PERPETUAL GRIEF… NEVER-ENDING
BY GLORIA FAYE BROWN BATES/aka GRANNY GEE
(I wrote this on May 24, 2012 … my son died on May 29, 2010…. May is a sad month for me, not only for his death… also, for what happened to him one year before his death on May 19, 2009….. a man stepped out in front of his tractor-trailer, was killed… my son, Tommy ‘died’ that day, it changed the rest of his life… he only had one year to live after that… no one knew… he had 2 blockages. He was 40 years old, so big, handsome… healthy. No one knew… no one knew….)
Thank-God, I am finally home. I walked through the door so thankful to be home. Today… I’m not ‘myself’… I’m just… not myself at all.
I saw ‘me’ when I looked at my reflection as I walked by a mirror in the store. Oh my God… I shouldn’t have even stepped out my door to even let the many birds, squirrels around here see ‘me’ … today.
I looked at my eyes in the rearview mirror several times on my drive home… my eyes ‘don’t feel good at all’ today. They feel swollen, sore and so, so… bad.
They’ve cried alot lately… the mirror told on me. I’m sure that’s ‘why’ people looked at me when I was out in public today… they sure were kind to this soul… today. They will never know just how much it meant to me.
They must have sensed I needed comfort … even though I was smiling and talking to them while standing in line. I even let several ‘older’ people get in front of me (there wasn’t anyone behind me).
My heart felt good doing that… when I show kindness I feel so much better. I really ‘need to show alot of kindness right now… to feel better’.
My very soul, heart… ‘me’… hurts so much at this time. I don’t remember May of last year when I try to think about it… I do remember this month of May. This past week has been the worst for me.
It seems ‘I’m not out of the woods yet’… I hoped to feel better this morning when I got up. I didn’t… I feel like I’m still groggy from sleeping.
I came home just now… I looked in my mirror and this is what I saw to make me want to get ‘me’ home as soon as possible.
I saw an ‘older’ woman standing in the mirror. I leaned closer so I could see better… ‘look at her eyes… oh my God… look at the pain in them’.
I saw ‘my eyes’ look back at me… they are so red from the storm brewing behind them… more soaking tears are yet to come. I walk around … I’m a ‘storm about to happen’ often… raining so hard soaking the earth’.
I’m not a scary, bad storm… I’m like a spring storm about to ‘rain any moment’… often, for ‘the time being’.
My head hurts, my eyes hurt… my head feels balmy… I feel sleepy from crying so much. My body aches moreso, I’m… depressed. I can’t believe I admit this… I’m depressed … but, don’t worry… I’m alright. I can be depressed ‘in a good way’.
I just felt… ‘I’m too tired now to cry anymore’…. yet, the tears roll down my face. They are ‘Tommy tears’… I miss my child. It’s as simple as that… it’s not simple at all… my feelings are very complex.
I feel ‘mad’ that he’s gone… shouldn’t I have felt that long ago… and not feel that emotion now? I have no way of knowing… I have to learn on my own.
I’m a grieving mother who is learning on her own how to grieve… I’ve done it naturally… long and … hard. I have no idea ‘how long’ grief is supposed to last.
I’ve been grieving for so many loved ones since 1998… not only that… I grieved for the loss of ‘myself’ as I was before the surgeries to save my life. I also, grieved over Skip who almost died from his life-threatening illness, surgery.
I’ve grieved for the loss of all of ‘our things’ accumulated over the years … lost in the housefire. We almost lost our lives, our Pups’ lives in it… we ran so hard to save them.. and got all 4 outside into my Expedition … just in time. Skip ran back inside to get his wallet… only to almost get trapped inside the burning house. He suffered burns.
I’ve grieved for the three accidents that almost took Skip’s life … only a few weeks apart. During that time I even wondered…. ‘is Death out to get Skip’!?
Both were horrible accidents… one in a tractor-trailer in Moriarity, New Mexico (two girls hydroplaned in a small Toyota hitting Skip’s steering tire…. sending him across the median, two lanes of oncoming traffic on I-40 West… to land out on the desert floor…. ironically taking down a Shoney’s billboard on the ‘sail in the air’ before landing).
The second accident happened when he was on his way to the … physical therapist (ironic, isn’t it?) where he had to go because of the …. first accident! The police were chasing a bank robber who ran the light in front of Skip! They almost hit Skip… he stopped in barely enough time in… shock…. not believing what had just happened.. again.
The third accident happened maybe a couple of months later. That evening he took my mother’s husband back home… he’d come over to help work on the well pump.
Skip took him home in the beautiful red pickup he’d just finished paying for…. they didn’t make it….
A woman ran the stopsign at the crossroad near where we lived…. she never stopped, broadsiding Skip’s pickup and hitting another car sitting at the stop sign across from where she’d come. Her van flipped and was upside down in the highway….
Skip called me to tell me …. and I went into another shock… I couldn’t believe it… the third time?!!!
Grief… nineteen family members…precious pets, the events in our life, the life-threatening illness/surgeries .. the shocks of so many things that have happened through those few years.
I wonder how many shocks just the ‘average person’ gets in their whole life? I wonder how many loved ones do they lose in a ‘lifetime’? I wonder how many couples almost die, just a short time apart… with cancer? I wonder how many people lose all in a housefire? I wonder how many wrecks they are in… I wonder how many times they almost… die? I wonder how many people live to see their child …die?
I don’t know as I have never known any one person who has experienced ‘all of these things… plus, many more I haven’t mentioned yet’….. I’ve known no one to have ever experienced ‘all of these things in their lifetime’…. excepting me… Skip and I.
I’ve learned the hard way by feeling ‘how it feels’, knowing how it feels to grieve…. only I’ve been grieving since … 1998. I’m ‘grief walking’ in front of you…. I’m old enough ‘now’… that it shows on me, on my face… I can’t hide it anymore…. though I keep on smiling.
It’s taken my youth away… it’s made my hair whiter… I even see some little fine lines beginning on my face. I’m like an ocean-going vessel riding up and down on the sea… I’ve faced many storms and now, they’ve taken their toll on me…. I ‘see’ it… I’m saddened.
I used to like looking pretty… I used to love my mirrors…………………… ‘now’… only once in a great while ‘do I ‘see’ myself’ …again. When I do… I am so happy ‘to see me’…. I’m my ‘own lost friend’!
I’ve thought about losing, grieving for my youth… I’ve thought about how so much has happened in my life to steal it from me. I’m thinking I’ve learned alot the hard way, on my own…. I never knew anyone else to suffer the things I have.
I am going to tell you what I’ve learned through the years of being in perpetual grief…. it will take a long time to tell you… so, as time goes by… ‘you will see and you will know’… maybe some of you have already read, seen some of what has touched my life… what it has taught me, what it is teaching me… what I have left to learn.
BY GLORIA FAYE BROWN BATES/aka GRANNY GEE
When I begin to feel better, sigh with relief
I’m back in the spin of … never-ending perpetual grief
I can’t seem to be free of pain through all these years
I have learned my best friends are grief and tears
I’ve always been told to choose my friends with care
watch out for ‘bad’ people, just beware
Never did I hear of the ‘friends’ that chose me
Perpetual grief, tears that won’t let me be
Perpetual grief, tears that dominate my life
while I keep trying to be a good person, a good wife
They threaten to overwhelm me, pull me down
I get up, dust my pants as I … look around
Life… I will meet you ‘head-on’, you’ve hurt me so much
I still love you, I’m positive too, happy colors and … such!
Perpetual grief… and tears… I will know always
I’m going to be alright, I mean to for the rest of my … days