I’ve spent most of this afternoon crying.
It’s beautiful weather and nothing terrible happened today but my heart is heavy and I can’t shake it off.
I try so hard to identify triggers and personal traits that lead me down this path of sorrow.
Sometimes I come up empty.
I do think it has something to do with all the changes we’ve been forced to embrace.
They feel familiar.
Sudden, unexpected events have squeezed all of us into a narrow place with fewer options than we are accustomed to have available. Jobs lost, schools closed and (what is the deal???) no toilet paper.
A life that used to feel like an open vista of opportunity now feels constrained and burdensome.
I’m limiting my exposure to news and social media but there’s no escaping it altogether and it’s affecting my ability to keep a stiff upper lip.
I guess lack of sleep has something to do with it too. And the fact that someone’s dogs got into my chickens and killed half of them. Death-any death-is awful!
Plus Mother’s Day coming up. It will be the first I’ve spent without one of my children and without my own mother being at least a phone call away.
I would normally try to talk myself out of giving in. But not today.
I’m sitting outside in the extraordinary windy day and letting the tears fall. I think that’s what I need.
I miss my mama.
I miss my son.
I miss life the way it used to be.
One of the blessings (although I didn’t realize it at the time) of the early days of this journey was the immediacy of my response to triggers.
Something would upset me and I would react right away.
Nearly five years in and I’ve developed such excellent coping skills that I am rarely caught off guard, cry in public or respond dramatically regardless of what happens.
So this past couple weeks of on again/off again stress has been met, for the most part, with a calm demeanor and a “can do” attitude.
But it caught up to me last night.
All the pent-up, piled-up stress and grief poured out of my heart and dripped down my face.
I had a good, old-fashioned meltdown.
Smack dab in the middle of overwhelming thankfulness that my grandson is doing well, my heart reminded me that Dominic is not here the enjoy it. I remembered that Ryker will grow up and never see Dom’s amazing dexterity on the drums or hear his witty remarks or be caught up in his powerful hands and held overhead until he squeals to be released.
And I realized once again that while I love, love, love the blessings God sends my way, there’s no cosmic scale where those blessings eventually counter-balance the desperate longing I have for my son.
I have so appreciated the messages from other bereaved parents who “get it”. They know that I am absolutely overjoyed my son and his wife are spared the horror of child loss. But they also know that my mama heart still yearns for my own son even while rejoicing in the birth of theirs.
I’ll be OK.
A few tears, a quiet evening, reflection on truth and my heart will manage to find a way.