By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
My son, Tommy and his son ... Taban. The love of my Heart ... when Tommy died, my whole world stopped. I didn't lose only him ... I lost contact with my grandchildren. I had Skip, our Pups ... the rest of my world, though. I'm so fortunate.
He's in a better place ... stop, think about this. I hope no one ever says that to me ... again. I don't know what I will say back to them, or ... if I'll ever speak to them again.
I respect some people feel that way when their loved ones die. I even think ... some people 'are better off, and in a better place', when they ... die.
There are some people I ... don't feel are in a better place. My son is one of them ... he didn't want to be in ... a better place. He wanted to live ... he had dreams ... hope ... plans for his life.
He was going to be a parole officer ... in the following weeks after his trip to the beach ... he would have been working toward his goal. We were so thankful, grateful ... because no one would believe the grief Tommy had experienced the year before. That's another story for ... later.
Everyone wants to see their children do good with their life. They have dreams for them. Parents want to feel happiness seeing a smile on their child's face ... no matter how old they are.
In my case, Tommy was my only child. All my hopes, dreams for my child came to an end ... when he collapsed on that beach ... to never come home.
I don't have my son to look forward to as I get older. I don't have grandchildren to look forward to as I ... get older. Everything ... stopped when Tommy died.
My world revolves around Skip, our three Pups ... Kissy, Chadwick, and Camie. They are my world ... I have no one else.
Tommy was the huge part of our world ... like a table with four legs. What happens if something happens to one leg ... it collapses until one learns to prop the table back up; or ... throw it away/quit living.
At first, I wasn't aware I was living. The darkness I was in ... buffered me from the pain. Everytime ... I would try to come back to the sunshine ... like the sunshine, the pain from the bright light was too much ... back into the darkness I went.
Just before ... I was looking forward to Tommy doing happy things with his life. I was smiling inside at ... how he smiled, his excitement to go play with his little three year old son at the ocean.
The evening before ... Tommy's eyes were sparkling with happiness, excitement. Why did that mean so much? Because, the past year he had lived in ... pure hell. He never smiled again after what happened to him. Tommy was living with ... surviver's guilt.
The point here is ... when Tommy died, he had finally got on the path ... people were encouraging him, going to help him go toward his dream. He ... had plans, dreams.
So, sometimes ... I feel 'pure, white-hot anger' ... when someone says to me, "Gloria, your son's in a better place, now". Most of the time, I keep my mouth shut. I try to choose my battles ...
I think if someone would stop to think about what they say ... before they say it ... mentally put themselves in a parent's shoes ... whose child has died ... think of how it'd feel to lose their child ... for a moment, they'd feel that little fear.
There's no way to 'feel exactly' how it feels if it's never happened to you. You ... think it won't happen to you. I can tell you ... yes, it can happen to you, just as it happened to me. Suppose ... it was your only child? Suppose ... that was your ... whole family ...
Would you ... think your child went to ... a better place? Could you walk around smiling ... just knowing you are ... going to see him one day?
I love everyone ... I have a big heart. I'm not a mean person ... though, I could be ... if I had to be. I'm not perfect. So, if someone tells me that again ... know that I might be ugly enough to turn my back on you ... and walk on with my life.
I don't think ... Tommy, my only child ... my son ... I don't think he is in a better place.
I think when people tell a bereaved parent such ... they've never experienced losing a child to know the most horrible pain they've ever known in life.
I think they tell someone that because they've learned it from others ... think it's the thing to say. I think, also ... it's to help keep a person from talking out loud about their loss; no one wants to hear a grieving person talk.
No one need to worry ... I won't talk about the loss of my child to anyone. I can write my grief. He 'didn't go to a better place' ...
I am writing my grief, as promised. That's what my blog is all about ... real life. If you don't agree with me ... that's okay, I respect your beliefs. I write grief ... I know it best in life ... grief, pain. I don't write it to gain sympathy; nor do I wallow in self-pity.
A person can come here to read ... just like in a quiet library. When finished, just click away to the next website. You can go away each time, learning how a grieving mother feels ... without experiencing the real thing. I pray you never do ... as a mother, I can't tell you of any worse pain.