The effects of loss don’t get cremated with the body.
It has been 217 days since I felt loss.
Loss on a profound level.
In 217 days I have lost more sleep than I care to admit.
217 days. It just knocks me down writing and realizing it has been so long.
With the loss of my mom a lot changed emotionally for me. If you are new to my blog or me you can take the time to get to know a little about my past by simply reading through my other posts. I think I mix it up decent enough, every third post or so should be personal information that is probably better suited for a counseling session. Or several. Okay, I need a lot of therapy.
Long story short, (The official PRP season one, two and three recap if you will) at eight I moved from CA to CT. I spent my adolescent years angry and feeling orphaned. I spent my teen years angry, angsty and disconnected. Around sixteen(give or take?) I forgave my mom for her decision to move me across the country, without her, to live with my brother, his wife (who didn’t exactly like me) and their brand new family. By nineteen I had convinced myself it was me against the world. My relationship with my mom was strained, at best. I largely considered the friends who let me crash on their couches as my family. At twenty I began to slowly clean myself up. I got a job and started slowly pulling out of my the gutter life of drugs and alcohol. I met an amazing (and patient) woman who would expedite the process of becoming an adult. She gave me three beautiful children.
In the two and a half years since my wife gave me beautiful twin boys I have grown more than I did the first twenty one years of my life. Finally, I had a feeling I lost at eight years old. I had a family. The abundance of love that now filled my life pushed out the anger and angst. I couldn’t hold onto so much love and anger at the same time so I let go.
My mother and I worked through some of our problems, I still didn’t speak to other family, and I watched my family grow. I was, healthy (getting Dad Bod) and growing as a human being.
I was happier than I had been in a long time. Maybe ever. My mother would nag me to reach out and talk to other family members, which I curtly replied, “This is the only family I have or care to have. I don’t need anyone else”
One of my biggest failures as a son was refusing to extend an olive branch to my siblings even though it was begged of me every phone call. It is something I regret daily. It shouldn’t take death to stop people from being so stubborn.
My aunt says my mother died of a broken heart. I can believe it. 217 days ago my mother was having medical conditions, was a few months removed from losing a daughter and in the midst of her two remaining children refusing to so much as have small talk. For all my mother’s shortcomings you could never question her enormous heart. She wanted her family to get over their issues and be a family again. Maybe the pressure of that not happening was too much.
On January 28th a heart attack took my mom suddenly from this world. Only weeks prior we had planned her first visit to meet her grandchildren. She was going to meet her newborn grandson and his twin brothers during the summer for the very first time. Instead, we flew to Colorado with a month old child and two boys who had no clue what was going on.
217 days and I begin to think about what is left of my family. A sad eight year old boy grieves on inside me, still trying to wrap his head around the loss. A sixteen year old comforts him with words of understanding and empathy as a nineteen year old sips harsh liquors trying to just forget, forget, forget. The father puts on a brave face for children too young to understand the sorrows of loss. He…I lie awake losing sleep to the beast of burden. With my pain compartmentalized enough to make it through the day I put a smile on my face as somedays I sadly just go through the motions.
My biggest failure as a son was not forgiving. My biggest failure as a father is not being able to let go of what haunts me.
Along with the general grief is a new monster I wrestle with. As I said, I think of my family. My wife and my kids. I try my hardest to add to that list a brother, a sister in law, a nephew, an aunt and two cousins. The coping mechanism of an abandoned child has trained me to only love those who are constants in your life. So I sit up at night worrying.
I worry about the four constants in my life. Diana, Killian, Nicolas, and Ezra. I worry about losing them. The same imagination able to create words from nothing shows me vicious images of having them torn from my life without warning. Just as sudden and surprising as my mother was taken.
Anxiety attacks overwhelm me when I can’t get in contact with my wife to see how the kids are or if she is on her way back from the store. I know how crazy and ridiculous it is.
I just don’t know how to get over it.
The thought of losing someone I love again terrifies me.
I don’t miss my mother anymore.
After 217 days, I miss myself.