By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter
My Son, Tommy and I ... I was so proud of him. He was my only child whom I loved with my very Heart. I'm fortunate to have my photos of him ... and all the others. They survived a house fire ... in a big suitcase soaked with water from the firemen's hoses. I treasure them. A lot of photos ... I put in a rose box ... gave them to my grandson's mother for him one day ... when Tommy died. If something happened ... I wanted him to have them.
Well ... yesterday was a big surprise to me. I got up not knowing that it was going to be a day of grief for me. It was exactly what it was. I began to grieve for my Son, Tommy. It'll soon be Christmas ... he won't be coming home.
I still haven't forgotten how it feels to have ... my son and his family ... come home on holidays. I haven't forgotten the warm feeling of love ... happiness whenever my son came home. I can't forget that just as one can't forget how it feels to come in from the cold ... stand in front of the fireplace. Safe, cozy, warm ... happy ... everything is going to be all right. My world changed when my son died.
I learned to accept that every holiday Tommy won't be coming home ever again. I accept I'm going to always see him in my memories ... and I want to. I can't forget having my own child for forty years. My only child.
Visions play in my mind like videos ... I can see Tommy smiling as he opened presents from us. I can feel his hug and hear his soft voice say, "I love you, Mama." Or when eating special holiday foods ... 'That's good, Mama!"
Yesterday morning the pouring down rain triggered this bout of grief ... and looking outside at the gloomy day. Skip had just left for several days ... so, it was just me and The Pups. Grief settled on me like a soft blanket of darkness. I just couldn't shake it off.
I felt the same old sensation of trapped birds in a bird cage ... wings beating against the bars ... wanting desperately to get out, fly away. This is something that has happened many times since Tommy died.
I become afraid ... I have to be careful when thinking too much ... death ... my child ... gone forever. I begin to become panicky ... I have to help myself be all right. I do it by writing ... I have no other outlet ... I sure don't discuss it with anyone by talking about it. I can only write about it.
I couldn't get away from myself. So, all yesterday I coped with it by writing ... and I even went to bed to sleep myself away from it.
When I feel grief ... I feel like Death is close by. Really, if one thinks about it ... it is. Why do you grieve? In my case, I grieve over all my many, many loved ones who are gone (most, prematurely) ... and my Son. Death. Grief ... Death.
If you knew the circumstances of each death ... and the people I loved with my very Heart ... you would understand why I grieve.
Nothing is normal ... everyday like probably in ... your world. I grieve because of ... how ... my loved ones died. I don't talk about them ... that pain remains inside me. It hurts more than my words can say. My son's death hurts much more than I can possibly say.
No matter how much I write the pain ... it's always there. I can't write it away. It hurts but, I'm all right. I just don't run from thinking about it ...
Do you think I sound morbid? I promise you I'm not at all. It's just how I think about things. I face things head-on. I face reality ... I don't stick my head into the ground.
I should be a mean, cold, bitter, angry 'old' woman. I am completely the opposite. I am a most positive person ... I still believe in good ... I know no matter what ... no matter how bad ... things do get better. They do get all right.
Grief is ugly ... as ugly emotion as you'll ever feel. There's nothing pretty about grief. Your face reflects such pain ... your eyes deepen with that pain. Do you ever look into people's eyes? Do you see the difference in people who have been through a lot ... almost dying, losing a loved one, suffered a trauma?
If you really take a moment to really see ... you can tell the difference ... people who go through bad things ... recognize it in another when they meet them. Their eyes tell it all.
In fact, if the shock, trauma has been recent ... you'll see deep emotion ... their eyes will instantly tear up if talking about what happened in their life. I recognize it all the time. I know what it feels like to suffer many things the average person hasn't.
I've walked many journeys in my life ... no two alike. Many ... bad ... things. I've felt that emotion all the way to my very soul after I almost died several times in my life.
I've felt how thankful I was to still be living ... after surviving cancer, congestive heart failure, and several other things. I couldn't talk about them ... I would instantly choke up ... tears filling my eyes. Powerful emotion would fill my Heart.
I will say this ... you have to help yourself when you come through bad things ... you have to get your ass up off the ground, 'dust them britches' off ... meet life head-on again. There are no 'ifs ... ands' ... you either do it ... or lay there. Don't you ever, ever give up. Oh ... this is so much easier than said.
I know things get really bad enough to want to die, sometimes ... I know that very well. As soon as you are aware of that ... open your eyes full of tears, your Heart filled with such pain ... fight like Hell ... bring yourself out of it. Sure, you'll fall back into darkness ... so many times I did, I couldn't see my way out ... don't give up.
You just have to keep taking baby steps. Who am I to preach ... I failed miserably for the first 3 years and even into last year ... and at times this year (the 5th year) when Tommy died. The good thing is now ... I can look back ... oh my ... I have come so far. When I thought I had given up ... something happened to bring me back. Even I am amazed I have 'come back' from losing my only child.
You know I have kept my promise to write about grief when it happens just exactly as it happens ... I think sometimes, my new readers don't know that, become alarmed ... and want me to be all right. I would like to tell them that this is what I write about ... grief, pain in my life.
It doesn't mean I'm some poor soul lost out in the darkness floundering around. I'm on stable ground ... I have coped with my grief. It's at times, grief comes back ... unexpectedly. I write about that just as I promised. I always will write about grief, pain. It is what I know best in my life. Grief never goes away.
If you notice ... I've lost over twenty family members I loved with my very Heart ... but, I write about my son, my only child all the time. I haven't even written at all about all the grief in my Heart ... because my own flesh and blood ... my own child ... died.
Losing my only child ... is worse than anything I know or have ever experienced. The grief is so much ... that was all I could think about when I lost him.
To my new friends, readers, followers ... just know I am fine. This is what I write about, share with everyone. If grief, pain ... death upsets you ... you might not want to read what I write. When I write ... I face up to the same fears you may have ... I meet them head-on. You may not want to do that ... I understand. It's scary ... sometimes, too scary ... uncomfortable.
I study them in my mind ... find different ways to think about things. I'm always looking for something to learn to understand 'the whys?' ... in my Life.
I will write forever because I can't write the grief away. I can try, and I can share what I experience ... what I try to learn through time. Maybe it could help someone ... maybe not.
Maybe my words can connect with others who might need them. I'll never know unless someone tells me. At least ... if you are interested in real life, real thoughts ... feelings ... you can be entertained. I do share good, funny, happy things ... also. I try to find good in everything ... even if it's bad ... and ... impossible.
Yes, I'm afraid ... I cry ... I fall down ... I get right back up no matter how bad it hurts, or how scared I am. I will until the day I ... die. If you've read me long enough to know about my Grandma Alma ... you will see I have my Grandma Alma's fighting spirit.
I have a Gloria Fighting Spirit ... and though I do ... I still haven't forgotten how it feels to be a mother.
Note by this Author:
Story/Photos both owned, written by me ... Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee. All I have written are true thoughts, feelings that I think ... have.