Trapped Birds Beating Their Wings Against The Bars, Trying To Escape…..




The top photo was taken just a short time… before he died that evening on May 29, 2010, Saturday… just after they arrived at Myrtle Beach.  I wonder if you can see anything about that photo to give you a clue that he was going to die that same evening, after the photo was taken?


The bottom photo is of Tommy when he was getting to visit McKenzie, his little daughter.  We all met at a McDonald’s that day.  The more Tommy’s daughter smiled, the brighter Tommy smiled.  Can’t you see how his smile competed with the sunshine that day?


I have these two photos sitting on top of my Tommy’s Chest… these are the two photos I wrote about …… below.  I miss my son very much… I remember how real he was, how so much of a special person he was… I remember my son … I’ll never forget him.  



Trapped Birds Beating Their Wings Against the Bars, Trying To Escape


By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee




Yesterday I spent hours proof-reading my book… When She’s Good … She’s Good.  I am learning the hard way how to self-publish a book … I am determined to follow it through.  


I want to make it a series about Victoria Fairchild.  I don’t want to try to sound like I’m doing anything so great… because, I am just an everyday person trying to get my book in print.  Once I do it, I’ll do it again.  :)))  I’m going to also, get a book in print about my life.  


It’s just a matter of time… when I mean to do something, I make it happen.  It’s the first time since Tommy died… that I’ve meant to do ‘something.’  I just haven’t cared in so long … about doing a lot of anything, truthfully.


When I lost Tommy, I lost so much of ‘myself’.  I still grieve, I still go into depressions though… I don’t talk about them.  I pretend to be alright… when I’m not.  


It’s easy to sound so happy, convincing … when I just close my mind to the grief… while ‘going through the motions’ of being all right.


One has to ‘play the game’ so, they don’t hurt, depress anyone else.  I would never want to do that at all.  When I am to myself, I can quit smiling, quit being so ‘wonderfully happy’….  if I want to cry, then… I damn well will.  Yes… I said ‘damn’ … I told you that I do say that word … sometimes.  


I have pretended to be ‘sick’, when what is actually happening is I’m going through a period of grief that is so overwhelming… being ‘sick’ can disguise it, I don’t have to explain to anybody.  It’s easier that way… I don’t have to say a word about it.  I’m just ‘coming down with something’.


Being a grieving mother… well, being ‘this grieving mother’… I’m constantly grieving… it never leaves me.  I walk into my art room, or into Skip’s study … there are photos of Tommy sitting around.  I find myself trying to look away.  Why?  It really hurts so bad.  I’m afraid of the pain taking me on a ride that ‘last forever.’


I’m afraid of the darkness, I don’t want Skip to see me like that, he has enough to worry him.  I don’t want him to think ‘oh no, it’s happening again, and I have to worry’.  


It’s … hard to come out of the darkness of grief… it’s scary, I get panicky, and ‘the birds that are trapped’ sensation is in my stomach… their ‘wings fluttering fast, beating against the bars of the cage to try to escape’.  I feel it ‘just a little’ at this moment.  I can’t hardly bear that feeling.  


Death … death scares me.  Tommy’s death has forever affected me in many ways.  I can’t get over it, I can pretend only for so long.  I can agree with everyone when they say ‘comforting’ things … but, deep down inside, it doesn’t change what I am feeling ‘inside’.


I ‘know’ all the good things I’m supposed to do, to feel… I know everything is going to be all right.  I know so, many things I can tell myself to ‘make me feel better’.  


Sometimes … I am saying ‘sometimes’…. there are times …. when ‘none of all those good things matter’.. there are times when one’s feelings are ‘stripped down to the naked wires’… like stripping down to the naked wires on an electrical cord.  It’s pure, raw …. grief.  Nothing helps when that happens… oh, how my head aches at this very moment.


I have two photos that sit on Tommy’s Chest … one of when we met McKenzie and her mother at a McDonald’s some years ago.  He was smiling like the sunshine… he was so happy to see his daughter.  When she smiled at him, his smile became brighter… in fact, it was brighter than the sun that particular day.


The second photo is of him taken … just a short time that evening ‘before’ he died.  I look at it all the time… I can’t see anything in the photo to give me a clue that he was going to die in just a few hours.  He was driving when it was taken.  


I look at it, I try not to look at it… I look at it, I try not to look at it.  I feel pain, I feel anger when I look at it.  I feel that panicky feeling like the trapped birds trying to escape the cage… when I look at it.  I feel it again as, I write about it.  


I was thinking just now… here I sit, trying to share with you feelings again of this grieving mother.  It is happening again at this very moment.  I told you that I would try to tell you honestly how it feels.  I came here to my keyboard to share it with you.  I wonder if you can possibly feel it … reading my words.  


At this very moment, my stomach feels sick … my head has begun to hurt, my eyes burn.  I’m going to have to get up, move around some… because sometimes… the pain’s so great that I can’t be still.


Do you see how I began to write one thing … and it didn’t take long for me to begin writing about Tommy?  That’s just how it is … the grief is never any ‘farther away than that’.  In this case… grief wasn’t any farther away than ‘just a few typed words’.


My stomach has that feeling, I wish it would go away.  That panicky sensation of ‘trapped birds in a cage trying to beat their wings against the bars… to escape’.  It feels … scary, and I have to take deep breaths.


I’m trying to open the door of that cage… to let the birds fly… free.  The trapped birds that are trying to beat their wings against the bars to escape.


16 thoughts on “Trapped Birds Beating Their Wings Against The Bars, Trying To Escape…..

  1. I know what you mean Gloria.

    When Hanne died so far away I couldn’t let go of the fact she was gone.

    We were to be married in Denmark and I was going to start a whole new life away from my suffering and past.

    Then we got the phone call… 😦

    Even today I look at her photographs and wonder…

    Love and hugs.


    • Chris, you feel right. It’s always there no matter how happy I am. It’s not a bad thing … it’s just … sad. :))) Does that make sense. It was nice to see your comment. Gloria/Granny Gee :)))

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