Hello blog world … I know it’s been a minute since I’ve last written here. It’s not because I don’t have anything to say, quite the opposite actually. Many nights when I wake up at my 3am witching hour of no sleep, I think of all the things I want to write and express. Sometimes I even jot them down in my journal on my nightstand just so I won’t forget. But then the morning comes, and I become too overwhelmed to write or share. I’ve been in a very dark and protected place lately, writing was making me feel too vulnerable, so I needed to hit the pause button for a bit.
I felt inclined to get back on my keyboard today as it being the day after Halloween. In life after loosing a child, you know the holidays are going to be tough, that’s just a fact. So as much as I wanted to do the things I would do in years past – like get our pumpkins and decor from Simpson’s and decorate our front porch. Grab the giant bags of candy from Costco, knowing we would never have that many kids come to the door, but because we ourselves like to binge on candy at the end of the night too. Put a batch of chili on the stove top, light a fall scented candle and eagerly wait for children to ring the doorbell. But Jon and I knew Halloween could not be like that for us this year, because nothing this year is anything like it should be. We knew it would be extremely too hard to greet each trick-or-treater at the door. To fake a smile at the cuteness of these children’s costumes, when deep down inside we’re on the verge of tears and suppressing so much pain that our son is not here to partake in all of this.
So we had a game plan to get out of the house and have a date night. We attempted to see a funny movie because we needed to laugh, but the movie was terrible. (don’t go see the new Kevin Hart movie) Then we grabbed some beer and food at OMB, which made up for it.
So while we were prepared to get out of the house to dodge the trick-or-treaters, I wasn’t prepared for social media this morning. How is it that we managed to physically leave our house as to not be reminded of any trace of Halloween, but with one tap on your phone it’s all still there waiting for you? This is not to make any parent feel guilty for all the posts of their children dressed up celebrating last night. I’m simply bringing to life the pain that social media brings up for a loss mom like myself. Living life after such a terrible loss is a very calculated one. I have to play every scenario in my head of where I’m going, who I could run into, what trigger could be waiting for me etc. so I plan accordingly. But social media doesn’t care about this. With every scroll there’s a potential punch in the gut just waiting for me. Yesterday alone I saw 3 more pregnancy announcements, bump pictures with captions like “wondering what you’ll be for Halloween next year?!” and of course the endless pictures of children in their costumes. All reminders of what we have lost.
I was inspired to write this after reading an article from Still Standing, where a mother writes her experience of Halloween with her living son, but reflecting on the two sons she lost. And I love what she writes at the end of it …
These are the things that the world does not remember…when we who grieve our children are so quick to be told that we are not moving in our grief in a ‘healthy’ way…all it takes some days to remind us of what we’ve lost is a picture. Or lots of them. And while many think that grief is some sort of process that has an end, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t.
Because every single day, for the rest of one’s life, there is a morning after of some sort.
So here I am the morning after Halloween, grieving another “what should be” moment … feeling quite low, depressed and defeated.