These thoughts are a reply written this past week to a blog, I Fall to Pieces. The concern was raised that if you lose an only child, are you still a mother. The following is my response.
I believe we are and will always be Moms even though we have lost our only children. Our children will always live in our hearts and memories. Although our sons (and daughters) do not exist physically, they exist in another dimension spiritually. As we continue to love them, they continue to love us as well and watch over us.
Grief is multi-faceted with so many things to sort out especially in early days. I lost my husband and son within six weeks of each other. I regret that I did not spend more time with Chris instead of so much time with his father in the nursing home. I can't go back and change that. I have to take limited comfort in thinking I did what I thought was best at the time. I knew my husband's time was limited. Little did I know Chris' time was as well. None of us can see into the future. We are human and by nature imperfect beings.
I have learned what circles round and round in our heads matters very little to our children once they have passed over. They are bathed in peace and in God's love and continued love for us. Of course, we would rather have them with us, but it cannot be. One day when it is our time, we will be re-united. I try to hold onto this and try ways to honor Chris' life.
It takes much work and soul searching and time to get through this. It is the hardest battle of our lives. It does things to our heads and hearts. There will always be challenges. Recently, I had some health issue and concerns my cancer had returned. I honestly had to question myself if I would seek treatment or refuse it so I could re-join Chris and Fred. I still have not been able to answer that. I am not really sure what is actually wrong with me or if there is a right or wrong thing to do for me and for those who care about me. Grief messes with your head.
You can move through this journey, and as I saw on Facebook, the pain gets softer, but never goes away entirely. For me, it has helped to work with a grief counselor, memorialize Chris in my own way and to try to interface with other parents. We can pull each other along.
It has been 14 years though it seems like yesterday. I still have times of anger and non-acceptance, but I am able to function and find some satisfaction in life. I have supportive family and friends with whom I share many memories and the love of Chris and Fred. Maybe this is as good as it will get and I can live with that. As we have learned, life does not turn out as we planned.
My thoughts and prayers are with you on Mother's Day. I will be with friends who have become my surrogate children and grandchildren. I think we should spend the day doing what WE want and not fulfilling someone else's expectations. I pray for peace, wisdom and strength for all of us.