Friday, April 9, 2010


I often wonder if I am making any progress in my grief. I wake up every morning shell shocked anew that my son is no longer here. The emptiness washes over me in waves. It still hurts. Badly. Sometimes I cannot breathe. Sometimes all I can do is cry. It has been more than eight months. How can I possibly get through the rest of my life like this?

A counselor suggests I not look at progress on a day-to-day level, but bi-annually. Am I doing better than I was six months ago? I think about that for a while. Here's what I come up with:

1. I am able to better care for myself now than six months ago. I eat and sleep more regularly. I remember to shower. I have gotten my hair cut (once).

2. The sick feeling, the knot, in the middle of my stomach is still there, but it is less intense. I do not feel 24/7 that I am going to vomit.

3. I can sometimes (but not always) tolerate being in a group of people without feeling completely disoriented and overwhelmed.

4. I still cry every day, but I cry less hard and less often than I did six months ago. And, I am sometimes able to talk about Colby without crying.

5. I have fewer meltdowns. Rather than several times a day, I now have them several times a week.

6. I am more ready now to let go of some of Colby's "stuff" than I was a few months ago.

7. My future alone in the world still terrifies me, but I am more able to focus and function on specific day-to-day activities, and less on my scary, unknown future.

I realize that while grief is often circular, rather than linear, I am making progress. I am not nearly where I want to be. It might turn out that I will never be where I want to be, but compared to six months ago I am making positive progress. If I continue in this direction, life six months from now has the possibility to be (somewhat) better than it is today.

I have not yet met or spoken to a grieving parent who has not had to learn to live with a "new normal." Everyone grieves differently and each of us has to find our way along this path ourselves. Even husbands and wives walk different paths here. I do not know if a parent who has lost a child ever comes to the end of this path, if this journey is ever over until we. too, pass on. But I can now see what while my journey here on Earth is forever changed, that I will have to endure more then enjoy for some time to come, that I will survive this––at least for as long as God planned for me to.

No comments:

Post a Comment