By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
My precious son, only child... Tommy. He is holding his precious son, Taban... his only son. I miss you, Tommy. Love Your Mother, Gloria
I looked into the night
I could not see far
The fog hung in the air
Like a heavy, gray curtain
I walked to my truck
Got in, started it, turned lights on
I still couldn't see, the blanket hung
On the damp, cool air
I drove slowly scanning both sides
Of the gray highway, gray as the fog
I saw the partial bodies of several deer
As the blanket of fog hid them
It seemed one bigger deer was pushing, nudging
To make sure the last one
Would get behind the curtain of fog
Gently... like a mother would do with her young
Standing there, waiting for all to go
To disappear behind the curtain
Ready to protect at a moment's notice
As she watched over her babies
It made an impression on me
This morning as I pushed my way
Through the gray blanket
The curtain of fog
I was thinking about a mother's love
For her child, love as I had for my child
A mother would die protecting her baby
Just as I would have done for my son
I never knew he would 'go' before me
That's not how it's supposed to be
Children aren't supposed to die before
Their parents do, they have a whole life ahead
The protective mother deer I saw
This morning influenced my thoughts for this moment
She made me think of myself
When I once had a baby, a child, my son
I miss you, Tommy, I sit here
With a heavy heart, tears in my eyes
Threatening to spill over onto my keyboard
As I write these words ... to remember ... you
Now, I feel as if I will weep
I close my eyes, gently shake my head
Side to side, I rub my forehead
Thinking... my son is gone, my son is gone
I couldn't protect you, keep you from dying
I couldn't gently pull you back
From the hands of Death that took you
That fateful evening, lead you off the way sea gulls fly
I couldn't be like that mother deer who
Gently pushed, nudged her babies to safety
Behind the gray curtain of fog
To hide them, protect them from any threat
I was too far away, I didn't know
I didn't know your trip would lead to another trip
One you had to leave on, to never come back
Once you got there, you left so soon
To go to Heaven from the sand
Left little Taban in the presence of angels
To care for him until his mommy came
Left... leaving our lives forever changed
I know someone called you
A higher power than we mere beings
Called you home that evening
No matter the pain, grief never goes away
I'm always thinking of you, Son
Though I don't always speak of you
The pain, grief never goes away
I feel it so deeply this morning
The mother deer made me think of myself
As I used to protect you, nudge you
Away from anything that would hurt you
When you were my baby, my child... my son
Grief never goes away, no matter how one pretends they are doing just fine. I sit here, cry now, tears run down my cheeks. I cry out of frustration knowing my son is gone, I can't bring him back.
I look at Tommy's photos constantly, still feeling him 'here.' Only I can't find him, I don't know where to look. I tell myself he's gone, when I look at his photos... it seems he hasn't gone anywhere.
He was such a strong personality, a real person, funny at times... sometimes, not so funny. I just can't believe it... for a time I go on to pretend he's just on a trip like when he drove a tractor-trailer. When it's takes so long before he gets to come home ... I realize... he's never coming back. Tommy's never coming back.
Fresh tears, more tears... so many that my cheeks are drenched in tears that shine in the light of my computer monitor. Shine like the diamonds I love, so clear... so bright.
The pain hurts my heart so deeply. This morning when I saw the mother deer, it triggered something in me. I saw how she was protecting her babies as a human mother would do. It touched my heart, made me remember how... I used to protect my baby, my child, my son.
Again, this is how grieving for Tommy has been. I share real feelings with you. I think I'm all right, doing fine... grief strikes me from out of the blue, I never expect it.
It weakens me, makes my chest hurt, feel heavy... I feel like I want to go hide me in the bed, cover my head up, go to sleep... until it all goes away... until all the pain, grief goes away.
I wonder sometimes, if that's what happens when one sees older people in a nursing home... people who are forever in another world until their bodies die? They lay there in a coma, they could wake up one day... one day... they might not.
I wonder if they had just so much pain, grief... that they went into a permanent sleep until... one day their bodies did the same? When their bodies, minds connected to sleep the sleep... of death?
I want to live so much! I have always loved life... since Tommy's death, I still want to live ... so much! Sometimes... I, myself... feel guilty that I do.
How can I be happy when ... my son is dead? Should I be? Is it all right? Will I ever be again? Can you imagine a mother being happy... when her son has died? Does that sound right?
Questions, questions... I am happy one moment, sad the next, wanting to cry, wanting to be near people, then... not being around people.
Leave me alone, don't leave me alone... let me stay private, go away... no, come back, I want to live, I want to be happy again, I want... my son back.
I don't want to talk to anyone in person, by phone. I hate our telephone, I turn down its ring. That's how I learned of Tommy's death... I hate my phone. I feel anger when I hear its ring.
These are feelings, thoughts of this grieving mother... crazy as they may seem. It's the truth, it's not pretty. I never heard the word 'pretty' ever used ... with the word 'grief.'
Pretty Grief... no, I've never heard of that.... I don't feel anything pretty about it at all.
My grief feels like anger at times, I feel like 'birds trapped in a cage panicking, beating their wings fast to escape'... I want to scream, I want to cry.
I don't want sympathy, someone to feel sorry for me. I am mad now... my son's gone. I'm in pain ... my heart hurts.
I feel hate, I feel love. I'm a good person, the way I feel ... is bad. I'm sorry, I'm not sorry. I'm ashamed.
Leave me alone, let me weep, cry, mourn the loss of my son. The pain is no less now, than when he died... only some time has gone by.
In my mind... I cry, I sob. I even scream out my pain. I think terrible things because I'm mad, my son is gone. I throw myself down hard to the floor, I weep... I weep... I weep. I want to push everyone away... go away, if I can't have my son, I surely don't want you... just leave me alone with my pain. You can't change it, no one can.
In reality... I'm not that way at all. I smile, I go my own way. You don't see any of this... it's like the curtain, the blanket of fog.
I can hide my grief, my pain ...just as the mother deer hid her babies, nudging ... pushing them behind the gray curtain of fog.
You may see partial grief from me for a brief moment... but, not for long, it's not my way ... to show you my hurt, because I care for your feelings, I wouldn't want to ... cause you pain. I know well how it feels. I try to never hurt anyone.
I really like you, don't want you to go away. Don't leave me alone in my pain... the grief makes me feel that way.
Grief is unlike any emotion you'll ever have ... because when your heart loves another being, especially a part of 'you', your body, your blood ... when they go away, something changes in you. A most real part of you, dies... also.
I sit here, try to describe real grief to you, so... you can understand. After all these words of pain I have typed... I see that I have in no way described how it really feels... one can only 'feel' it. I pray that you never will.
Now... I take a soft, gentle ... deep breath. I have typed quickly all I felt when this wave of grief came over me. I don't know that I'll have the nerve to read back over all I wrote. I may feel embarrassed for having describe such raw emotion.
I could just delete it all, but... I won't. I told you I would tell you exactly how grief feels. This is just another 'major earthquake', tsunami, storm ... call it what you will. This was a very strong one, whatever it was.
You don't have to worry, I understand this is normal. It's going to happen from time to time. When I think of my grief, I think of others who are experiencing such grief... I have to let go of mine to care, think about theirs. My heart cries for them.
Everything is going to be all right now. All you see is a smile ... hopefully, a pretty smile ... because there's nothing pretty about grief... that I try to hide from you ... because who has ever seen, or heard of 'pretty grief?'
Note: I wrote this some time ago... soon, the month of May will be here (day after tomorrow)... Tommy died May 29, 2010.... I miss him so much more than my words can say... but, my Heart feels it. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee