lizx4boys

A Bereaved Mother's blog

Monthly Archives: January 2012

This must be a bad dream

Have you ever woke up and wondered “Is this really my life? It must be a bad dream that I can’t wake up from”.

  • 19 year-old son dies unexpectedly, tragically
  • Father-in-law dies of cancer six weeks later
  • Holidays with one less child
  • Twin brother of dead sons tells us he is a long-term marijuana user
  • Husband has a major heart attack

Really?? WTF?  My life used to be so boring.  I had an average, very blessed life.  Married 23 years, three sons, good jobs, nice house. 

Now, I live in a parallel universe where I look at everyone and think; “How much is this person suffering?” “Have they lived through what I’ve lived through?” “Do they understand the depth of pain that exists in the world?”  “Will there ever be joy again?” “What is the meaning of life?”

Just when I think I can’t take it anymore, something else happens, and I momentarily collapse, cry, sob and then pick myself up and go into auto-pilot.  I have to take it, who else is going to?  I don’t have a choice but to deal with everything that life throws at me.  I can’t crawl in a hole and forget this is happening….life goes on and I don’t have a choice but to go on and keep living the best I can – day by day.

I look at the world and realize I’m only here for a short time.  Someday I’ll see my son, my dad, my father-in-law again…. someday…..but I want to feel, hear and touch them now.  I have to believe they are here with me now, but I’m so entrenched in this world that I can’t feel theirs.  As much as I want to, I just can’t feel them the way I did when they were here with me. 

I wish I had appreciated more every minute I spent with Richard – I loved every minute, but it was like air, you take it for granted.  You think the air you breath will be there until your dying breath, and in an instant its not anymore and you can’t believe you have to learn to live without breathing….you have to live with a big void in your chest, in your heart, in your family, in your very DNA that has been forever altered without your son…and sometimes I wake up and think “this must be a bad dream”. 

When I realize this is my new life, I keep going forward trying to figure out how I can live in my new world….

The first milestone without Richard

We made it through our first big milestone, the holidays without Richard.  I can say we survived, but that’s about it.  We didn’t decorate, put up a tree, see family, go to parties – we just ignored that the rest of the world was celebrating birth and life. 

The hardest days were Christmas Eve, when we opened some presents with our sons and the last day of the year, the year in which my son died.  Life keeps moving forward, but I’m stuck reliving 8/30/11, the day he died.

There were some good things that happened. Richard’s friends were (and are) home from school, so they stopped over or helped us work on the scholarship (www.rjhollandscholarship.org).  It made everyone feel better to be together and talk about him.  It helped me to realize his friends are also grieving, like we are.  Everyone loved him, not just his family.

But as the new year begins, its time to get back to work full-time and learning how to live with this tragedy.  Learning how to keep searching, and not finding the answer to “Why?”.  “Why Richard, why someone who was so full of life, so loving, kind and passionate?”.  This tragedy doesn’t make sense it me, so I must keep searching for an answer.

I will spend the remainder of my life searching for this answer, knowing I won’t really know until I’ve joined him on the other side in heaven, but to give up searching is to believe that life is complete chaos, our time here on earth doesn’t have meaning. I cannot accept this, so I keep searching.