Hello darkness, my old friend.
You’ve come to talk to me again – to lull me into a false sense of security. Whispering into my ear. The only problem with you darkness is you try to consume my life. You try to steal my sense of peace. You bring in guilt and this sense of failure. Like I failed my son. I failed my family. I failed my friends. I find running away easier then staying in one place. You bring clouds into my life. Yet I tell you I can still see just fine through the thick clouds of grief. Your presence reminds me of those early days after I was told my son was no longer living. I remember you entered into my life through the front door and made your presence known firmly. Stuck firmly into place. That day September 26th the doctors told me my son had died, hope left quietly through the back door. Knowing that I was a hopeless case. But with quiet determination I battled through this maze of grief with God by my side.
I remember sinking to the floor in a heap. Crying. Screaming it’s not fair. Praying, asking God for a miracle. And you darkness just sat there quietly putting a veil over my eyes, as I was sinking further and further into a deep depression. You embraced me into your arms and kept me there as I just sat on the floor crying. Not comprehending what was happening in my life. Why my son had to die…
And now four years later darkness is back. Darkness comes every year around July to remind me of my son Sebastian. Darkness enters every fibre of my being and reminds me of what was torn from my very body. My flesh and blood ripped away at one swell swoop. There one minute gone the next. The slow descent into darkness starts about three months before Sebastian’s birthday. The rising tension. The conundrum of what ifs pounding against my head. Wondering what he would have looked like, what he would be doing. How he would interact with my family. Would I be on the Isle of Wight if he had not died? Would I have travelled across Europe if he had not died? Where would I be? Am I the definition of success or failure? Rising above this darkness occurs after the pinnacle – the death date and the birth date. I can then sigh a relief. Another year passed through this thick maze of grief. Another year without my son. However did I manage to cope without his presence in my life? I never thought it be possible to move forward from this pain in a linear fashion.
I miss my son. I miss him always. I love my son. I love him always. He is a part of me. It is a fact of life. In the same way I miss my girls. I love them too. They are a part of me. There is nothing new to that. I am a mother to my children. Though they are not here, they are a part of me. They have a legacy. A legacy I carry forth in their honour. I attempt to reach the broken, the lost, the bewildered, the suicidal, and the grieving and try and give them hope. But does it work? Do they find hope in my motivational talks? There is a fear inside of me – that I will remain childless for the rest of my life. Childless yet a mother. Isolated and alone has become my best friend. I am comfortable with the silence in my life. But am I living? Or am I merely existing?
Ever since I lost my son, I have walked largely in isolation. I don’t dare to make friends. Making friends is a risk. It takes energy. I have to distribute my energy throughout the year to cope with the seasons ebbing and flowing. To cope with the crashing waves against my sagging spirit. The months prior to Sebby’s birth is a time of reflection. Of what has been and is to come. It isn’t to measure my failures or successes. It is more a cycle of life really. Learning to accept. Learning to have the courage to embrace the grief journey rather than run away from it in fear.
What is grief? What is that warm welcome presence of darkness coming in? I guess it is a reminder of what I have lost. It is a reminder of the love I have for my son. A love that is as deep as the trenches that run underneath water’s surface. Earth’s surface. Love that doesn’t break. I love my child. Darkness can be a friend, can be a welcome presence in my life but has to be adequately managed. Darkness I am no failure to my son, to my daughters. I am not a failure to my parents. I am not a disappointment to my family. Mistakes happen. We learn from them. But in my darkness season I am reminded of the love that I have for my son. For my daughters. Thank you darkness for showing me that I can still love my child. That I can still keep on living, even if the dark clouds loom over my head. A reminder of what has been. What has been lost. But still so deeply engraved into my heart.
Grief is a journey that needs to be embarked. It is not something to be avoided. So when it comes around I say hello darkness, my old friend. Darkness walks alongside me. Grief crashes into life, but ebbs and flows. A reminder of the love I have for my child.
What is your grief journey like? How does your sadness feel like? How do you cope with the loss of your precious child?
I love you my precious son. I love you my precious daughters. I am proud to be your mommy.