The saying goes, “Time heals”. I say “Time dulls”. I no longer think constantly about the loss of my children. I go on with life like anyone else. But once in a while, with nothing special to trigger it, the sadness hits me in the face and I think, “What on earth happened there?”
I will deal with this feeling, then quickly do something to engage my mind and let that thought go. If something did trigger it, I walk away from the trigger.
What are those triggers? They can be almost anything. Some seem obvious. I see young men who resemble my son who died at 19. That can produce a profound sadness in me. I watched the movie “The Book Thief”. It featured a young girl who vividly reminded me of my daughter. If I let them, such memories and the sadness they produce could send me back into darkness and despair. I could begin to drink again. But that is too horrible to contemplate.
I am now at the age where many of my friends are having grandchildren. It seems that at some point their conversation turns to their grandchildren. Pictures come out, stories are shared and there is great joy and laughter. That remains a constant reminder of what is to never be. I deliberately remind myself of the many people and friends who have no children, those who, like me, will never have grandchildren. I am not constantly sad because I have no grandchildren but I often wonder what might have been. I do sometimes envy the grandparents’ joy over their precious little bundles, listening to their cute chatter, exploring life with them and watching them grow up.
Facebook can be another trigger. Pictures of grandchildren are often posted with lines such as, ”Share this post if you have the most beautiful son/daughter/grandchildren etc.” To be honest, most of the time those posts no longer bother me but if I’m in an ”off mood” I use the SCROLL feature on my mouse and move on quickly with a $%#$ comment in my head.
To sum up this post, at some point (and no one can say when that point happens) I had to make a choice. It was to continue immersed in my painful losses day after day or to slowly but surely engage in life with friends, activities and enthusiasm.
Life happens. There will be more bad things and there will always be triggers and sad thoughts. I have chosen to acknowledge them, to feel them and then to move on.
It’s my journey, a never-ending adventure that I plan to embrace until I die.