I do not grieve my son outwardly most of the time. Not even inwardly to myself.
Most days I’m okay with (In the sense that I’m used to it, now.) my son-less world. But the wishing it could be different hangs on.
Having a child comes with a lot of unimagined future promises. I’m still closing those doors. I find more open doors as I move along in my life. Some reopen and need to be locked shut all over again.
At first it was things like, ‘He won’t be here to love and love back.’ ‘How do I give him the gift I want to for his birthday?’ ‘What would he have thought about this, that, or the other thing?’ ‘Would he have enjoyed computer games as much as I think he would have?’
Then it shifted to things like, ‘How do I get to see him all grown-up and accomplished?’ ‘Where can the un-acquired daughter-in-law and grandkids come from?’ ‘Who will help take care of me when I’m too old to care for myself.’
What would his kids have looked like? Would any of them be like me? What kind of fun would we have had together? Would I have lived long enough to see great grandkids? Would I have gotten cancer had I not been through the trauma of his death? And with that better life could I have done more for others and myself?
I could go on for hours if I let myself. Which I don’t often do. It is not productive.
Mostly I only just let myself think of these things in short bursts. Like when I go and look at the tree he planted so long ago, when someone asks if I want grandkids, or if I have any grown kids.
I don’t reopen the scars or pick at the scabs. I don’t want the possible infection of heart ache or anger that often come with such activities. I don’t want my judgments clouded with such things. I chose the better thou harder course the day he died.
I decided to deal with it. Grow from it. Move on after it. Manage it. Incorporate it. Take it with me, but not let it burden me.
I am a mother who has a dead child. But like I was before he died, I am also so much more.