Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Mourning the living


Will I ever smile again and mean it? Will the world ever be right side up? How do people just move about in it, it’s as if they don’t know or care? It’s so strange? It’s odd to be the only one suffering. It’s even odder to think that I am. 

I can’t believe time keeps moving. Games, dances, parties, as if there are things to celebrate!  Children are so easily  going into adulthood and college and jobs, how, how, how! Was it too much just to ask for the laughter and the smiles and the easy disposition? Of course it was, it’s always too much to ask. As if I deserved it to be easier or manageable. I now must live in the undeliverable, in the unknown, in the abyss. There’s no where to go. There’s no up anymore, nothing tangible to hold onto. 

Is this the bottom? I can’t sink any lower. I must  sit here and know this. The awfulness of grieving the living. 

Yesterday, yesterday, yesterday. It wasn’t perfect,  but it was doable. I could do it. Today, all of the sudden, doable feels like catching the wind. Will this fear ever subside? Can the new normal spare me this sorrow; I’d take his pain, but it’s not possible. I’d absorb him into me and carry it, I’d do anything for his suffering to cease, even ease. How can I make it so? How can we know the unknown, how can we move forward? 

Was this how it was going to go all along? No warning, no sign, just the disappearance of a young man, locked even farther into himself, his very person stolen. I sleep only by the grace of alcohol induced blackness, but when that fails I am awakened by  the nightmare of roaming room to room, searching for him, but never ever finding him.  Or worse, seeing him on the floor seizing, barely breathing, even with tools that I have accumulated from another epileptic child that are of no use, that are of no help, and so I can just watch in agonizing despair as my child suffers. And it plays over and over in a mind that is already depleted. 

I miss the son I’ve never had a conversation with but knew like my own reflection in the mirror. Now the mirror is a hole, deep and dark and there’s nothing staring back. How did it break? I long for the silly laughter, arm around the shoulder, long walks, a predictably uncertain future. 

I didn’t get to check all the boxes and help build a nineteen year-old that the world accepts or even tolerates, but to me he was perfect in every way that really matters.  Where did he go, how do I find him, heal him? 

Whomever described having a child is like having your heart living outside your body, must’ve had a child with needs that are vast, because my heart in all of its shattered pieces lives somewhere else and I can’t find the broom to sweep it up and tape it back together. 

I used to be the person that counted my blessings, knew it could be worse, was grateful everyday. That worse case scenario keeps a grip on my chest that feels so tight my heart couldn’t live inside me anymore even if it tried.   I am no longer the mom I was trying to become,  and I wouldn’t recognize her if she came knocking.  She seems silly to me now, someone who was reckless in her faith, silly in her hope, ridiculous in her joy. 

A fool. 

This is not a cry for help, for there are no more tears to be shed.  This is acceptance, resignation and description of a boy’s life seized and a family changed.