The following thoughts and feelings have occurred in the stages of my grief. My son’s website is a place for me to be completely honest with myself and others about the grieving process. Some posts maybe harder to read than others and this maybe one of them. Please know, I am able to climb out of dark places like the ones I describe below thanks to the love and support I receive.
The Day Of
My husband and I got home from our last trip to the hospital on February 8th at about 7:30 am. We had just said our final goodbyes. I was in a deep state of shock which made it almost impossible for me to hold myself up. I remember walking in the door going to the medicine cabinet for my daily pills and straight up to bed.
As I was crawling into bed my husband came upstairs and opened the drawer to my nightstand – he pulled out the handgun that was tucked inside. I asked him what he was doing and he said “You aren’t going to hurt yourself are you?”. I mumbled a reply that was something like “No of course not” but as my head hit the pillow I thought ‘if I was going to, that wouldn’t be the way I’d do it.’ Then I slept for almost 48 hours straight.
I have never shared that thought with anyone, not even my husband. That was my first encounter with the dark places one goes when they are face to face with the deepest emotional pain one could feel.
For weeks after the death of our son I could not stand the thought of being home alone. Being home alone meant silence, silence meant nothing, nothing meant I could feel every little centimeter of the pain. For weeks I had to have the TV on in our bedroom when I was getting ready. For weeks family and friends were taking turns coming over to keep me company. For weeks I was meeting anyone that would meet me for coffee or to go for a walk. I would do anything not to be alone.
The strange thing is, even when I was around someone I still felt alone. At first, grief is a dark and lonely place no matter how much support you have.
Friday, March 20th
The only reason I remember this date is because it was the Friday before shelter in place began. I woke up that day and decided I couldn’t stand another minute being in the house – shelter in place hadn’t even started but I was already captive to my grief.
On this day I decided to venture out to Target. My goal was to get a pair of gym shoes and few pairs of comfortable sweatpants; I was still recovering from child birth and couldn’t comfortably wear any of my jeans yet.
I cried the entire way to Target. I sat in the parking lot before going in trying to get myself together. When I finally was somewhat composed I went in grabbed a cart and went to the allergy aisle first. I stood in this aisle staring blankly at the drugs. With tears rolling down my face I wished with everything in me that there was a drug in this aisle that would numb the pain. I wished that there was a magic pill that would make me OK again.
After what felt like 5 minutes I realized that I wasn’t going to find anything strong enough in the allergy aisle at Target so I picked up a box of Benadryl (nighttime sleep aid) and threw it in the cart.
This was just another encounter I had with the dark places of grief.
On an extremely difficult day, I was struggling so much I was feeling desperate for a break from the pain. On this day I had thought about some leftover Hydrocodone I had from when I got my gallbladder out in 2017. For hours I toyed with the idea of taking one to feel something other than pain. My desperation led me to think about taking one pill to see if it would help. As I held the bottle in my hands I thought that taking one pill could lead to taking another, and then another and then another, not all at once but overtime. I remember thinking ‘this is how an addiction starts’. I was very close to trying it but in the end I decided against the idea and I put the bottle back.
I would say this is one of the darkest places my head went. To have actually been that close to taking an opioid to numb how I was feeling is terrifying to think about.
Death is something I have often thought about, even before losing our son. I travel a lot for work and before getting on each flight I would think – if something happens I lived a good life. I know this sounds odd and morbid but it is something that I have always done. This is very private thought I have never shared with anyone.
Thoughts like this have changed now, which inn my opinion rightfully so. Instead of thinking about how I have lived a good life I now think ‘If something happens I get to be with my son and I am OK with that’.
One day when I thought this I had a deeper thought that set me off – not only do I have to live out the rest of my life without him, he has to live in heaven without me! Thinking of him without me, his mommy, is excruciating.
Is heaven really better for him than here on earth with loving parents? How is that even possible?
A baby, a child should be with their mother! That is the best place for him but if that is the case then is he struggling in heaven? Is he sad that I am not there? Is he longing for me as much as I long for him? I don’t want this for him.
The questions I have about how he is doing are endless. These thoughts cross my mind every single day.
I now spend a lot of time questioning my faith and questioning the afterlife. I dare not say there isn’t an afterlife because I need my son to be in heaven. I have to believe that he is in, what so many say is, a better place. But how is that possibly better than being here… with me?
I have always believed in heaven; I have always had faith in God but now I struggle with both. Struggling with this is …. a very dark place.