I Haven’t Forgotten How It Feels To Be a Mother …
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter
My Son, Tommy and I … I was so proud of him. He was my only child whom I loved with my very Heart. I’m fortunate to have my photos of him … and all the others. They survived a house fire … in a big suitcase soaked with water from the firemen’s hoses. I treasure them. A lot of photos … I put in a rose box … gave them to my grandson’s mother for him one day … when Tommy died. If something happened … I wanted him to have them.
Well … yesterday was a big surprise to me. I got up not knowing that it was going to be a day of grief for me. It was exactly what it was. I began to grieve for my Son, Tommy. It’ll soon be Christmas … he won’t be coming home.
I still haven’t forgotten how it feels to have … my son and his family … come home on holidays. I haven’t forgotten the warm feeling of love … happiness whenever my son came home. I can’t forget that just as one can’t forget how it feels to come in from the cold … stand in front of the fireplace. Safe, cozy, warm … happy … everything is going to be all right. My world changed when my son died.
I learned to accept that every holiday Tommy won’t be coming home ever again. I accept I’m going to always see him in my memories … and I want to. I can’t forget having my own child for forty years. My only child.
Visions play in my mind like videos … I can see Tommy smiling as he opened presents from us. I can feel his hug and hear his soft voice say, “I love you, Mama.” Or when eating special holiday foods … ‘That’s good, Mama!”
Yesterday morning the pouring down rain triggered this bout of grief … and looking outside at the gloomy day. Skip had just left for several days … so, it was just me and The Pups. Grief settled on me like a soft blanket of darkness. I just couldn’t shake it off.
I felt the same old sensation of trapped birds in a bird cage … wings beating against the bars … wanting desperately to get out, fly away. This is something that has happened many times since Tommy died.
I become afraid … I have to be careful when thinking too much … death … my child … gone forever. I begin to become panicky … I have to help myself be all right. I do it by writing … I have no other outlet … I sure don’t discuss it with anyone by talking about it. I can only write about it.
I couldn’t get away from myself. So, all yesterday I coped with it by writing … and I even went to bed to sleep myself away from it.
When I feel grief … I feel like Death is close by. Really, if one thinks about it … it is. Why do you grieve? In my case, I grieve over all my many, many loved ones who are gone (most, prematurely) … and my Son. Death. Grief … Death.
If you knew the circumstances of each death … and the people I loved with my very Heart … you would understand why I grieve.
Nothing is normal … everyday like probably in … your world. I grieve because of … how … my loved ones died. I don’t talk about them … that pain remains inside me. It hurts more than my words can say. My son’s death hurts much more than I can possibly say.
No matter how much I write the pain … it’s always there. I can’t write it away. It hurts but, I’m all right. I just don’t run from thinking about it …
Do you think I sound morbid? I promise you I’m not at all. It’s just how I think about things. I face things head-on. I face reality … I don’t stick my head into the ground.
I should be a mean, cold, bitter, angry ‘old’ woman. I am completely the opposite. I am a most positive person … I still believe in good … I know no matter what … no matter how bad … things do get better. They do get all right.
Grief is ugly … as ugly emotion as you’ll ever feel. There’s nothing pretty about grief. Your face reflects such pain … your eyes deepen with that pain. Do you ever look into people’s eyes? Do you see the difference in people who have been through a lot … almost dying, losing a loved one, suffered a trauma?
If you really take a moment to really see … you can tell the difference … people who go through bad things … recognize it in another when they meet them. Their eyes tell it all.
In fact, if the shock, trauma has been recent … you’ll see deep emotion … their eyes will instantly tear up if talking about what happened in their life. I recognize it all the time. I know what it feels like to suffer many things the average person hasn’t.
I’ve walked many journeys in my life … no two alike. Many … bad … things. I’ve felt that emotion all the way to my very soul after I almost died several times in my life.
I’ve felt how thankful I was to still be living … after surviving cancer, congestive heart failure, and several other things. I couldn’t talk about them … I would instantly choke up … tears filling my eyes. Powerful emotion would fill my Heart.
I will say this … you have to help yourself when you come through bad things … you have to get your ass up off the ground, ‘dust them britches’ off … meet life head-on again. There are no ‘ifs … ands’ … you either do it … or lay there. Don’t you ever, ever give up. Oh … this is so much easier than said.
I know things get really bad enough to want to die, sometimes … I know that very well. As soon as you are aware of that … open your eyes full of tears, your Heart filled with such pain … fight like Hell … bring yourself out of it. Sure, you’ll fall back into darkness … so many times I did, I couldn’t see my way out … don’t give up.
You just have to keep taking baby steps. Who am I to preach … I failed miserably for the first 3 years and even into last year … and at times this year (the 5th year) when Tommy died. The good thing is now … I can look back … oh my … I have come so far. When I thought I had given up … something happened to bring me back. Even I am amazed I have ‘come back’ from losing my only child.
You know I have kept my promise to write about grief when it happens just exactly as it happens … I think sometimes, my new readers don’t know that, become alarmed … and want me to be all right. I would like to tell them that this is what I write about … grief, pain in my life.
It doesn’t mean I’m some poor soul lost out in the darkness floundering around. I’m on stable ground … I have coped with my grief. It’s at times, grief comes back … unexpectedly. I write about that just as I promised. I always will write about grief, pain. It is what I know best in my life. Grief never goes away.
If you notice … I’ve lost over twenty family members I loved with my very Heart … but, I write about my son, my only child all the time. I haven’t even written at all about all the grief in my Heart … because my own flesh and blood … my own child … died.
Losing my only child … is worse than anything I know or have ever experienced. The grief is so much … that was all I could think about when I lost him.
To my new friends, readers, followers … just know I am fine. This is what I write about, share with everyone. If grief, pain … death upsets you … you might not want to read what I write. When I write … I face up to the same fears you may have … I meet them head-on. You may not want to do that … I understand. It’s scary … sometimes, too scary … uncomfortable.
I study them in my mind … find different ways to think about things. I’m always looking for something to learn to understand ‘the whys?’ … in my Life.
I will write forever because I can’t write the grief away. I can try, and I can share what I experience … what I try to learn through time. Maybe it could help someone … maybe not.
Maybe my words can connect with others who might need them. I’ll never know unless someone tells me. At least … if you are interested in real life, real thoughts … feelings … you can be entertained. I do share good, funny, happy things … also. I try to find good in everything … even if it’s bad … and … impossible.
Yes, I’m afraid … I cry … I fall down … I get right back up no matter how bad it hurts, or how scared I am. I will until the day I … die. If you’ve read me long enough to know about my Grandma Alma … you will see I have my Grandma Alma’s fighting spirit.
I have a Gloria Fighting Spirit … and though I do … I still haven’t forgotten how it feels to be a mother.
Note by this Author:
Story/Photos both owned, written by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee. All I have written are true thoughts, feelings that I think … have.