~Written by Beverly Mangum, TCF, Tri-County WV
And the rains came…they ceased, and they came again. The little memory I have of the time just after our son was killed is mostly that I thought I would never stop crying. There was no control and that would frustrate me, and I’d cry that much harder. My eyes were so swollen I had to ice them to see, and the crying, coupled with the inability to eat, dehydrated my body.
I could tell my crying only upset those around me, so I learned to cry when I was alone. Then I was able to take deep breaths and control some of the tears only to get a headache with my heartache. Gradually the crying eased up. It’s been a few months since I’ve had a really hard sit-down-and-sob crying spell. We try so hard to be strong and pent the emotions up, and then ‘wham-o’, the big one strikes. It is exhausting, but I think the release can be good.
At last month’s meeting we had a new Mother – the word “fresh” kept coming up as we each tried to console her. It was “fresh” for her – her son was killed the month prior. Her presence and emotions brought back for each of us those first months. The anger, the denial, the unanswered questions, the tears – none of us would want to relive those days again, but we all did with her at that meeting. No one can tell you that you’ll be just wonderful again, but you will slowly get better. The fact that this “fresh” Mother and the others who continue to come to the meetings was a sign of strength.
It takes a strong brave soul to admit that she could use some HELP. The person that reaches out for comfort is the one that will mend. We are not crazy, we have not done anything wrong, and we are not being punished. The death of a child – no matter what age, no matter what cause – is the hardest thing to happen to a parent, and to seek compassion and support is the healthiest thing we can do for ourselves. We have been there, we know what you feel, and we understand, and we do care – that’s why we’re called The Compassionate Friends!
One of the subjects we discussed was the things that pop up out of the blue that bring on an emotional reaction. A son, a daughter, a situation, a similar looking person or expression, a TV show, a word – it’s like a bomb dropped on your head! It hits hard – when you least expect it – and it hurts. Even when the death of a parent, relative, friend or someone we don’t even know occurs – it all comes back again. As one Mother so well said – you take each moment as you go along and to the best that you can.
There are days I feel I’ve gained or done nothing, and there are days I actually make some headway. I may not always do as much as I did before, but when I have a good day, I try to make the most of it. I don’t know how much earthly time I have left, but I’m not going to let it go to waste. It’s not how much time we have left, but the quality of the time given to us. No one will make it for us – we must do that on our own.