Author Topic: Mask  (Read 5208 times)


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« on: January 29, 2007, 05:33:22 AM »
As  I was reading posts this morning, I am wondering - How do you wear your masks and when and if they let down when you are not at home, how do you deal with it and how do you feel?  As we get closer and closer to Jason's second anniversary, I feel sicker and sicker inside.  Everywhere I turn, I see him, but he is not there.  We had snow, and my only thought was he was cold, although he rarely wore anything warm because he loved the cold.  I just seem to be sinking and saw myself differenly months ago.  Is this normal as the date get closer?  Last year on his anniversary date we were in Boston with our daughter... this year we are home and she will be home a week later...So many thoughts and feelings running through my body.  Thanks for your replies... I know I will get help and insight.
Rebecca Jason's Mom

Dottie (Tammie's Mom)

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Re: Mask
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2007, 07:13:41 AM »
I wear that IRON mask all the time. The only time I take it off is at counseling or bereavment group. Even then sometimes I find it hard to take it off after wearing it so much.

If I break down in public, I quickly try to compose myself. Wipe my eyes and try to get that mask back on. I do cry when I am alone, my grief is becoming VERY private, almost like a dirty secret I must hide.

Wish I could be more help,

Dottie Tammie's Mom

Karen Paul

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Re: Mask
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2007, 07:36:27 AM »
Rebecca - I'm so sorry my friend.. I think getting close to that 2 yr mark is definitely hard... the days leading up to these important dates always seem to be filled with sadness, sometimes more so than the day itself...

I have found that over the last three years my grief has moved farther inside myself and I am very choosy these days about who I share that with and when.. of course I think I have a little more control now than I did in the beginning. I am sure it is different for me as an aunt, not being Chris' mom.. but even with Amy I see that she is less willing to show her feelings on the outside as time goes by.

I think sometimes people who don't know us very well assume that we are "healing" or "getting better", when in fact we are just surviving, protecting ourselves from those who cannot fathom how deep and all consuming this emptiness can be. The feelings for me have moved deeper into my heart and my being... Chris is still with me every single day, it is just not as obvious to those around me...

luv and hugs, Karen

Donnys Dad

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Re: Mask
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2007, 08:18:14 AM »
Rebecca, It is hard for me to talk about wearing the mask at work as I am retired and since Donny left me I go no where except to his grave and Home Depot.  I "putz" around in my workshop which allows me to break down in private several times a day.  Actually if I had known that Donny was going to leave me I would not have retired.  I often wish I had something to do to keep my mind busy and make the days go faster.  My retirement was great for the first 4 years because Donny kept me so busy going different places, working on his house, and starting a part time business.  Now it is hell.

I think the time building up to Jason's 2nd anniversary is the hardest.  At least that is how I found it as it is constantly on your mind.  It seems the actual day itself is not as bad as the time building up to it.  Like you, Sunday is also a very bad day for me.  This June will be Donny's 3rd Angel Date and I find that so hard to believe.  Also it doesn't seem any easier yet.

Please know I am thinking of you and admire how you can do such a crucial job with Jason in your thoughts constantly.  I admire you.....
I Miss You So Much Buddy, My Best Friend, My Tiger

Don, Donny's Proud Dad

sykeller (Ray's mom)

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Re: Mask
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2007, 09:09:16 AM »

The second 'anniversary' was perhaps harder than the first.  Knowing it had been that long and I would never see Ray again in this life.  I don't work so I rarely bother with the mask, as (except for classes) I seldom leave home.  Even in my home I tend to shut myself in the bedroom until my youngest son or husband urge me to come out for 'family time'.  I know it bothers my son that I spend so much time on the computer crying over his dead brother.  I hope in time he will understand how much I love each of them, yet I am missing Ray.

I am so sorry we all have to go through these painful anniversaries.

Wishing you peace,



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Re: Mask
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2007, 10:34:25 AM »
I don't know how I keep my mask tightly in place Rebecca. I really don't.  I just passed Micheal's first angel date, so I am not as far along in this journey as you are yet.

But I do wear "the mask" and I only take it off late at night, hiding in my bathroom or my basement - I don't even know if I take it off completely with my councillor.  Like Dotti said, "Even then sometimes I find it hard to take it off after wearing it so much."  That is exactly how I feel.  It rarely slips in public or at work now, and if it does, I run and hide until I can compose myself. I never go anywhere without my sunglasses - just in case (although who am I fooling when my nose glows like Rhudolph when I cry). 

None of my family (parents, husband, daughters) understand how deeply this has effected me.  Everyone seems to be moving on with thier life and I am stuck here, expending all of this energy on putting on a show so that none of them will be disappointed in me or hurt by my grief.  And yes, typing this out, it strikes me how stupid that is, but I can't seem to help it, it has become habit. 

I don't think I have been much help to you but know that I care and will be thinking about you as you come closer to Jason's second angel date. 

