I am 3 weeks away from the 2nd year anniversary, and I feel so lost. Grieving the loss of my son has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. The thing about grief is that it’s in a constant state of change. The one constant emotion that you can count on is sadness. The sadness is always there, but then there are so many other emotions swirling around with that sadness, that it often makes you feel like you are going…shall I say, crazy? Among all those swirling and pulsing emotions, I have found a new one to surface lately. Restlessness…dissatisfaction…discontent. It seem as though this feeling has been teeming inside of me over the last few weeks in particular. It’s hard to explain this restlessness. It’s not the normal restlessness you feel from being bored….it’s deeper. It’s like I’ve been searching for something….I want to get out of the house, but then when I do….all I want to do is get back home. I channel surf looking for something to watch…finding nothing that suffices. I get on the computer and go to different websites and just sit and wonder what to search for…should I buy something…should I not..? It’s been a horrible thing to experience and I haven’t heard many people talk about it in this grieving process. I just wonder if I’m the only one that’s feeling like this….cause it makes getting through the day extremely difficult. I want to work…but I don’t. I want to do some projects around the house…but I don’t. What in the world is up with this feeling? I have never quite experienced it to this degree. I mean, I sit contemplating things to do or things I need to do, but I just can’t muster up the motivation to do it. And even if I do muster up some motivation to work on a project, I find that it doesn’t bring me any satisfaction…so I stop. Has anyone out there ever experienced this feeling? And is there any connection to the 2 year anniversary coming up? The hardest thing is…I don’t know..I can’t pinpoint what’s causing this feeling. But let me just tell you…it absolutely sucks the life out of me.
Grief is an extremely complex mix of emotions that intensify without warning. This new feeling is quickly becoming a normality for me…and I’m not quite sure what to do with it or how to deal with it. I mean, I’m still learning to deal with all of the other emotions that can change as rapidly as a blink of the eye. At least with the familiar emotions, I’ve experienced them and I’ve grown somewhat accustomed to their presence. That doesn’t mean I deal with them in the best of ways, but at least they are familiar. Sometimes, I feel like I may be bottling my feelings…pushing down deep inside so that I don’t feel them. Maybe that’s causing this restlessness? I don’t know…but what I do know, is that just when I think I’ve got this grieving thing figured out, something new slaps me in the face, and I start all over again, trying to make it through yet another experience. It’s completely consuming and exhausting.
Something else I’ve been experiencing lately is a feeling of anxiousness that hits about the same time every single day. It’s almost like mini panic attacks….my heart gets all flustery (not sure that’s a word) and I feel shaky all over from the inside out. I have a sense of dread and just want to lay down and go to sleep…hoping it will subside. Does anyone else feel this way? Am I experiencing something out of the ordinary for this grieving process? And why does it hit me at almost the same time every single day? I think the trap I have fallen into is thinking that I can deal with this grief and one day it will fell better. I mean, I’ve found myself thinking…”Shouldn’t I be feeling better at this point?” Maybe thats my own pressure that I’m putting on myself…maybe its assumptions and expectations I place upon myself…maybe it’s a subconscious thing that I’m feeling from society. You know, society doesn’t like to deal with our grief after 6 months or so. Society has its own way of placing a timeline on our grief. Despite the fact that you hear people say all the time that there is no timeline for grief, there is no real support for that statement. You see, like I said, after about 6 months…people begin to grow weary of your hurt and your pain, even though it is still very real. And once you get past the 1st year and move into the 2nd year, no one discusses it with you anymore. I know that it comes from not understanding, and I know that people really don’t know how to respond to our grief…especially when it is a child that has passed before the parent. So, the world goes on, not wanting to mention your child’s death, their name, or any memories related to them. And what we parents want more than anything is for someone…anyone…to just say their name….to just ask me about him and his quirks and the things that made him a wonderful person. I want someone to ask me about a fond or funny moment that I remember about Aaron….but those questions don’t come. The reason….because people are uncomfortable with uncertainty of your response and they don’t want to see you cry, because “you’ve been doing so well”. They feel responsible for making you cry. If you are reading this and you know someone that is grieving the loss of a close loved one, please don’t think that by talking about their loved one that YOU made them cry. We cry almost every day….so it’s not you. Sometimes we cry because someone remembered, when we feel like everyone is forgetting. Sometimes we cry just because we miss them…but we want you to remind us that others think about them and about us and that they remember that our child was once alive and a part of this world. One of the things that scares me the most is worrying that people will forget Aaron. That frightens me to my core.
So, maybe I’ve just explained where my restlessness is coming from…there’s a lot going on in this head of mine…and I didn’t even really realize it. I get so caught up in trying to live in a normal world that I get lost in my grief. It’s like I’ve lost my path through grief…maybe because I feel like I should be in a different place than I currently am. So, I wander down the path that gives me the least resistance….unknowingly…subconsciously. So, in essence, I guess I am burying my feelings….I’m not facing them head on…because it hurts so very much. Whatever the reason….I’m in a new season of grief, and I’n not sure what I would call this season….maybe the season of restlessness.
PLEASE….If you are feeling similar feelings…respond. I would love to know that I am not alone in this awful world of grief.