Tuesday, December 10, 2013
What differences do I see having been on "the journey" for a long time, compared to early days? In all honesty, sometimes I feel, "What's the use?" when writing about how it will "get better"... Because I never would have believed it, had someone told me the very same thing! I am the ultimate stubborn person when it comes to what I believe and what I do not believe. And moving forward after bereavement, even if many years after, was NOT something I could ever believe would really happen to me. But it did happen! And yes, I was bereaved early (aged 28)... but everyone's on their own timetable-- and maybe you will be one to speed race toward healing! It IS possible!
Although a Christian, during that early period of mourning, I was Christian in name only. I BELIEVED what my Faith taught me...I just didn't FEEL it until much later. That depth of feeling my deep faith convictions, is definitely a huge difference for me.
I felt adrift during that early time, drowning in sorrow (you all know the feeling)... I was nearly down for the count-- after refusing to forgive myself-- for failing to be a 100% perfect Mom. I realized I had to stop being so stubborn and forgive myself… because GOD had already forgiven me! Who was I to contradict what God had said was forgiven! Didn't I already forgive the man who had taken my family out with one careless non-stopping at that highway intersection? Why could or should I not forgive myself for not being 100 percent perfect as a Mom? Allowing myself to be forgiven BY ME!…was a MAJOR turning point in my emotional recovery after bereavement.
The woulda coulda shoulda's are MUCH easier to bear, when looking at them in the light that "Hey, I am NOT 100% perfect! Not even all the angels in Heaven could stop themselves from falling!"
After awhile, the "triggers" decreased in their ability to bring me to my knees. And in later years, I realized I was facing a choice, when confronted by triggers and their lack of causing me severe pain. It was now NOT a knee-jerk reaction!
The first few times typical triggers didn't "fire"--I felt some surprise…and then that familiar "guilt"… I figured I was either becoming much more desensitized …or healing! But it was a definite CHOICE…not to go back to the familiar suffering when that "crossroad" materialized, along my journey. I realized that my lack of severe pain... had nothing to do with my love for them.
Initially, it is NOT an easy choice to make...to essentially focus on gratitude for what I HAD (and then later would cement in my mind what I HAVE) rather than (the very valid, yes)-- old and familiar-- severe suffering.
Society has strict rules and regulations about just how far bereaved Mothers can progress in their recovery!I have had to tell many people that it was alright to continue talking to me about my loss. That I won't fall apart. That now, I have gratitude for having the privilege of co-shepherding my little lambs. And that I am CONFIDENT that we will be together for eternity!
Another huge difference between then and now…is in intensity. Like with a beloved "First Love"... with my "First Loss", there was an incredible focus only on my children. EVERYTHING pointed, related, affected/didn't affect me ...only in regard to my children. My entire world--24-7--revolved around my loss of them; every thought, word and deed, was seen in the light of how it related to my children.
BUT now in later years, it's similar to a love that's borne the test of time…We are gentle with one another. We have an "understanding" that we didn't have before, between us. They KNOW without me having to tell them. We are in sync with one another now. I have confidence that they will always love me and never leave me. The "little" things, don't bug me at all anymore. I often wonder how I could have reacted so strongly! I don't sweat the small stuff in regard to them. Just as I know them much better-- with an increased, mature perspective and understanding-- I believe they similarly know me! The questions of early love/loss are gone. We have grown and matured in our love for one another.
The emotional intensity and "theatrics" of early loss may have greatly diminished... but the LOVE is even greater than before! They love me more, too! They are surrounded 24-7 with the Creator of Love Himself. Who then could be a greater teacher, about Love and forgiveness?!
Even though you may not believe a word that I have written-- newly bereaved Moms especially-- please try not to give up HOPE that you will regain a sense of balance again! That your life can be full of joy again. That the numbness to all but pain, won't last forever! Things fed will grow…SO…PLEASE do not feed the enemy of your soul that wishes to destroy all your hope.
I believe we must at least be "open", to the possibility that life CAN be good again. Because that early focus on our child's physical death, and the long time it takes to just acknowledge the truth of that…is NOT where it ends! THEY ARE ALIVE! They are MORE than alive…They are vibrantly living--RESTORED--in a place that God Himself calls Home…A place definitely worth waiting to enter into, for our own, joyous Homecoming Reunion!
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