Wishing you strength and comfort in the coming days.
Love and hugs,
Johanna, Micheal's mom

Who, then, can so softly bind up the wound of another as he,
who has felt the same wound himself?
Thomas Jefferson


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Re: Mask
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2007, 11:26:29 AM »
I try and let myself go. I cry when I cry.  I cry out in public a lot and I just don't care.
I find that I do wear a little mask at home when my son is around. But I let my husband see me cry, that I don't hide.  When we were going to greif therapy our therapist said, to try and hide it from our son,  he doesn't need to see it all the time.
So... he sees it occasionally after I have been crying... it's obvious, but he doesn't hear me.  There is so much pain, and he doesn't need more added to it.
But... at first it was hard to let go in public... I would try and get ahold of myself and hope no one saw.... but then I felt that was stupid.. this is ME.. this IS my life... and this IS apart of my grief and it's OK to let the world see and know. So I do.
Especially when someone asks "how are you today" I tell them exactly how bad I'm doing if I am doing bad at the time, or ok, or even good just depends.

Sue *Sara's* Mom
"yep yep yep"


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Re: Mask
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2007, 12:23:48 PM »
Dear Rebecca,

The mask that we all wear.  I understand.  When I am out and the mask gets to heavy, I can almost feel it slipping off.  I can't hold it up any longer - I am too weak.  My sister is my greatest comfort when this happens.  She holds me and sometimes keeps me going - sometimes she takes me home and allows me to let it out - let the mask slip all the way down.

Mostly, I stay home alone.  I find it just too hard out there in the world any more.

Sorry, I am not much help in this area - But... I do understand!

Marianne (Alek's Mom Forever)

John-Danielle Marie's Daddy

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Re: Mask
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2007, 10:26:06 AM »
"The Mask"
Meeting Grief at the Door

   How do we handle our grief? How do we allow others to see inside our pain? We are all individuals with unique personalities and different strengths. However, most bereaved parents agree that they are deeply hurt and offended when others treat the tragedy of their child's death as if it were a skinned knee or broken bone. Particularly when an infant has died, there is an urging to educate the public. Some people mistakenly think that a mother or father's love can be measured by the amount of time we had with our child. Some try to pro-rate our pain, insinuating that the younger the child, the "less attached" we feel. Bereaved parents know that this is the furthest from the truth. It is no less painful to lose a one year old than a ten year old: or no less painful to lose a one year old that a one month old. Love simply doesn't work that way.
   Parents struggle to fit in the day to day routine they once knew. Soon enough, we discover that we have moved out of our familiar bodies. We were evicted by grief. We have new minds, bodies and spirits now. As we struggle to acquaint ourselves with the person we have become, we learn to fit it by wearing what I term "the mask." Below are some ideas on how you can meet your grief, and the new person you are. Taking care of yourself right now should be a priority. The journey you have embarked upon is long and treacherous. Remember, if you want people to know who you REALLY are now, you must gradually learn to remove your mask. Vulnerable as it may seem, it is the only way they can begin to climb into your skin and understand in a small way the depth of your pain.

The Mask

I feel as if I am buried alive
Yet I smile and respond with "Fine, thank you."
I have been appropriately conditioned, like fine leather
That no one wants to hear the painful truth.

An essential part of me, a limb
A constituent of my earthly being
Has been violently amputated.
Yet I laugh at the mediocre conversations
A verbal splash in a shallow puddle
Pretending to be a player of the words
That no longer have meaning.

My heart has been ripped from my bosom
No benevolence granted
No explanation
No apologies
Only cataclysmic pain
Only agony
No anesthesia remains, just the bitter pain.
Yet I wear the mask
Day to Day.

Pretending I fit in
But really I'm a foreigner to this new land
An alien language they speak.
And as I attempt to translate the words
Still, they mean nothing to me.

Sequestered in the mask
They hear not the music I dance to
Nor the words I speak
Nor the pain I echo
Nor the native language of my eyes
They will never really know me, behind the mask.
Wishing You All Continuous Comfort & Peace,
John-Danielle Marie’s Daddy
1/4/95-2/20/06 (head trauma-motor vehicle accident)
“Her friendship was an inspiration, her love a blessing”

Kyme jeffreys Mom

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Re: Mask
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2007, 05:47:26 PM »
The mask

ahh the mask,

I work in education in the last 5 months I have seen more than 70% of my population turn to kids my sons age, I see, I  get your Jeff's Mom!"

Yup! I say

Thy see his pictures in my office that were up before he died, and I get as they leave my office ,,ey all turn and say why?

I tell them that when they have that answer please tell me.

I met the mom's , the dad's ,, sisters, the brothers and they all knew him somehow.

The mask I wear is one of pride for my son, but it is always one of absolute sorrow and disbeflief that a child that was so known so well respected was taken,

My mask I guesshowis part of me, I have suffered a heart attack , and you know welcomed death full fold, I have two younger children than Jeff and I am not permitted to bring him up.....To painful, much shit Mom...

So the Mask stays, Jeffrey will always be part of me, and hell nor heaven can replace him,but on ething I do know as I aproach his 2nd angel date , is he did live, he lovedand was so verymuch loved.

And if life had given him "Jeff" half a chance we would have changed tomorrow

I love him and miss so very much

Always and foreer Jeffrey's Mom"

Kyme - a mom on a journey with no map