I’M NOT A POSTER CHILD ANYMORE

A card sent many years ago to me from my mother.

Another note from years ago, sent to me by my mother on what would have been Jason’s birthday

It was a beautiful Saturday morning. I walked into Connie’s guesthouse; she wasn’t there yet.

After a few minutes, I decided to knock on the main house to alert her to my presence. She told me she was glad I had, because she didn’t know I had been waiting. I joked and said, “Of course you couldn’t hear me come in! I slipped through the bars on the fence – I’m so skinny now! Actually, the truth was – I flew into your yard! I am taking off these days and sailing through my life – I am Super Woman!”

She laughed out loud. Our session was full of laughter. We were both cracking up constantly.

I wasn’t sure if there was anything in particular for me to work on. Connie and I caught up on things. Whenever I mentioned a possible problem, within the next breath I easily suggested a simple solution to it.

I told her that all the answers were now at my fingertips – I could pull them from my heart and mind, because the “connection” was there. There was no barrier, judgment, or interference anymore. I felt so different! I told her I was enjoying being this completely new person.

“I was a wounded, human being! The therapy of writing and singing has allowed me to release trauma from my life. I have so much more joy! It’s a wonderful feeling to go through my day singing.”

I told her, “I’ve totally connected to the up and out. I had no idea how much there was inside of me!”

I decided to mention Jason’s impending birthday. I’ve lived through many of those since his death in 1992; eighteen of them, to be exact.

I said to Connie, “Detachment allowed me to feel less pain. I chose not to remember anything related to him for a long time. That was because I felt certain it was an important part of the healing process. Recently, I looked through his pictures and read those tear-jerker messages on special cards. How could I possibly stay detached? I could not!”

The up and out began . . .

I told Connie I had not yet posted a picture of his gravestone. I had been saving it to post in honor of his twenty-third birthday on May 28, 2010.

I was at Jason’s grave with my youngest son the prior week. My thirteen-year-old son, laid on the grass next to the gravestone of the brother he never met. It was very sweet. I told Connie there were a few pictures that really caused my heart to really ache. I began to describe those pictures. It was at that moment when my “well of tears” began to flow. The splashing took over, as the tears spilled freely down my cheeks. My voice became tight. I took a deep breath.

“I had two pictures of him – he was wearing a paper, birthday crown the preschool used to make on his birthday. It said Jason on it. He looked so happy!”

With that image, I felt the waves of pain wash over me. The memory was so intense; it was remarkable. I hurtled back through time and could feel the moment in front of my eyes. My son may have had eighteen birthdays since then, but he will always – he will always be five years old.

Forever, he will remain that age!

During hypnosis, I let go. I didn’t even listen to anything she said. I felt light and I was calm. Connie told me to go to a beautiful place, somewhere outdoors. That was very easy for me; I could smell the pine forest. I was in a place that was like a fairyland when I was a child – nothing was more magical than a forest for me when I was a young girl.

I told Connie that I wanted to say something to Jason, but I didn’t know what to say. It was such a long time ago that he had died.

I pondered and finally spoke. But it wasn’t to Jason, it was to Connie. Here is what I said:

I lost something that I loved so deeply; losing him was like an amputation of my soul. I still love my other children. They will grow up and I will always love them.”

Jason is different. He will always be with me in a different way. He is not part of my life, and I cannot see him. But he represents the kind of love that will follow me for the rest of my life. It is a love that is so – I searched for the word. It is a love that is pure.”

I don’t have to be a poster child to prove there is “recovery” for bereaved parents! I don’t have to always be smiling, and I don’t have to prove to anyone that I’ve moved on. I can still cry and feel pain for not having my beautiful child to hold. I can still cry because I cannot see him grow up and have the life I thought he was entitled to. I may continue to cry for him when I am very old.”

The difference is that now I want to remember him – even if that makes me cry!

It’s okay, because my life is wonderful. I have so much joy and excitement about living. I will always carry these memories with me.

I can feel the heartache, because even with the tears, his “pure love” will stay with me forever.

When I sing, I feel his presence. He’ll surround me and inspire me when I record my music later on today.

On Feb 2, 2010, Susan wrote:

Jason must have been a magical child, and I remember my parents telling me about his illnesses and his funeral. My father apparently sobbed throughout the service; my mom said she had never seen him so consumed with grief. I can’t begin to imagine the pain you have lived with. I am waiting to hear that you are feeling some peace with all of this.

Much love, Susan

On May 10, 2010, Amelie wrote:

Do you know what I remember about Jason’s funeral, Judy?

First, the terrible sight of you and Michael walking across the grassy hillside together and holding up each other, your hands clenched like they’d been welded together–a sight that remains with me forever.

Second is the eloquent speech Jason’s surgeon made about what they knew about infant cardiac surgery the year he was born and what they knew five years later, and how Jason’s journey had contributed to great strides for other children.

I remember because I was relieved to hear a note of hope, that Jason had left his mark not only on our hearts, but the hearts of all children who faced congenital heart defects and the hearts of their healers. I was so grateful for the doctor’s beautiful speech, which pointed all of us to the future and how Jason’s part in all of this made him a part of the future forever.

Love, AF

© Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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