Sunday, December 27, 2015

Photos of the Many Faces of Grief ... of a Grieving Mother

Photos of the Many Faces of Grief ...  of a Grieving Mother
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter

In my last Blog post ... I promised you photos of how grief changes one until they no longer look like themselves ... well ... until I no longer looked like myself.

I never knew when I gained extra weight ... I never knew I was growing OLD ... all the while pain, grief helped it along.  When I did begin to become aware from time to time ... began to see myself in my mirror ... I couldn't deal with it.

An old woman looked back at me ... I remember I would lean in closer to try to see ... Me.  I couldn't.  I would try to smile to see if it made any difference ... I had always smiled a lot.  My face wouldn't smile like ... I used to smile.  That wasn't ... Me ... in the mirror, I didn't know that face.

I would sink back into my grief, my world of darkness where I was safe ... where I didn't have to see, think ... oh God ... where I tried not to ... feel.

You see ... you never think about grieving unless you've experienced it so, you wouldn't know that ... you are one person and when you lose someone dear ... you, that one person ... has to bear the pain, grief.  It's a hell of a load to carry ... it's the heaviest weight you'll ever carry in your life ... and it's all invisible to others.

Not only that ... imagine having to live with the knowledge that your child has died ... and you ... one person have to live with it every second.  You can't escape it ... you become numb to life.  I became useless ... I only did the bare neccessities ... housework, feed Pups.

Skip never gave up on me, he would 'push' me to go with him everywhere, to be out ... people would stare at me.  I know they thought I looked like Hell, some took pleasure in how I'd sunk down to looking less than a woman ... a piece of trash.  At times when I would really look around me ... I saw it.  

I saw in people's eyes that knew me through time ... they knew something bad had happened to me ... but, they never cared to ask what was wrong.  Just like when I went through 3 years battling cancer ... I was almost dead, fighting so hard to live ... again, Skip took me everywhere with him ... people would look at me in shock ... no one ever came up to ask what happened, what was wrong.

Some turned ... went the opposite way.  When I was 'beautiful' ... people would run to find out what was wrong, why did I look like that.  Do you know I still remember the faces ... people who did that to me ... I never forgot them.  Why?  Because I would cry not understanding ... I was too sick to ask why they treated me that way.  I was devastated.  I don't do like that ... I couldn't understand it.  But, I'm not ... other people.

You can't get away from yourself ... you are being constantly tortured by thoughts of your loved one ... you can't shut your thoughts off ... you just can't bear the knowledge you will never see, hear that special someone.

I've told you many times that I didn't know I could survive the death of my son.  This was the one thing I thought would get the best of me ... cause my death.  I lost my only child I could ever have in this life ... he was a most important part of my life.  He, Skip and I were very close ... we knew we had each other if we had no one else.  My world ... Skip, Tommy, our Pups.

I was the walking dead ... I've told you many times that if I had died then ... I would have never known it.  For the first 3 years after Tommy died ... I didn't try to know anything.  I couldn't find joy in anything ... I couldn't see past my grief.

As the first years went by ... I would feel glimmers of light, hope, joy ... I squashed them because of the guilt ... my son had died ... how could I possibly feel any happy feelings.  It wasn't all right.

Writing my grief ... letting the verbal tears run through my fingertips ... gave me life.  It kept me from building up inside.  I had to keep writing ... not stop ... or there would be a backup of guilt.  I would become overwhelmed ... I wrote harder, faster.

While I cried my pain to the world as I typed on my keyboard ... I cried silently inside, tears flowing down my cheeks.  Whenever I did look at myself ... my face stayed swollen, red ... tear-stained.  I couldn't look in the mirror often at all.  I couldn't deal with that OLD woman in my mirror ... who was she?

I began to realize as time went by ... grief, pain had hidden the fact that I had aged during that time.  I had become OLD during that time ... and I almost gave up on myself again.  I also, grieved the loss of my youth ... I wanted ... Me ... back.

For 5 years, until recently ... I wore 'fat clothes' ... tee shirts, and stretchy pants.  I never cared ... who would have thought I would have went so far 'down' ... I went to the very bottom of being a human being until I was nothing anymore.  I never knew I could climb back ... up ... to life ever again.

I made it ... I'm here, now.  I'm okay.  I have accepted my son won't be coming back.  I have no choice but, to accept.  Finally ... I am at peace with my grief.

From time to time, grief comes looking for me ... stays a little while until I make peace once again.  The darkness ebbs back to where it comes from ... leaving light behind so, I can see my path ... go on my way.  I never know when it'll come again ... I just know that when it does ... I meet it head-on ... and I stay positive because 'now' ... I truly know I'm going to be all right.

I admit at times though ... I feel those 'trapped birds panicking in the bird cage ... wings beating against the bars ... trying to get out' ... in my stomach.  Sometimes ... it takes a little time to calm them down ... during that time I feel afraid ... of the darkness that tries to pull me down, overwhelm me.  Somehow ... I make it through ... guided by the light ... so, I don't get lost.

The photos below are reflections of pure grief of a grieving mother ... there's no beauty in grief, pain.  I hope you'll see the grief to know how it can look ... not judge me in a harsh way.  I am recovering from all the changes to Me, now.  I am taking what's left of me, the pieces ... putting them back together once again.  I'm making the best of what I have left.  I smile here ... everything is going to be all right.

Note by this Author:

As promised ... I am sharing ... my faces of grief ... photos I was never going to let anyone see because of the awfulness of them.  I tell you about grief ... I promised I would.  Now, you can see ... also.  When you look at them ... can you see the photos over time 'where I tried to come back'?  I tried many, many times never succeeding ... I never gave up.

Photos/true story are both owned, written by me ... Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. Only a mother that has gone through what you have gone through will know how you feel. I can't imagine what it is like to have an only child. I do know it must be awful. I am glad Skip and the pups were there to help you through everything you were and probably still are going through. Love, Ms. Nancy