A Bereaved Mother's blog
I think about him every day, every couple of minutes, every breadth.
It feels like he is part of me now, more than his brothers. I can’t explain that I feel like he is with me all the time. I hear him say “Oh my goodness” about the new puppies. I imagine him watching over me when I travel, helping me to not forget anything, carrying my stuff, like he would if he were with me. I hear his voice in my head saying things he used to say. I laugh to myself sometimes when I’m in a situation I know he would think is funny.
I think of Michael and Robert, but they seem separate somehow, their own people. Not integrated into my soul like Richard.
Richard is with me. Is it because his soul is watching over me all the time? Is he closer to my soul because he is in heaven, and we are one again? I would really like to understand these questions, so it can give me some solace while I live the rest of my life.
I had a vision of the moment of my death, I’m very old laying flat, and he is holding my head looking over me with a big smile on his face, the same age he was this past summer. And I feel his love and I’m so happy to be with him again. And he is happy to be able to finally explain why he died at 19, and why I had to live a life without him.
I want someone to explain why our lives have turned out this way, why people who have so much promise die young. Why people who create havoc in the world live long unproductive lives. I just want someone to make sense out of this for me.
Most days now I am just “filling the hours” with distractions, work, chores, whatever, to keep myself busy until I am finally called to the other side. Life seem meaningless to me now, so I’m just waiting for the day when I can go home. I just don’t see purpose in anything. How could I have been blind to the suffering in the world. People lose children, every day all over the world. I was blissfully ignorant, and blindly complacent that it could ever happen to my family. So now, with so much pain in the my world, I just try to fill the time. Watch TV, read books, distract myself from the pain of losing Richard.
I realize I have to keep going forward for my family, to have another tragic death in our home would be – I don’t know what word to use here – cruel, unbearable, unimagineable. I have to stick around for my living sons, and share their lives with them. Even though I can’t imagine being happy or even content ever again. Everything will be overshadowed with the fact that Richard died, and he is no longer with us. That my sweet boy is gone and I won’t see him on this earth every again.
Everday I say to myself, “How could this have happened? Not Richard. Something like this would never have happened to Richard.” It incomprehensible to me. And if logically this has happened, even to someone has kind, pure, honest and talented as Richard – What does that mean for the rest of us?
I have always taken good care of myself, wanting to live toattend my youngest son’s 5oth Birthday party, which will be 1/23/45. We all joked how 82 year old Mom would be dancing with her grandkids, and celebrating Robert’s 50th. It was my goal, to live to 82, and I didn’t think that was unreasonable. My grandmother lived to be 86, and she was lifetime smoker. My mother is 75 with no end in sight. But now, to think of having to endure this pain for another 34 years in unbearable.
But yet, I want to see my son turn 50.
How am I going to distract myself for the next 34 years, a lifetime until I can meet with Richard again?
Friend and Teammates,
I will be returning to work tomorrow, working from home part-time a couple hours each day. I’d ask for you to give me space and privacy during this difficult time.
I feel your thoughts and prayers, and know you offer me your condolences.
If you ask If I’m ok, or how I am – I’m heartbroken, I will grieve for my son every day for the rest of my life and no words can change this.
When you see me, don’t hug me, this will only bring me to tears. As parents you can only imagine the agony I am in and I know you want take on some of my burden, but this unfortunately is mine alone to bear. Please just say “Hey” and look me in the eye, your presence alone makes me feel better and communicates the kindness you feel for me.
If you ask if there is anything you can do for me or my family, please donate to the scholarship fund we have created in Richard’s name. The scholarship will be given to a college bound debate student who exemplifies Richard’s spirit and academic excellence.
I’d love to sit and share with you stories of Richard, he was the kind of kid every mother wishes for in a son. Pure, honest, never a problem, he always said to me “Don’t worry Mom” – but it’s too painful for me now, maybe in a year from now I’ll be able to tell you how wonderful he was. Today I only grieve his death. If you watch his recorded memorial service on the scholarship website you’ll be able to hear his brothers, friends and even Richard himself, to know who he was.
As a team we have a lot of work to accomplish, and Richard would have wanted me to keep going. He wrote a paper about EMC and cloud computing, he was proud that I work somewhere that was changing the way the world thinks about compute and data, I need to continue to be a part of that future.
I realized with Richard’s death my very core has been shaken. Let me explain what I mean by this, I had a fulfilled life, a good job, a healthy family, a solid faith. At the base of my very existence is my family, they are part of my conscious and subconscious. Not one thought goes by without the knowledge of the love I feel for my family. It’s what allows me to successful in life, knowing I have the love of my family has given me the confidence to do great things, travel many places and overcome many challenges. My work may come and go, friends I’ve known over the years may drift apart, but I always have the love of my husband and children. They are the very fabric of my being. When one of my family is suddenly taken from my physical presence my very being is rocked to the core, to the very essence of who I am. I have described this as my DNA changing, being ripped from me and put back with a new genetic code. How can I look at the world the same when the foundation is cracked? When the very essence has changed? I’ve lost trust in God, in fate, in life.
Something this catastrophic is forcing a change in me I neither sought nor want. God Damn it! I want Richard back; I want my old perfect life back. I don’t want to learn to live in this new world, but I have no choice because I have two living sons and a husband that I must live for. I have to find a way to understand my own grief and heal, while I help everyone else heal. Isn’t that what Mother’s do? Take care of their families?