My beautiful children and me...October 27, 2001
7 YEARS LATER
Written by Brad's Mom on November 19, 2009 (just 4 days before Brad's 7th year in Heaven)
Being perfectly blunt...
I've been asked by other parents, who have lost a child (but are newer in their grief), "How have you gone this long without your son?" I don't know. I just don't have the "magic" answer that they're looking for. There are none. Every person grieves differently and that's what so many people don't understand. Going through grief is truly a "roller coaster ride." One day, you might be having a fairly good day and the next day, you are so down, you don't know how to get back up. This roller coaster ride called "grief" can take a toll on a person that can last a lifetime.
Before my son, Brad was killed, I was a vibrant, fun-loving person. I loved to play jokes on people and was game for about anything. I would wear nice clothes, fix my hair, watch my weight and put make-up on in the mornings. Now, I really don't care what I look like and I only wear make-up and nice clothes when I have something to do. I don't have much energy and have no motivation to do the things I used to enjoy. Honestly, I feel like I could stay in bed and pull the covers up over me and watch life pass me by. Sounding a little morbid...aren't I? Well, that's grief for you. It may not be other people's grief, but it is mine.
I do tell myself that there are other people, who are much worse off than I am. I was acquainted with a woman who lost both of her sons on Christmas Eve. The mom was traveling in the car behind her sons when the tragic accident occurred. I've known mothers, who have watched their child wither away to nothing, as cancer ate away at their bodies. I've known mothers, who have had their child brutally murdered. I know a mother, while sitting in a car in a parking lot, the car next to her backed over her 4 year-old son. I was acquainted with a woman, who had her daughter fall out of an apartment building window, to the ground in front of the mother. This little girl was just wanting to wave "goodbye" to her mom, when the screen window broke loose. These are ALL horrendous stories. I am thankful that my son was killed instantly and that he didn't suffer..he just didn't know that he was about to die.
I've been to many counselors over the years and was diagnosed with "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder." Surprise, surprise. I take an anti-depressant and an anti-anxiety medicine to help me get through the day. Some people turn to alcohol and/or drugs. Some have even taken their own life to get away from the grieving process. And, some people turn to God, while others blame God for taking their child from them. There just is no "rhyme or reason" for the way a person grieves.
My daughter, Tiffany told me one day, "Mom, I lost Brad and I've also lost you." I feel so badly that I'm not the Mom she's used to seeing. I just don't know how to get back to the person I was before and believe me, I wish I could. But, this is my life, now. I get so very scared that something will happen to Tiffany or one of the grandchildren. I know that I drive Tiffany crazy with ALL of my motherly advice and I know that I can go overboard. The problem is; I never thought I would lose a child and now that I have...I'm afraid that it could happen, again.
It is absolute HELL to lose a child and I wouldn't wish this kind of pain on anyone. So, if you really want to do something for me...put my family and me in your prayers, don't be afraid to ask me questions about Brad and more than anything...please let me talk about my wonderful son.