After my son died, healing seemed unimaginable. This title speaks to me; I know that hope of healing has kept me going during dark times in my life.
I have been corresponding with a bereaved mother named Sammi since her son, AJ died three years ago. (To read our other dialogs, simply type “Sammi” in my blog’s search box.)
Sammi writes about her grief with gut-wrenching honesty. Her words are in blue. The quotations are ones she posted on her private grief site.
I woke at 4:30 a.m. I do that almost every night.
I haven’t slept through the night since AJ died. I lay there, feeling nothing for a moment, staring into the darkness; then it happens. Like a brick wall falling on me, I remember and it hurts. Some days are easier and I just roll over and go back to sleep and some days are like last night when the pain cut so deep that I couldn’t stop the sob escaping or the tears that fell. Those are the nights when I have to get up completely to stop the agony exploding in my chest.
I walked out onto the porch. It was so cold and so quiet. I stood there just gazing out into the neighborhood. It was so calm, so peaceful. I looked up into the clear night sky and saw thousands of stars twinkling above. How is it possible that such peace and such beauty exist around me while such upheaval and ugliness churns inside?
The nights and early mornings are the worst. The being reminded every, single, day, my child is dead. I dread falling asleep because I fear waking and the pain that I know is waiting. Every. Single. Day.
Sammi, this is so beautifully written – it describes that horrible anguish that I remember so well. It was like living within a nightmare.
Sleep was peace until having to wake up to face what was unbearable. The statement of how the pain never goes away just wasn’t true for me. Occasionally it knocks on my door, but it has left my room. I pray it will be that way for you someday and that the sun will shine again.
Sammi, beliefs are powerful and every person chooses what they want to believe.
Those words above are true for some individuals – I’ve known people who died carrying heavy grief. But for me, I’ve chosen another path. It wasn’t one that I searched for – it just came to me after many years of suffering. I wouldn’t ever say that “time heals.” But for me, healing came and I am thankful for that.
I dreamt of AJ last night. I didn’t recognize where I was – it looked like here and yet it wasn’t. He came up to me and he was beautiful, smiling that smile he always had on his face. He looked radiant. He was accompanied by a young woman who had beautiful, flowing brown hair and a bubbly personality with an infectious laugh. As in past dreams, he never spoke or came close. The woman spoke to me. I don’t remember what we talked about but I remember how happy AJ seemed. This woman was always touching him and he never dropped her hand. She kept referring to me as “Mom.”
I remember getting up to leave and looking back and they were gone. I kept walking out into the outside world, I heard others but didn’t see anyone else. I took a step off a porch and had the feeling of floating downward until I finally landed, waking up. He seemed so happy, so content, so at peace.
Sammi, I see something beautiful in your interpretation of this sweet dream. How inspiring that you saw AJ at peace! Perhaps this can help you feel more peaceful?
AJ never had a chance to get married or have children and initially I felt sadness as you described your dream. But as I read further, your description was so uplifting.
To me, this signifies a powerful message of healing sent to you from AJ.
On my story of IT’S NOT FOREVER – PART 3, I wrote about how Sammi had emergency surgery and almost died. During that time, she felt that her son was with her. When she awoke from surgery, she felt quite different and her heavy grief had been lifted.
In the month that followed, some of that lightness stayed with her. She wrote the following entry below:
My mind is in such turmoil lately. My thoughts have been all over the place. I go from memory to memory at lightening speed, unable to put thoughts down. Interspersed among the memories is anger; the anger that I will live with for the rest of my life, no matter what I do. It is the anger that comes with unanswered questions. It finds a corner of my mind and digs in.
It has become very comfortable with my stalker grief. They make plans with each other and attack together at the drop of a hat. Sometimes it is when I wake at night just to turn over. My days have been gentler, more often than not, but I have yet to make it through an entire day without pain.
I knew life was filled with transitions; I was prepared to go through many of them.
I just didn’t know that I would be one of the people who would live out the rest of their days in pain every day.
Sammi, living without pain is unimaginable when you are in it. But I am certain that one day you will live without this level of pain.
Your stalker and your anger will retreat – you are actually much stronger than you realize. Don’t let them trick you into submission. They will leave when it is time for them to go. You will celebrate your survival just as I did.
Your experience during your surgery was a gift – a glimpse into the future. It was real and it is waiting for you.
Never give up hope.
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