. Twice.

Sometimes the circles of our lives are vast and large. Sometimes they are small and very near.

Today, I sit with a heavy heart.  Much emotion and memories.  I think of my DH and I.  Our empty room at home.  I think of my poor family and their now empty room.  I send thoughts and prayers. They are now part of my “Club”. The “Club” that cost so very much to join.

I know that there is nothing I can say at this time.  There are no words that will make this different.  The only wisdom I can impart, it ok to feel.  The anger, rage, deflation, the tears.  It is all normal.  It is our normal.  No one knows this path but the members of our “Club”.  Never apologize for feeling, for wanting, for loving.  Never apologize for grieving.  One does not grieve unless one has loved.  We know much love.


Picture Day

The most favorite day of the school year has arrived in our next of the woods.  I have just listened to a 30 minute conversation between three of my co-workers about getting their combined 5 children off to school. I love seeing the results.  The hairdo’s, the funny faces, what happens after they are dropped off pristine at the door…

That being said.  This has been a very long 30 minutes to endure.  Based on the conversation here and the agreement between these three there is nothing worse in life that getting them ready for pictures.

Here I sit in the middle of all of this everyday.  I will never be that Mommy.  I will never be the one sharing school photos.  When he graduates, I will not be able to do up a book of all his school pictures for a keepsake.   I will never have these memories.

The only time I had to worry about picking out an outfit for my child, was for his funeral.

Some days are harder than others.  To all your parents out there do not sweat the small stuff.  In 10 years, the fact that Jack or Sally had a cowlick or oreos in their teeth will only make that picture more special.  It is capturing the true essence of your child’s personality.

Happy picture day all!


Today

Hip Hip Horray!  We made it through the long weekend.  It was up and down and now is done.  Here, in my little part of the world, we had THE BEST weather.  It was 32 all weekend.  With fall looming, anticipating the turning of the leaves, it was nice to have one last hot weekend to spend on the water.

We had more family visiting this weekend.  It went well. However, it did further drive home just how little my own family understands our situation.  My sister and her husband were at our home.  He has never been (they live a 15 hour drive from us). He was eyeing the family pictures on the wall.  The pictures of “C”.  You could tell he was uncomfortable.  He is our son.  It is our family.  Should we not have family pictures?

I often ask myself how can they be that out of touch with our feelings?  I have continued to say time and time again, we do not want anyone to understand this, as it would mean they have lived through it.  But, how can they not have any understanding at all.  We recently had a family anniversary.  I have one cousin who had a breakdown last year.  He now suffers from social anxiety.  That is how I would label it.  DH and I have the same issues.  We no longer can handle large groups of people or even family gatherings at someone’s home.  Because we cannot handle the repercussions of not going we put in an appearance and then vacate when possible.  Both breathing a huge sigh as we enter our vehicle to go home.

On the weekend I was speaking about this with Mother.  DH and I had stayed in the foyer and talked to a couple of cousins during the party.  There were 200+ people in the room.  I said it was just too much.  We could not be in the room.  Mother replied “I know I could not get around in there”  ???????????????????  No, Mom, DH and I cannot handle being around that many people.. It is too much for us.  To which I get no response.

I believed we have managed the questions and people’s curiosity quite well over the years.  However, I am finding it harder as time goes on and I am finding myself shutting down even more.  Why do I need to continue to explain this?

DH and I are on the bubble.  The future bubble.  What do we do with ourselves for the rest of our marriage?  Yes, we are TTC.  I know the likelihood of it ever happening is pretty much nil but I am not able to make that decision to end it.  I cannot face that decision.  It is too hard.  But that being said.  What do we do with the next 40 years?  There will be no basketball games on Thursday night, no sleep overs on Saturday.  No birthday parties to plan, No back to school shopping.  No summer vacations and summer camp.  It will be just be the two of us.

The twins made their appearance yesterday.  All was well.  Only 3.5 hours from the time they started her IV until Twin B (the girl) was born.  She only pushed for less than an hour.  Over all a wonderful birthing experience.  Twin A, the boy, 5 lbs 4 oz.  Twin B, the girl, 4 lbs 15 oz.   Born at 37w2d.  They will be home soon.  Now they are a family of 5.  How very strange.  We were pregnant together 4 years ago.  The boys were born 8 days apart.  Yesterday, she gave birth to twins.  For the 1000th time, my period started…..  Kind of an omen.  Another reminder that our time has passed.

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Triggers

Last night, well actually this AM.  I was in my basement “cleaning” my sewing room.  Which, I will confess also involved watching 2 movies. Hahaha..  One cannot sort fabric in silence.  There must be something for distraction.

