Colors As I Go
grief (32) only child (4) Scary (2) Boiled eggs (1) Distrust (1) Don't call me Faye (1) Dying (1) I hate to be called Faye (1) I'm afraid of the dark (1) Middle age woman (1) Pain that reaches the soul.. can't be seen (1) Running (1) Where did my youth go? (1) dying in a beautiful way (1) life is fragile (1) light on my path (1) my son (1)
Friday, June 29, 2012
JUST AS STRONG AS I ... NEED TO BE
JUST AS STRONG AS I ... NEED TO BE
BY GLORIA FAYE BROWN BATES/aka GRANNY GEE
Today I was listening to Anderson Cooper's mother talk on his show. She was talking about grief... about when someone says your loved one who has just died .... 'is in a better place'. How can they 'be in a better place'? 'How do ... you ... know?
I was thinking of the people who have said that about Tommy. They haven't lost a child, how do they know 'he is in a better place'?
Tommy liked to live... he 'liked this place'. Tommy thought 'here was a better place'... how in the hell did you think he had gone to a 'better place'?
Do ... you ... want to go to a 'better' place and... not live all you can live? Do you 'want me to tell you when your child dies... that your child has 'gone to a better place'? 'Who would I think I am to say such a thing to you'? I couldn't do it... never.
'I understand how you feel'...comes from people who have never lost a child. How do they know what it feels like? How can they know the soul-wrenching grief one goes through losing their child... if they've never walked on that path? How?
One day 'they could' know... just as I have found out... as I 'keep on finding out' how it feels. It could happen to them.....
Who is someone to tell me that I should be over my grief... over my only child, my son... dying? Who do they think they are when they say such a thing... they have never lost a child? Just... who do they think they are?
It's possible you will one day 'see how it feels'... let someone tell that to ...you when your only child dies... or when one of them dies.
Someone will be dumb enough to tell you that... you'd be shocked at the thoughtless things people say... thinking they are 'saying the right things'. They don't listen to themselves as they speak..........
Today... I have felt anger at some of these things that have been said at one time or other to me since my son's death. I'm not the only person in this world .... that this could happen to, does happen 'all the time'.
Be careful what you say to people who are grieving... they may act as if they didn't hear you, or nod their head while smiling when someone says 'some off-the-wall comment... I promise you... they hear you, and ..... never forget you for those comments.
I was in the deepest grief but, when something 'stupid' was said to me... somehow I 'heard' it... somehow I never forgot. Now... at this late date and time... I am finally remembering more and more... and today I feel very angry.
Of course... I won't stay that way long... I won't hold it against the people I remember saying the things I'm telling you about. I just ... won't forget ... and now, I would never 'not' say something if someone even said it to me... now.
The memories of such comments will come back to the surface... just as has happened today with me.
I feel such anger... I 'see the faces of different people' ... as they said such comments. I feel anger toward them... I'm seeing faces in my mind who stood in front of me... with their 'know-all' selves telling me that my son has gone to a 'better' place.
There they are standing in front of me never knowing what it feels like to be a grieving mother... 'how dare you'! How dare 'you' said such a thing to 'me'... 'you' don't know anything about grieving for someone, something lost.
You have everything... I have been losing something, someone ever since I was a little girl. I've grieved all my life... 'now'... the worst has happened ... 'my child' is gone.
My very one most treasured someone, a very 'real part of me'... has died. I brought this child into the world... my body felt the pain of him being born. I have scars from carrying him. I suffered through time when he was hurt, sick... missing for three years and I didn't know where he was. No one knows the grief I've been through while my precious child lived... the grief he suffered... no one.
Don't ever tell me he's in a better place again... don't ever tell me I'm only going to grieve two weeks for him... how the ........... do you know? Your son, your daughter, your everything still lives... so how do 'YOU' know?
You... don't know nothing about the grief, or things I've experienced in life. Another thing... I won't talk to you about them. I will write about them when the time comes... but, I won't talk about them. I feel so angry... so mad... I'm really, really .... mad today. When I say 'you'... I am thinking of 'those faces who said these things to me' when my son just ...died... he really died.
Another thing... 'don't tell me 'you' know how I feel when you've never walked the path of grief, never have been on a life's journey to experience such a thing.
I promise you... you will feel all the things, think all the things I have, and still do. I can promise you that.... I can promise you that you'll know pain unlike the worse pain you've ever felt in life.
People say these things to be sure that I won't begin to talk about Tommy to them because it's so sad... they don't want to hear it. What they didn't know in the very beginning is... that I didn't want to share my grief in the first place. I rarely talk about things that truly hurt me deepest... to anyone.
They say these kind of things to prevent one from saying anything... to be ashamed for feeling grief. I just think when someone says that... they've successfully 'shut off-up' the person who might need to speak about the grief, pain they are holding inside.
What they did accomplish was.... to let me know they wanted me to keep my mouth shut... when I had no intention of 'opening it' to them, anyway.
They also, accomplished another thing... I don't want them around me... nor do I want to be around when their most treasured loved ones ... die. I 'might have real compassion, caring' for ... them. I 'might say something real, meaningful to let them know... I care.
Someone doesn't want to take a few minutes to listen, it might make them sad or even cry... shame on those grieving people.... they might need comfort. I say 'shame on those people who have no compassion in their heart... it's going to come back to you'.
I don't need you to stand there and feel sorry for me... I'm used to going things alone... but, most people aren't used to that, they are used to someone caring what they feel, think, if they hurt.
They 'know' everyone's going to care about 'them'. So... life is good. I have one person, two pups and one friend who care about 'what I go through'... they are real. I'm thankful for them. If it hadn't been for my husband, Pups... when I lost Tommy... I wouldn't be sitting here writing to you now.
