Posts Tagged ‘loss of child’

Get Out There

I hate that phrase but it is exactly how I am trying to shift my focus. The other phrase I hate is “Just Do It”. Like somehow you can change your life and outlook by doing something. My life changed on December 12, 2020, and I’m just trying to recover some part of me that wants to go on living.

No, I am not suicidal. But I have days when I don’t want to get out of bed. I have a lot of days when I don’t care what I look like. And days when I cannot clean the house.

I joined a Facebook group for parents who have lost adult children and I am discovering that it is not unusual to have these feelings, even when we have surviving children we love and grandchildren we adore and love. Even when we have a spouse that understands. Or a huge circle of caring friends who continue to reach out years after the event.I have all of the above but some days I just don’t know how to feel.

Backtracking a little here, many of the parents who post on the group are people who do not have a strong network to catch them. Their friendships have dissolved, they are on the verge of divorce or separation, their circle is wondering “why haven’t you gotten over it, yet?” “When will you move on?”

We can’t. We are crippled in one of the worst ways: the child we carried for nine months, nurtured, and set free to become an adult on their own has been ripped from us, suddenly, inexplicably, and painfully. A clock has been set on a mantle and the hands are stopped at the exact moment our child left us or we learned. We are broken and we are forever changed.

We are not the person we were before. That person died with the child we buried.

I suffer mild depression and severe anxiety, but I am not given to wallowing in too much self-pity. My son would not want me to. Yet, here I am, two years and several weeks later, doing just that. I am in therapy and I take a healthy dose of antidepressants. I drink too much. I have gained weight and lost interest in most of the things I have always loved. I can’t find the Creative Muse and I have tried. Oh, how I have tried.

But the muse evades me and what I create lacks the spirit and life I wish to impart into it.

Which brings me to where I am now. You already know I am in therapy. That’s new. I’m not much for spilling my heart out to a stranger much less a friend. A blog is more anonymous and doesn’t cost this introvert much anxiety. I am an introvert. I prefer my own company to almost anyone else. I reserve the right to bail on a get together for no reason. It’s an introvert thing, but it is also a sign of a highly anxious person.

The odd thing is this: I don’t mind being in large gatherings for short periods of time. I can be very social. I can manage small talk. I could even deal with the chaos that was my son’s household long before he died. Or the chaos that is my daughter’s life. they both have large families: chaos goes with numbers of children. I have no problem befriending a stranger in a public restroom (one of my very best friends became acquainted with me in a public restroom).

That particular friend has invited me to join different groups with similar interests. We did a spin with a cosplay group but both became disenfranchised by the “control” certain people held over the group. If nothing else, I hate controllers. Introvert, but highly independent. Now we are trying out a group of women who like to go camping. Just women. No rules: tent, car, RV. I’m a pro at tent and car camping as is my friend. I am a pro at dry camping and wilderness camping. I don’t need a paid spot in a government or state sanctioned campground. But the group sounded interesting so we both joined.

Jury is still out on that organization but that’s a huge move for me. Camping on my own. No husband or dogs. Meeting new people who might have similar interests. Camping as a group. I know my son would approve.

I know I need to embrace the new woman I am. I can’t continue to spend my days feeling the undertow of grief. That grief is fueled by the loss of my mother, my baby sister, my father, my son, and the loss of my youngest daughter who has had to take her own path to healing (a path does not include me). Relationships I can’t repair or replace.

I signed up for three course at The Great Courses.

I’m not going sky diving – just yet. That was a fantasy of mine when I was younger (and my bones were not fragile). Then my son usurped that dream and became one of the US Army’s elite Special Forces (Airborne). He loved jumping out of airplanes and helicopters. It damaged his knees and back, but he loved to fly in the open air with just a parachute.

I believe he wants me to jump out of the airplane and trust my parachute.

Wish me well.

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