Wednesday, May 9, 2012




I'm afraid, but... I may do it. Only time will tell if I can go to the bottom, beginning at the top. I can't remember.... I can't remember. I ask myself 'dare I look inside'? Do I have the nerve to even open it? My stomach hurts bad, there are those familiar tears again. But... I want to do it... 'why' can't I?

Panicky feelings... my breath feels like I'm holding it... did I just feel pain in my stomach... oh, I am going to cry again... all I seem to do is... cry.

What is in there? All I see is darkness in my mind when I try to visualize ... what is in there. My head wants to hurt, I want to cry, my heart hurts. I so want to see, to feel... maybe smell something that reminds me of you, Son. I'm missing you so badly. I still see you in my mind... it's like just yesterday I saw you.

My throat hurts with a strange pain... is it from trying to hold a cry inside? I have to wipe my face again.... it's wet. My nose is stuffy again... I hate for it to be stuffy... is that a pain in my heart? I know that pain... it's love that hurts... it really hurts so bad.

I don't know what's in that contained space of your chest... that space that is approximately two feet wide, one foot tall... one foot deep... Tommy Space.... that's what I think of as... Tommy Space. That's all I have left of my son ... just a little bit of Tommy space...... just a few little things that were his. Just an elegant, upholstered/wooden burgundy chest that is 'Tommy Space'... a small space here on earth that holds the only things that I, his mother has left of him.

What is so sad... is that his mother wants to look... and a pain that is so real threatens to strike her down... if she walks to that chest to try to open it. His mother... I.... want to hold my child's things in my hands... I can't . I can't even open that chest... I might go into that dark world again... Skip's not here at the moment to help me... come back.

I long to see inside that chest... into Tommy Space. I keep thinking I could just walk to my artroom, pick it up by its handles... bring it into the living room, sit it down..... simply just open the lid... simply begin taking things out one by one........... just simply.................. I can't! I can't do it!

I am .. just simply.. sitting here crying, feeling pain in my heart thinking about it... what would happen... if I continued on... to do as I wish? I don't think I'm strong enough... yet. I thought I was so strong... it's just a simple action. Just go pick it up and bring it in here, open it and begin .... just simply taking things out. Touch them, see them, hold them to your face .... try to see, feel, smell ... try to 'find' Tommy.

It's just ... Tommy Space... I don't dare to look inside ... just yet.





  1. Oh, Gloria. I wish I had some wise words, but I know that crazy panic. I still can't read the beautiful cards that Jack's friends wrote. I stayed sick at my stomach trying to clean his closet. In the end, I didn't do much. I can't let most of it go.

    I believe that when the time is right, I will be ready. Every time I try to rush it (because people say that I've had enough time), I get grief sick. Physically and emotionally.

    And I believe that if it is time, you will be ready. This grief thing is such baby steps.

    1. Do you know that at anytime I can walk into my artroom... as long as I'm not thinking about opening Tommy's chest sitting on top of the file cabinet in there.

      If I'm thinking about going straight over there to open it... I can't go through the doorway.

      I so, understand all you wrote. It really is easy for our loved ones, family to say 'what they think should be enough time'.........

      I hope they never know that 'what they think isn't how it really is'... it's like someone surviving a plane crash... 'who am I to say I could possibly know 'how it really was'?

      One can only know... if they walk in 'those shoes'... and I sincerely don't wish that for anyone... just for them to know.

      I 'want to open Tommy's chest'... I feel something inside telling me 'don't'... I feel something bad could happen to me inside. I haven't been out of that dark world .... 'long enough'.

      I just wanted you to know that I understood when you said you 'get grief sick'... I 'felt' those words.

  2. I am very fortunate that my only child is still here with me. I don't know how it feels to lose a child. I can only say that I can feel how it is to lose a nephew that I was so close to. He was like my child. He lived with me before he died. (killed by drunk driver) I can tell anyone that he has been gone for 8 years and I still WILL NOT get rid of anything I have of his. If it has been that long for me, there is no telling how long it will take someone to get past (not get over---can't ever get over losing a loved one) losing a child. No matter the age---it is just something we all have to try to cope with. I do hope you will wait for Skip to be there when you do decide to open "Tommy's chest". Take your time and don't let anyone rush you into doing what your heart is saying no to. Just tell them you will do things according to the way you need to handle them. Love, Ms. Nancy