At 1 am this morning I was sorting books and patterns while watching a random movie which I have seen goodness knows how many times.  It was a sappy, cute, love story type.

It was a that moment that I began to cry.  I cried for the future I will not have and for the past that I live.  Yes, random movies, books, a drive in the car, what have you will trigger emotions.  Then there you are bawling your eyes out and dreaming of the what if.  Of the what will never be.  They come and they go.  Does that make me too emotional?  I do not think so.  Does that make me not normal?  I do not feel so.  If anything does that not make me more normal because I am in touch with my emotions?

I would like to be able to tell you that grief slowly fades away.  Becomes a part of yesterday.  It does not.  Grief is always ever-present.  It is who I am. It has changed who I am.

When someone asks you to describe yourself what do you think and what do you say?  I know that these are two completely different things.  At least, they are for me.

I am a 30 something wife. I work full-time and have lots of hobbies.  I like to quilt and read and days spent on or near water. 

That is my PC description.

Here is the true description.

I am a 30 something wife and grieving mother. I work full-time and have lots of hobbies.  I like to quilt and read and days spent on or near water. 

See what a difference those three small words make?  Those three small words are always with me.  It is for this reason, that random things, trigger those emotions.


Beginning Year Four With Empty Arms.

Hello all,

I have been absent for some time.  I have reverted back into my shell existence.  The one that is protected and no one else can enter.  Get up… Go to work.. Come home.  Maybe cook.  Read hundreds of books on the old tablet.  When I read, that pushes the reality around me into the background.  I do not have to think about today or yesterday or even what tomorrow will bring.  I can just be part of page 215.

Yesterday, marked the beginning of my fourth year as a Mother with empty arms.  My son would have been 3 yesterday.  I will say that I now consider myself an expert at this… And those that ply you with the “it gets better with time”….”You will learn to deal with it”….. Blah blah…. I will be completely honest with you…………………………………IT IS A LOAD OF CRAP!

You will never get used to having empty arms, an empty bedroom, an empty backseat as you travel in the car.

You will never get used to the memory of your child leaving this earth.

You will never get used to the quiet in the house in the mornings..

You will never get used to being the one to blow out the candle on his birthday cake each year.

I am ever grateful for what I do have and the memories that I cherish daily.  I know that despite all, I am the lucky one as I got to touch and hold my child even for a short time.  This, however, does not ease the pain or take away the sadness.

On the weekend, I baked my son’s birthday cake.  My version of a Spiderman, with blue cake and red frosting and webbing on the top.  I took a pot of white tulips and a birthday balloon to his grave.  I took the day off of work and spent it with my family.  My husband and my son.  We hung balloons in our kitchen and we lite his candle.  We took pictures and said wishes and prayers.

Today is day two of my fourth year.   Today, I add another notch to my belt.

Sending good thoughts and wishes to you all.


Validating my child’s life.

Well…………that conversation did not go all that great.

We had a family funeral to attend this afternoon. I met my parents there as I came from work. After the service, we were greeting people as they were leaving. A woman from the community asked me how many children I had. My mother speaks over me and says “None.” I looked at the woman and said “I had one child and he passed away.” I left it at that.

I realize that in her own way my mother was trying to protect me from “the conversation”. Having said that why am I an a$$hole because I was real about my feelings and told the truth.

She said in our conversation this evening that she ran into the same woman at the mall and she apologized for asking. If she had known she would have never asked and did not mean to hurt me. I told my mother “it do not hurt me.”

Mom – “Well I said none so she wouldn’t ask any more questions.”

I responded “Mother. I live with this everyday. Everyday someone asks a question. It hurt when you said I had No children. I have a son.”

She then argues with me. “No, you do not have any children.”

I said “Yes Mother, I do have a child. I do not have any living children. There is a difference. Do you or do you not have a grandchild?”

“No, I do not.”

I responded “You do not have a grandson?”

“Yes, in the cemetery!”

This comment was meant to incite anger in me. But.. I responded “Well that means you do in fact have a grandchild, he just is not living.”

She is angry now. “Well I just will not speak. I will talk to no one…..”

Blah blah.. Like this hurt and anger is about her… I responded “Mother, am I not allowed to be truthful and express that it was hurtful to me and my feelings. We cannot have an adult conversation about this?”

She ended the conversation.

Each of us must decide on our journey how we are going to handle questions from people in regards to our children. I do not set up to cause someone discomfort because I answered a question truthfully. At the end of the day, it is not my fault that society does not and cannot handle the truth about upsetting things. At the end of the day. If someone asked me a question. “How many children do you have?” I will respond “One.” If they push and ask their name. I respond “His name was C.” That usually ends the conversation.