My grief is too private to 'just talk about to anyone'. That's one of the reasons I write. I don't have to talk about anything to anyone in person... people who are curious, people who mean well, people who want to be nosey.
I 'don't want to talk about things that hurt me'... in public... it's private. My grief is private.
I don't need false words, false comfort... give it to someone who will settle for 'at least that'. I won't. It's best to just ... leave me alone if you are false... because later, I will remember you... just as I am doing ... today. It adds to the anger I feel because my son is gone.
'Damn, damn, damn'... my son, Tommy... is really gone! I am angry... I'm very angry at my son being.... dead. I could scream at the heavens, God... I won't, I'm not angry at the heavens nor God.
I wonder how many people they have hurt like that? I wonder how 'they will feel' when one of their loved ones die? I bet they'll be whining, crying to everyone.... then.
I don't have to listen to comments like that when I write... I can say what I want in written words. No one is going to talk back to me to tell me I should be over my grief in two weeks, they know how it feels when they've never lost a child, or understand how I feel.... when there's no way they could.
People have said these things and more through time... thinking they've done 'good' when they say them. I never comment, I stay quiet, smile, listen... I go my way. When I go, I haven't left hurt feelings behind.... because I don't say what I actually think. If they knew.....
What people don't seem to know... is that they've left a bad memory behind with their thoughtless comments..... for a person to bring back to mind 'later'.... when someone such as myself 'remembers'.
I remember more lately... I feel pure anger 'hearing things said' in my mind when Tommy died. I feel pure anger at the faces I see in my mind... standing 'there... then' saying such things to me. I'm sorry ... I don't like you at all... anymore.
What everyone doesn't want to hear or think about... especially people who are cruel.... you have 'somebody in this world you love'... and guess what?
That means you may walk in my shoes one day... you may get to feel what I feel, go through. What in the world 'makes you think' .... you won't ever know anything about... death?
No matter how big, strong, mean... ugly, beautiful .... it is going to happen in 'your' life ...sooner or later. It's happened alot in mine... no one can get by with not... dying.
Don't you know... it is going to happen sooner or later ... to all of us? All of us... will need comfort, real words of caring at that time in our lives... be careful what you say 'now'... 'before your time comes to feel grief'... you get back what you give.
I agree with Anderson Cooper's mother (who is Gloria Vanderbilt in case anyone wonders).... you don't have to say such things... you can say two little words and just be quiet, just be 'there'...... just say those two little words.... 'I care'.... no more, no less.... then ...just go on your own way.
Don't say 'useless words' that leave a bad memory in a grieving person's mind... they won't ever forget you. A grieving person goes through stages of anger from time to time (some stay in that stage... I can't)... they remember things you think they don't... don't let them feel anger toward... you. It will happen....
I love writing... I can think about things as I write them... it helps me get things into perspective so, I can look at them... especially something such as I wrote about today. I thought about keeping this private... but, I'm not going to. I'm sharing it with everyone... do you know 'why'?
Because they are real feelings of a grieving mother... I just know I'm not the only one who feels these things. I have no way of knowing... I don't know what other grieving mothers feel. I only know 'as I go'... I 'learn as I go'...
I have learned many of life's lessons the 'hard way'. This is no different... though I wish sometimes... it wasn't ... so hard. I'm very strong... I have to keep finding more, and more strength... I wonder 'how strong do I have to be'?
My answer is .... 'just as strong as I need to be'.
NOTE: I'm not mad anymore... this kind of anger comes and goes.. each time getting weaker, and ... weaker. I don't like to feel anger... though, it's there.
I'm thankful to write... I have a place to vent... I don't have to hurt others to 'get it out'. I'm not really angry at those people... people do say things without hearing themselves to know how it feels... even I know that. I just felt anger toward them... I forgave them as soon as the words left their mouths.
I've fought anger since I was a little girl at things, people... who have hurt me knowingly, unknowingly, deliberately or not deliberately. I've forgiven a long time ago...
I've fought anger at losing people, things I treasured in my life... somehow they were taken away from me... broken home, broken family, broken 'everything'......... the sad thing is that many years later when one meets back up with 'family' that was taken 'back then'... too much time, distance has happened... once again... more pain. Bonds are broken... forever.
At this 'late day and time'... I no longer desire to be close to anyone else... it's gone now. Too many tears have been shed, too much heartbreak... I'm not strong enough for more... yet, I am... I'm just as strong as I need to be. I tell myself that... so far, I've been strong enough 'to come this far'. No one knows all I've come through since 'now and then'...
I 'know how so many things feel'... because I've experienced them in my life. I've been through more than the average person has had in their entire life, I've experienced many things most women never get to.... no one knows.
I've known more loss of loved ones, treasured things than the average person has... they only read about it in books. I hope to write a book some day... I wonder how long it will take to 'learn how to go about it'? I haven't even touched on many things in my life... I have to travel back down dark tunnels, alleys, scary places. I don't know if I'm strong enough................................ I'll only know when it's my time to go... if I ever... got that strong.
I am sorry that I feel anger, though I always put it back up... so, it doesn't dominate my everyday living.
I'm sorry I feel it toward people because I care about people... life is about love, caring. That's what I want to feel always inside of me... love, caring. I'm not perfect ... though I try to be as good as I can be... but... I'm still not perfect at all.
I have come through many, many of life's storms... I've come through alot of them alone... no one there to hold my hand or to comfort me... of course, my pride prevented me from asking. I'm the one who helps, I'm the one who is strong enough to go on... it seems. So......
I have to be just as strong as I need to be........