Author Topic: Am I normal?  (Read 3119 times)

DawnV

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Am I normal?
« on: March 01, 2013, 07:34:12 AM »
I lost my son almost 2 weeks ago....I have looked at other Grieving Mother websites, but honestly, those ladies have scared me, so I'm staying away.  But I am desperate to figure out how to deal with this.....
I have realized there is no time limit for grieving.  I can be literally sobbing and unable to function, then the next day, able to look at his pictures and smile....talk about him....maybe a little tear or two....but functioning....then BAM....today for example, I'm a mess.  I don't know if it is because a week ago today, was the last time I saw him.....I don't know if it is because of the dream I had last night.....I don't know if it is just because my broken heart hurts more today then yesterday.....

I look at texts or messages I've posted, where I poured my heart out, then embarrassed to smile later because how could I have been so incredible sad hours earlier....and a-ok just hours later?  I don't understand this....I have always been in control of my emotions, very "black and white", I've turned into someone I don't know. 

I'm worried my son is looking down at me just thinking"really?".  He used to laugh with me that we were the same.  So undramatic....but why am I being so now? I try not to tell people stuff, because they feel sorry for me.....

I cannot explain what I'm feeling....I cannot figure out if I'm overthinking things, I don't think I am because I cannot stop thinking of him.  I try to rationalize to myself....my son was grown...he had a life....we didn't talk daily, we had a wonderful relationship, but I was always so wrapped up in my work, my grandson...he had his life...we just didn't talk daily. but now, my son is my only thought.....am I wallowing in self pity?  I don't think so, I hate feeling like this...I want to be normal...I want to function....I just don't understand this.

Doug1222

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Re: Am I normal?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2013, 08:33:45 AM »
First of all, welcome to the site and I'm so very sorry about your loss. I've never lost a child, so all I can do is offer my sympathy. It would be crazy to insinuate I know what you're going through. I only know what I went through in my situation.

My best friend lost a child and my mom has lost two, so I am very familiar with the toll it takes. There's no such thing as normal. You just lost yours very recently. How you grieve him and for how long is yours. Nobody else matters in that. I know my mom was still in shock at least a year after my brother.

There's no such thing as normal. I do know that it's amazing you're not a mess every second of every day at this point.

My friend, Becky, lost her son in 2010 to a heroin overdose. He was eighteen. She still grieves him very deeply...especially on anniversary dates. Most of the time, she's very light hearted and laughs a lot. Once in a while, she's extremely distraught. You having a hard time keeping it together some days is very, very normal this soon after the loss. If that's what you need to know, yes, you are very normal.

I'm so incredibly sorry for the loss of your son. Feel free to come here and talk. It helped me tremendously. I was having a hard time keeping it together myself last year. I'm like you. Always in control. Let go of that notion. It's ok to grieve. It's healthy. Trying not to can cause long term problems. I was having a hard time last year. That's twelve years after I lost my dad and seventeen years after I lost my brother. All of a sudden...I was having a hard time.

We're all normal.

((((((((((Dawn))))))))))
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 09:00:22 AM by Doug1222 »

Doug1222

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Re: Am I normal?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2013, 08:47:14 AM »
Here's one thing I just remembered that actually might answer your question. My brother was active duty military when he was killed in a car accident. It took almost a week before they even got him back to our town to begin the funeral preparations. It was close to two weeks before the burial was over. Here's a description of some things my mom did in the in between.

When the policeman knocked on the door to notify them of the accident, my mom immediately started cleaning. My dad and the policeman asked her if she was ok. She casually said,"We're going to be having a lot of company soon. I need to make sure the house is clean." She didn't cry about it for days. Then she was nearly incoherent for a couple days. During the funeral, she was stoic with no expression.

Here are a couple that might mean something to you. My brother's honor guard was made up of paratroopers from his unit at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. They all took their own leave and travelled in a bus to our state to do it and to visit with us. I had a small son at the time.The soldiers all took him under their wing and played with him during down times. When it was time to travel up to the burial site in another town, they were all loading on their bus. They asked if our boy wanted to ride with them and were joking around.

My mom started SCREAMING all of a sudden. It was hard to understand her, but she said something about not wanting people joking around on the way to her son's burial. This was at my small son and the soldiers who had spent their own money and leave to come honor her son. It bothered me tremendously, but she couldn't help it. She'd done such a good job of being strong and stoic for two weeks that this one little thing was too much. He ended up riding in a car with his mom in the procession. The soldiers carried my brothers casket, fired their rifles, played the bugle, and folded the flag they handed my mom. That was one thing that was normal.

The next day after the burial, we were standing around the kitchen. Somebody had brought a HUGE sandwich for everybody. It was in the kitchen with a bunch of other food. My sister made some joke...probably an inapproriate one. My family spends a LOT of time joking and laughing. Not laughing for a week or two was one of the hardest things. We all started laughing. Just out of nowhere, every one of us started laughing and couldn't stop.

Later, we cried more.

It's all normal. Come here and talk. Come here and laugh. Come here and cry. It's all normal.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 09:05:21 AM by Doug1222 »

AC Mom

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Re: Am I normal?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2013, 08:59:35 AM »
Dawn,

I am so sorry you have had to join this group of mothers who have buried our children.  I lost my only child almost 11 years ago after he had a motorcycle accident.

Everything Doug has said is true.  Nothing in your life is going to be normal again.  Even after 11 years I find myself totally breaking down over stupid stuff.  I have found what I call my new normal, but it wasn't easy to get here.

Everyone handles grief differently.  Whatever you do is normal for you.  Don't let someone else tell you what you should or shouldn't do. 

2 weeks is a very short time, you are probably still a bit in shock, now is not the time to try to figure anything out.  Time will do that for you.


Love
Peggy


 

Adams Brokenhearted Mama

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Re: Am I normal?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2013, 09:26:49 AM »
((DawnV))
My heart goes out to you for your loss. My own son passed coming up on 7 years now and I can choke on the #7 because I cannot believe that it has been 7 years already. All the feelings that you have described are your own, very individual and yet there are so many commonalities between all of us.
My BIL who lost his child long before we lost ours simply came over and said "It does get easier in time". And it does. That G-d awful feeling where you cannot move or function lessons and it is a shape shifter; meaning that the ebb & flow of the intensity of your grief, well at least mine, ebbs & wanes like the tides. I walk around with a hole in my heart, sometimes it feels like it has lightly scabbed over and at other times it feels like the scab has been ripped off. That is why I am a firm believer of therapy, with a bereavement counselor, possibly a psychiatrist if meds are needed, support groups, venting, everything & anything (that is healthy) to help you adjust to your new normal.
Don't compare yourself to anyone. I attempted suicide, my husband is always on the brink and yet we have friends who set up an annual memorial fundraiser for their daughter, does not take meds and that works for them. If your thoughts are going to the dark side, please seek help because when my decision was made it was spontaneous. It hurt my surviving children deeply. Friendships may change, things that you once enjoyed may not appeal to you - it is truly carving out what provides peace and comfort to your grieving heart.
I was just "visiting" my son yesterday and was lamenting to him on how very much I want to be with him yet it is unfair to think of leaving purposefully and hurting his father and siblings again. I've become very spiritual and do believe that I will be reunited with him so that is my solace. I miss him madly now and live for the signs that I believe are heaven sent to provide hope and to prove that love never dies even when the body does.
You are so new to this journey, please try to be kind to yourself. It is baby steps into the unknown journey of a grieving parent for you. I can share with you that I broke my life down into moments of time for anything longer than a moment was just too much for me to bear. So when you find yourself in despair just take a deep breath and know that somewhere down the road you will find moments to smile again. As unbelievable as that sounds you can live with a broken heart and still smile.
Peace to you.
Paula
XO Love to all my sisters & brothers-in-grief XO
Wishing you all peaceful moments, signs from your Angels & many blessings

SistersinCanada

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Re: Am I normal?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2013, 03:41:28 PM »
Dear Dawn
I'm so very sorry you have lost your precious son.  All I can do is agree with the others here who say nothing is normal.
You do what you have to do.  If that means other people don't understand well too bad.  Scream, cry, laugh, grieve.
We here will support you and you can write anytime.  I lost my sister suddenly almost 2 years ago.  I can't compare it to
losing a child however I can say it does get better.  Time will help but the pain will never leave.  It's just a new way of
living, a way none of us saw coming or wanted.  Take care of yourself, rest, try to eat, try to sleep.  Journalling helped me
maybe that will be something that will help you at some point.
Take care, I'll say a prayer for you and your son.
Sisters

Terry

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Re: Am I normal?
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2013, 09:45:45 AM »
Hi Dawn,

I am so very sorry for the great loss of your precious son. I echo the others' sentiments who have already responded, very wise words. Welcome to our Webhealing Family!

When I first came to Webhealing I posted often and it really helped, although my emotions were all over the place in terms of fear, confusion and still a sense of shock. That is what helped me more than anything, along with keeping a daily journal, which I have continued. I needed to be with people who understood all of the emotions and pain and could offer comfort. I found it here. The folks on all of these boards are my online family as they know me better than my own family does.

Please try to eat well and even when you can't, be sure to drink lots of water so you stay hydrated. Rest if you can't sleep. And, let all of those feelings out by posting them here or writing in a journal but continue to share every feeling. You're amongst those who understand the pain of child loss and we will be here for you with smiles when you're happy and hugs when you're sad. :love9:

Try to take it one day at a time and if that feels overwhelming, a second at a time. You've had a very devastating shock to your heart and to your body. Take care of you the best you can.

If you would like help posting a picture of your precious son :angel11: just message me and I'll be happy to help you.

Sending you hugs, love and my understanding.

(((((((((Dawn)))))))))

Love,
Terry

SarahW

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Re: Am I normal?
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2013, 07:19:09 PM »
I lost my son almost 2 weeks ago....I have looked at other Grieving Mother websites, but honestly, those ladies have scared me, so I'm staying away.  But I am desperate to figure out how to deal with this.....

Hi, Dawn.  Welcome.  I remember that feeling of overwhelming desperation when I lost my son.  Yes, it is normal.

Quote
I have realized there is no time limit for grieving.  I can be literally sobbing and unable to function, then the next day, able to look at his pictures and smile....talk about him....maybe a little tear or two....but functioning....then BAM....today for example, I'm a mess.  I don't know if it is because a week ago today, was the last time I saw him.....I don't know if it is because of the dream I had last night.....I don't know if it is just because my broken heart hurts more today then yesterday.....

Two weeks is a very, very short time when it comes to the loss of a child.  I am at about 3.5 yrs, and am still having the experiences you describe - just not as often and without so many sudden, wild mood swings - but I still have some meltdowns and times when I just cannot talk about my son at all without falling apart.

You are doing great just to be able to get up in the morning, and it's really great that you find there are times, no matter how short-lived, when you can look at his picture and smile.

It will all take however much time it takes, for it to be less raw, and for you to learn to manage the pain and the sudden attacks of grief, etc.  


Quote

I look at texts or messages I've posted, where I poured my heart out, then embarrassed to smile later because how could I have been so incredible sad hours earlier....and a-ok just hours later?  I don't understand this....I have always been in control of my emotions, very "black and white", I've turned into someone I don't know.  

You're a grieving mom.  I never really knew one either, until me.  It will take some time to get to know the new you - because you are a new you, living in a new world.

Quote

I'm worried my son is looking down at me just thinking"really?".  He used to laugh with me that we were the same.  So undramatic....but why am I being so now? I try not to tell people stuff, because they feel sorry for me.....

I can really relate to this.  Both my son and I would roll our eyes at drama queens.  But you're not being a drama queen.  You have suffered a horrible, horrible, shocking loss.

I know what you mean about not wanting people to feel sorry for you.  I am much more comfortable having my meltdowns all alone, somewhere where I can scream and cry unheard.  But I do let myself do that.  Don't judge yourself - cry whenever you need to - at the sappiest song or the most truly tragic memories.  It doesn't matter.  Give yourself permission to hurt and to let that hurt drain - there's no such thing as over-dramatic or "more tears than you should have" or anything like that at a time like this.

Quote

I cannot explain what I'm feeling....I cannot figure out if I'm overthinking things, I don't think I am because I cannot stop thinking of him.  I try to rationalize to myself....my son was grown...he had a life....we didn't talk daily, we had a wonderful relationship, but I was always so wrapped up in my work, my grandson...he had his life...we just didn't talk daily. but now, my son is my only thought.....am I wallowing in self pity?  I don't think so, I hate feeling like this...I want to be normal...I want to function....I just don't understand this.


You are not wallowing in self-pity.  You are experiencing very normal grief.

You will never be the same, but you will find a new normal, and a new way to function.

Don't try to understand it; you don't have to understand it.  Just let yourself go through it.

I can't remember how long it took for me to stop thinking of my son every second, non-stop.  At 3.5 yrs, I am sure I don't go a half-hour without thinking of him.  But that's OK.  That's how things are right now for me.

I have always been so self-reliant and it sounds like you are the same way.  Here is something that really helped me:  Getting a professional counselor.  I still see him one hour a week.  Among other things, it gives me someone to talk to so that I don't talk incessentally and crazily at my friends and family.

All my best wishes to you, and I am so very sorry to hear of your loss.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 07:20:43 PM by SarahW »
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