Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Surviving Grief - a year later

This isn't a typical post for me. I like to write about my kiddo his favorite toys, crafts and DIY projects. I went back and forth about posting about this or not...then I figured - well it's not like people really actually read or follow my blog and I need to talk out loud so this is a great outlet for just that.

So here goes (talking now) One year ago (tomorrow) my world turned upside down. This is the day I would have to learn a whole new meaning to living and surviving to learn what pain and grief really meant. Let's rewind. July 10, 2012;I left work (early) the air was hot and heavy outside and heat barely tolerable. I picked up my newly just turned 4yr old little pride & joy from school and whisked him away for a cold milkshake at McDonald's. We chatted happily about our day as we made our way to visit my daddy. Today I would offer as much support as I could for him while he sat in the idea that his little brother had just lost his long battle to cancer. I could never image how sad he could be - as I could never image the pain of loosing my own brother. Our family was all gathered and ready to love on one another and celebrate that someone we loved would no longer be suffering from such a terrible disease but also acknowledge the sadness of how greatly we would miss him. We greeted my daddy and he loved on his grandson (extra tight this time) and our greetings were interrupted by a phone call. THIS would be the call that would jerk us from the realities we were in and bring us to a place we were not ever prepared for. THIS would be the call that would shake me to my core on a level I could never imagine possible. THIS would be the day my life would change forever.

My dad hesitated to answer and the call came in a second time - worried something was wrong with his son my dad answered the phone. I will never forget the sounds my dad made as a woman he never met told him that his one and only son had been shot and killed. I will never forget the way he fell to the ground overcome with unbearable pain or the way he ran all over his home screaming "Oh dear GOD!" I will never forget the sound of wails that came from my mouth - sounds that until later didn't register were my own. I will never forget the way I instantly felt the need to vomit yet was unable to stand or move. I will never forget the fear in my sons eyes as he watched his mommy and pap pap fall completely apart in front of him. I will never forget the sound of the woman who spoke so calm and matter of fact on the phone to me to tell me that my one and only brother - my soul - my everything for all of my life had been shot by an officer. I will never forget how she so calmly and emotionless uttered "these things happen sometimes". I will always remember having to tell our mother something so horrible over the phone and listening helplessly as she sobbed aloud. I will never forget that he had left this place, left me behind wondering why and how could he? Angry and sad - confused and shocked - raw and broken. I will never forget the fear and angst as I frantically struggled to figure out how to get him home to us and how I could ever manage to pay for a proper funeral service. 

Imaging how I might feel and how I might react to seeing him one last time. And the way I lost all focus of my surroundings and yelled aloud for my husband to rescue me from what I was seeing because I could not stand there for one more second. How I declared that was not him and he was not right there and this could not be happening. How I felt my body give way beneath me and drift away into a state unconsciousness because seeing him was more than I could handle. How I stood in the middle of our living room screaming for him, sobbing uncontrollably and beating myself in the head to make the images and thoughts go away. How I cried for him night after night after night for so long I ran dry of tears. How I beat myself up a billion times for missing his last 2 attempts to call home. How I know the exact date I last heard his voice call me baby girl and he spoke with pride of his nephew. How I last heard him say to me how very much he loved me and I him. 

I will never forget how loosing him has impacted my life - our lives in such a profound way that I have had to find a new way to live.I watch my son learning to throw a basketball and I think he should be learning from his uncle who was a great ball player. I watch him learn to ride his bike without training wheels and I think he should be seeing this. I watch him blow out his candles and I know he should be clapping for him. He should be learning how to flirt with girls from the best ladies man and how burp the ABC's because he totally could. He should be here and I shouldn't have to miss him and my son should have an uncle to look up to. 

But none of this could be. He left us behind way too soon so I grieve for him. I grieve for what should have been and what can never be. I stumble through this thing called life - sometimes counting the possible years I have left without him. Trying to image how my life will be without my only sibling - for all of forever. I daydream about how long forever might be and I sometimes secretly wish it were tomorrow. Sometimes I wonder how I can breathe when I hurt so bad or how I can meet a need for my young son when I can not meet my own. Sometimes I wonder how people survive with this kind of pain inside them slowly eating away at who they once were. I often wonder if I will ever truly be happy again or will it always be just moments of happiness drizzled through out the pain of such loss.  Will I ever get to a place where I don't feel guilty for smiling or having a laugh because he is not here to share it with me?

In my heart I know that my brother is forever free and eternally happy. For that I would live it all over again every single day of the rest of my forever. As his happiness and freedom were all I ever wanted for him - so my pain is worth every second for him to have these things. Never think for a moment I would want him miserable, lonely and bound for me to have him - that would be incredibly selfish of me. 

What have I learned in this past year about grief? I have learned that as hard as is to breathe sometimes, I can. As hard as it is to get up each day, I do. As raw as each nerve felt and as much as each tear hurts, I am going to survive. As much anger and confusion as I had felt, the love I have for him was larger. That as hard as it is every nano second of my life to be here without him I am happy for him that he has found eternal happiness. And I have learned that immense pain I felt in my heart that day has never gone away however I have managed to make room for it. I am learning to live alongside my grief and make room for it in my life. I am learning that as much as hurts I will survive and that my love for him keeps him with me always. I am learning that this thing called life doesn't always go as planned.

I love you Bubby! With all of my everything - our souls connected forever - I grieve for you. Until the day we meet again ♥ watch over us. Love Cis

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written! I hope it was helpful to write out your emotions and tell your story, painful as it is. I'm happy that you are learning to live along side of your grief. May God bless you and comfort you!