Yesterday I took a call.
A good friend was asking my opinion on what I would like to do as the one year anniversary approaches.
My tummy got that sick feeling – you know the one, where you are seized with fear or anxiety. How can it be getting close to one year? It’s not like I don’t know. I do. I know every single day and it amazes me how much today… is a lot like day one. I am trapped. I am at a loss for which way to turn or what I should do doing or how I possibly find a solid way to go on.
My eyes are constantly filled with tears. I have cried more than I have ever thought possible. I look around and think everything has changed.
And it is true. Everything has.
I don’t talk about it so much out loud any more because I know people have no idea what to do with someone who is still at this level of grief all of these months in. I don’t blame them…. I have to wonder what I would do for a friend if I was on the other side of this. I have some ideas, but I had to walk this side of the road to know.
I would say if you know someone going through something like this here are some things to maybe do:
- Invite them to something low key to get them out of the house. By low key, I don’t mean a party, or a place with lots of talking happy people – but maybe take a walk together, go to a movie, have lunch in a quiet restaurant, take a little road trip, invite them to help you with a project OR offer to come over and help them with a project (painting a room, planting flowers, etc…) Spend a little time with them.
- Call or send the occasional card. One of my big fears is that as time has stopped for me… it hasn’t for the rest of the world and I do not want my son to be forgotten. Let them know you are thinking of them. It is still appropriate and appreciated to ask how the person is doing today. 10+ months in, I still can not answer the how am I doing question but I can say how I am doing today. Knowing that people acknowledge (not ignore) that you still hurt means a lot.
- Understand that if that person says no to do something with you do not take it personally. For myself, it is hard to put myself back out there. I prefer things that I can do in a few hours and then return home. I prefer the sanctuary of my home. Meet them where they are at, they will appreciate it.
- If you are a praying person, please pray for them. It is indeed the power of prayer and friendship that has brought me this far.
For myself, I guard my heart. I have learned what situations will bring on waves of grief so I need to watch what I take on and what I should at this time avoid. Everyone’s situation is different. 10 months for me is nothing. I am still very raw. No one has to understand this, they don’t have to. I have to.
A sweet package came in the mail yesterday from a girl I know who lives out of state now.
The book is Through The Eyes of A Lion: Facing Impossible Pain, Finding Incredible Power. In the early days and weeks I was sent quite a few grief related books. Most of them I was not ready for and I put them on a shelf to look at later. There were (and are) some steps I just find too hard to take; certain situations I know will overwhelm me with grief so I am careful how much I take on.
This book however, seems like perfect timing. I mentioned above I am in this internal struggle of grief and trying to take a positive step forward. There is something about still being on this earth and he is not that breaks me every day. It is so difficult to try to BE and DO when I still so clearly can see what we had BEEN and what we had DONE together as mother and son. It zaps my energy. A new friend told me a few months ago that I wear an incredible mask. I took offense to that thinking I am about as real as they come… yet in recent weeks I think perhaps she is right. I have to put on a mask to go and be outside of these walls. I have to smile and talk and push ahead so they do not see the underlying depth of grief. And maybe that is how people do it. Maybe as self taught as I am in this new world, I am only repeating what those who have gone on this path before me have already done. Perhaps… it is time to open up a book. This book. Thank you Wanda.
And thank you readers of Book Journey. This space is like an online home to me. I feel safe to speak here. If you came to this site, you came to visit me and for that I am forever grateful.