Chasing Myself In The Mirror...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
January 2011... I found this photo taken of me ... Tommy had died 6-7 months prior to this photo. I don't remember this photo... I was in 'another world'... The Dark World.
I look at this photo, 'see' that my world had come to an end... I see that I could have forever become an 'old' woman if I made it through this. I had quit life for the first time... I didn't know I was in the world... I didn't care.
This is a photo of a grieving mother 6-7 months after her child's death. At this time... she was still in the Dark World... not thinking about the present... how could she when she didn't know it was there? She wasn't in the present... she couldn't be for the pain...
I look at this photo that was so 'unlike me'... I remember seeing an aunt looking like this photo before she died... grief, pure grief was on her face... just like I see here. She'd lost one son to suicide, and her only daughter to a car/log truck crash. Both children died close together... adult children. 'Now'... I 'know why' she looked like this, like my face in this photo... I 'recognize' it. My poor aunt, my poor, poor aunt... no one knew how she suffered. I do.... 'now'.
This is a photo of the 'walking dead'... not aware of anything... not even that Tommy died... I couldn't bear knowing. This is the one time in my life, I took some type of medicine from the doctor, I can't even remember the name of it... and 'begged for it'. This is the one time in my life I wasn't afraid to be addicted to drugs. I wouldn't have known the difference.
Looking at the above photo... I was ... just lost in another world. Sometimes, I could hear Skip and the Pups... most of the time, I don't remember anything. Sometimes, I could hear myself crying... I must have blocked that out, also... because all was quiet and dark where I was.
This photo was taken not long ago... March-April 2013... my eyes look different, but... one can see that I've come so far. I have fought so, hard to look better... to only keep falling back...to get back up, dust my pants off, to start over again... and again... and again.
I'm determined not to 'just be an old woman just yet'... I have lost 6-7 years due to illness/cancer... and to losing my only child. I can't remember them... I tell myself I am going to make up for these years... it's not time for me to be 'old' .... not just yet.
I do have a problem... in getting my mirror to cooperate with me. :))) I am always looking for a glimpse of the 'real me'. There are only times I 'see me'... I begin 'chasing myself in the mirror... with my camera'! I try to capture those glimpses I remember of myself... that's what I looked like 'before'... I don't recognize 'me... now'.
It's funny... it's wonderful when I do 'catch myself in a photo'... the 'me' I remember, knew so well. I 'lost me' when Tommy died. Have you ever went looking for yourself in your mirror?
This photo, and the ones since... is as close as I've gotten to 'finding me'. My eyes... my eyes... there's something so different about my eyes. It's an expression that's always there no matter how happy I am, when I smile.
You wonder 'why' I am constantly 'looking for myself'... wanting 'to be me' again... wanting my 'old self' back. That's the way this grieving mother is... I have no idea if another grieving mother has experienced this, or not. So, if you are a grieving mother and are doing this... know there is one more grieving mother who is doing the same. Is it normal? I have no way of knowing... but, I am normal. :)))
I think I've come so, so far during this past three years. I think writing my grief... publishing my book 'I CRY FOR TOMMY'... made all the difference. I think I might have not come this far if I hadn't... in fact, I might not 'have come this far'... at all.
I speak honestly so, you can know how it really is with a grieving mother... this grieving mother. I know of some who have completely quit life... the death of their child completely shutting them down. They are only a shell of themselves... they walk around 'dead'. The living dead...
Skip, my hero, the love of my life, my precious husband... saved me. He, and our Pups... kept on, and on until they made sure I heard them, knew they were there. They never stopped... Skip knew which 'buttons to push'... to make my fighting spirit rise up to the challenge... it didn't die inside me. I didn't know when it rose up... to fight to live; that's how far gone I was.
Since then... I've been chasing myself in the mirror... trying to find the 'me' I remember. Today... it's fun, because sometimes... I see myself ... and I try to make 'me' pretty again. :)))