Nothing compares to the grief a mother feels when her child dies … it changes her forever. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
My Son … Tommy holding his newborn son.
This weekend is once again … Memorial Day weekend. It makes one more year since my son died. He died on May 29, 2010 while running, playing on the beach with his little 3 year old son. No one knew he was sick.
Tommy collapsed on the soft, damp sand. It was on a Saturday evening at Myrtle Beach. He and his family arrived not long before he took his son down to the ocean while all the others were unpacking to stay for a week on vacation. He made the trip to the beach … just in time to do what he wanted.
Tommy wanted to play with his little son at the beach … he died doing what he meant to do. He made it in time … just before he went on his final journey in life.
I would be fibbing if I said I haven’t been sad … felt overwhelming grief, pain well up inside me. No matter how positive I grieve … it still hurts. This is year …. 6. Six years … since my son died.
My memory of my son is still just as vivid as … yesterday. I can still see his face, hear his voice in my mind, hear his laugh. I will never forget my son … I will always remember him just as I am doing by writing about him. I loved Tommy with my very Heart. He was a good son.
I don’t cry now, like I used to. Grief does hit me at unexpected times … I do cry. It doesn’t take as long to get back all right. I’ve accepted I can’t change a thing … I can’t bring Tommy back. When I think of him … it’s with a deep, quiet sadness. I really miss him.
I write about Tommy to remember him. He was a wonderful person … full of laughter, jokes, pranks. He had a twinkle in his kind eyes … his smile full of sunshine. He had a soft-spoken voice. He loved me, Skip … and our Pups very much. We were all very close.
Tommy loved dragonflys … at times, I make dragonflys with gold wire, beads and leave them in public places for someone to find … in memory of him. Someone finds a treasure … and I keep Tommy’s memory alive.
Memorial Day weekend is almost upon us … I pray that your sons, daughters and their families go on their vacations safely … come home safely. When my son called to say they made it safely to Myrtle Beach in all the traffic … I took a sigh of relief … only to get that dreaded phone call a short time later from a stranger.
I was the first one to know my son died … I was 200 miles away. A stranger picked Tommy’s phone up from the sand … dialed the last number dialed … I answered the phone. I heard the stranger say, “ma’am, I have a man collapsed here on the sand … he isn’t breathing”. For over 3 years … this grieving mother died inside.
Looking back … I can’t remember well that time … in my mind I see such darkness, and feel the ‘I don’t want to remember’ feeling. I don’t force myself. When I do … it takes days to get over the grief that wells up in me.
This was the worst thing to happen to me in my life. I’ve experienced many ‘bad’ things, including being a cancer survivor. Nothing compares to a mother’s grief.
Note by this Author:
I write to remember my son, Tommy. He was 40 years old when he died. He had 3 blockages to his heart … no one knew.
I don’t think it’s meant for parents to outlive their children. Like you, I knew my son would be there as I grew older. It gave me comfort.
Photo, true story by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter.