Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I'm OK, you're OK

So my Aunt was worried about me on Sunday. We went to her place for a family dinner and apparently she filled my poor mother's head with all kinds of horrible things the next day. I was too quiet. Was there something wrong with me? Did I need some help? Was there more that someone should be doing?

Well of COURSE there's something wrong with me - my son died. I have a gigantic, irreparable hole in my heart and as a result I'm a whole new person dealing with a whole new reality that I never dreamed I'd be living. Of course I'm not the old me. I'll never, ever be the old me again. Ever.

But I'm okay.

I get up every morning, even the ones that come crashing in on me like a freight train, and I do what needs to be done. And there's lots to be done on any given day. I cook, clean, shop, do the laundry, garden, paint, read, write, work, watch TV, talk to my friends, call my Mom, spend time with my beloved and at the end of the day lay my tired head on my pillow, look at the picture of my beautiful boy that hangs on the wall between his tiny, perfect handprints and footprints and turn out the light.

I think that's pretty good for someone with a gigantic hole in her heart. If I do say so myself.

I'm certainly not ruling out looking for additional help if I need it, but right now I'm coping on my own and I think I'm doing okay. I've found joy again, even though it's more fleeting that it used to be, and I have hope for the future. I'm not joyful and hopeful 24 hours a day, but who is? Sure, I cry more than the average person and I know this aching sadness I have will stay with me until I die, but that's just the way life is for me now. It's who I am.

If you ask me if I'm sad, I'll say yes. But that doesn't mean I'm not happy. If you ask me if something's wrong, I'll say yes. But that doesn't mean that nothing's right. This is grief.

But I'm okay.


Jennifer said...

I think that was perfectly put!!!! I am glad to hear that you are finding happiness! Hopefully all our DYKing helps :) :)

Catherine said...

It seems that there is some sort of statute of limitations on the sadness for other people. They don't understand that it lingers forever. And even in the happy moments, I find the sadness creeps in...particularly when I think how things SHOULD be. You're right, this is just how life is now.

It's ok if you don't smile as much as you used to. Tell your aunt to back off.

Abby said...

You're dealing with something most of us can't imagine, and you're funny, witty, amazingly strong (not to mention an amazing writer through it all) and inspiring.

So, even though you're not the old you anymore, I'd say you're definitely more than okay. H&S!

Julie said...

As crazy as it sounds, it seems like you really ARE ok. I mean you have had the unimaginable happen to you, and yet you move on. You get up each day, and you do what you have to do and you get through. Maybe it's through the tears, but you DO make it.

Like Catherine said, it seems like there is a certain point where people expect you to just be all fine and dandy. Aren't you over it by now? They don't get that you will ALWAYS have that sad part of you. BUT you can still be happy at the same time. It IS possible.

Jill said...

I love the way you describe grief - the kind that stays forever. You are doing such an amazing job just being who you are and functioning. Your Aunt is a lucky lady to be so clueless.