Everyone says your life will forever change once you lose a child and that you will never be the same person as you were before.
They are right.
With such an earth shattering event, I often wonder why society doesn't talk about this more? When our son died, my husband and I were so completely devastated that nothing could bring us comfort. He oftens compares to the pain as having a bad flu. You try walking, sitting or lying down and you feel completely overwhelmed by a foreign invader. Now, after weeks have gone by, this foreign invader, that many refer to as grief, has taken up residence in our lives and in our hearts. With the pain comes a yearning. I have never, ever yearned for anyone more. Even to this day, I feel my body pulling towards my son. Aching to hold him and tell him how sorry I am and how much I love him. I daydream of conversations and constantly remember him saying "I love you, mom" just to hear his voice in my head. I can only daydream at this point because of how cruel this foreign invader is. It doesn't allow me to dream of my son. You would think something so horrific and on your mind 24/7 that you would only naturally have dreams of it. I have only had 1 dream where he had told me the location of his phone, followed by a quick disconnect (his phone and his computer by the way were never recovered. We believe people have thrown them out to cover up evidence of the deal turned murder and potentially more). All I want is to be able to go to sleep and get lost in my dreamLs with him. I had figured initially it was the lack of sleep I was experiencing. But, no, I still haven't dreamt of him. After talking with other bereaved parents, apparently this is common and is a way for your body to protect you. Well body, I don't need your protection. I need my son.
Beyond my new and current psyche, my day to day has changed significantly as well.
There are days that I refer to as "good" days. Yes, I have started to categorize my days that are based on if I could keep my shit together or not. But even with these "good" days, they too remain completely unpredictable. That is one thing about this foreign invader, it sneaks up on you at any time, no matter what you are doing and no matter where you are. Perhaps this is the "new" version of me. An anxiety ridden mother who is trying to maintain her rage, and parent her surviving children the best way she knows how. Oh, and tries to keep her marriage healthy at the same time. Who are all grieving as well. The silent or forgotten grievers, yep that is a real thing. Not just among the siblings but the fathers too. I'll make sure to circle back to that and our own experience with it in a later blog.
Obviously my life has changed beyond who I am becoming internally as a person. Besides the foundation work, I find that the only work I want to do is anything that points me back to Alex. I'm still learning how to be OK doing things that do not directly involve him. I now have returned to work, part time for now. However, I struggle to find meaning in my work that was once so meaningful to me. I can't wait to get off work everyday so I can visit my son's resting place. That is another significant change in not just my life, but my family's life too. Accepting that the funeral home and cemetery is now our second home. I go every day to visit my son. And, I, at times will have an outer body experience to where I see my husband and I talking to my son as if he were there. My husband maintaining the grass at his burial and phrasing it as his haircut (my husband always would cut the boy's hair when they were little). He even tries to edge the grass in a way to make it look like a fade. Seeing us from a third person point of view is just so heart breaking and in no way fair.
My grief counselor said this will be different, to give it a year time and that while I will still be grieving, I'll be in a different and improved state. He also says I am never going to the same person I once was. Perhaps there is a piece of me grieving who I used to be as I struggle to regain some of my old passions back.
For now, I suppose all I can do is to say farewell to the pieces of me that once were and that are sure to never come back. And at the same time work on accepting the pieces of me that are new regardless of the good, bad and ugly.
No matter how this foreign invader impacts our life, one thing will never change or lessen. Our love and dedication for our son, Alex Crus Garcia.
Until next time...