Since losing Tucker I have had to learn how to pick up the pieces that shattered to the ground the day we lost him. And most of those pieces did not go back where they were, and some are so broken I can’t put them back at all. I have had to come to terms with my new reality, my son is gone; I still don’t accept it fully. As time has passed, I have learned a few things about grief and the misconceptions we have about it or towards it. Here are a few things I (as a grieving mother) would like you to know.
1. I like to talk about him.
§ Please don’t be afraid to say his name. I love when people remember him and send me things like texts or social media messages about how something reminded them of Tucker. Or if you are just missing him too and want to talk about it TELL ME! Grief can feel lonely sometimes, so knowing you are feeling sad as well makes me feel not so alone in my sadness.
2. I may seem fine, but it doesn’t always mean I am.
§ Even though I may be smiling and acting like my old self, I am not her anymore, I am broken and honestly am just living one day at a time. If I start to seem distant or quiet, it isn’t anything personal. Emotions are complicated on any good day, but when you have loss/grief added to it, it just amplifies it. I too don’t know how to express some of my emotions. Be patient with me as I navigate my new reality with my Tucker.
3. I cry more than you think I do.
§ Like number 2 I may seem fine but truthfully, I cry more days than I’d like to admit. I cry in the bathroom at work, I cry in the car, I cry in the shower a lot. The thing is most times I hide my tears. I don’t want you to see them, not that I’m embarrassed, I just don’t want to have to explain myself. I don’t want anyone to seem as if they must “fix it;” like they must make me feel better. You can’t “fix it” and sometimes I just want to cry about it without someone trying to make me stop. So, if you notice me crying one day just let me. You don’t even have to say anything you can just sit with me.
4. I still sleep with his stuffed Dinosaur.
§ The day we lost Tucker I went into his room and lost it. I just lied on his bed and ugly cried; loud, hysterical crying. I ran my hand along his sheets and pulled his blanket towards my chest. I grabbed his stuffed Dinosaur and just held it as I mourned our son. I couldn’t stay at the house for a while, so I took it with me, and I have slept with it ever since. I honestly do not see a time in my life that I will not.
5. And lastly, your silence and/or absences is noticed.
§ Grief is uncomfortable and difficult. I know that most people don’t know what to say, and that is okay for the most part. Afraid you may say the wrong thing or upset me by bringing it up. But what do most people do when they get uncomfortable and don’t know what to say or do? They avoid it. It’s hard to watch everyone else’s life being normal. When we do get together, and everyone is happy and “feeling a sense of togetherness” I feel lonely and angry that my life will never go back to “normal.” I know, I know, life gets busy but when you disappeared in the most devastating time in my life hurt. Not hearing from you for months on end, hurts deep. And even though I may seem cordial with you doesn’t mean we are fine. I just choose not to say anything because I don’t have the energy too. Saying it would just cause more problems and I honestly don’t need or want any more right now.
I don’t say all this to offend anyone. I say it because I feel like people need to know. People need to try and understand grief; this BIG, ugly elephant that follows me where I go. I think we, as society, should educate ourselves on the subject more. There are too many people in this world that are suffering quietly and alone from loss/grief. I just ask that you do your own research and just try to understand. There are many books, and articles to read, pages and blogs on social media to follow. You won’t be able to fully understand, and I pray that you never have to, but I do ask that you at least try to the best of your ability to.
A Grieving Mother