Look Into My Eyes… What Do You See?

Look Into My Eyes… What Do You See?

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee


I have been wanting to put some photos side by side to see the change I know is there… the permanent change in my eyes.  It’s like ‘before’… ‘after’.


This is what life, loss of loved ones (many loved ones, the very people I loved most in life, nineteen people)…my only child, my son… Tommy, died…

loss of home/belongings/house fire, almost losing Skip in 2 wrecks  (both caused by women who hydroplaned … the other running a stop sign), battling cancer, Skip battling cancer… surviving congestive heart failure episode.


Anyway… those are a few things life has thrown at me… the others are too numerous, some too private to write here.  Life experiences… most people only experience very few of these things in their lifetime.


The purpose of this is to show how one’s face, eyes change… reflecting experiences in life… bad experiences.  I am an example… look, see the changes through time.  That’s ‘why’ people’s faces change so drastically through time.


The good thing about all of this is… though so many bad things have happened in my life since being a very young child… I am still a positive person.  I still believe in good things, I still believe in God, and I still know everything is going to be alright.


I have been fascinated by the change in my eyes… I wanted to share it with you.  I had to compare photos, especially as I just discovered the photo taken January 2011, a few months after Tommy died… I never knew it was taken… I didn’t know anything at that time… grief.


I put my finger beneath my eyes on each photo, so as to see ‘eyes only’… to look at the difference.  You might try it, also.


I know you have seen people change through the years, know things happened in their lives to forever change them.  I am an example of what life can do … when I began to come out of the darkness, I began looking for myself… chasing myself in the mirrors.


I didn’t recognize the woman I was seeing in my mirror.  How did I ‘get old’… ‘where did I go’?  I knew the only place to look for ‘me’ was in the mirror.  Now… I am older, and not only mourn the loss of Tommy… I mourn the loss … of my youth.


I wonder what do you ‘see’ when you look at my eyes?  I can’t believe the difference in my eyes… no matter how much I smile… they still ‘have that expression’… it used to be when I smiled, it would be in my eyes, they would sparkle with laughter.


I keep repeatedly coming back to the photo taken a few months after Tommy died… I don’t know ‘why’…..


January 2011… 6-7  months after death of my son, Tommy…


April-March 2013… 3 years almost since my son died.


Before most of my family I loved, died… before so many

bad things happened in my life… before life experiences began

to show on my face… in my eyes.

Damnation… Hellfire (I’m Not Apologizing… I’m Not)

The ‘tune you are singing now… will change into a whole other song’… into one you won’t recognize… because ‘you’ve never sung that song… before’.  By Gloria Faye Brown Bates


Damnation… Hellfire (I’m Not Apologizing… I’m Not)
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/Granny Gee

I was thinking that I wanted to mention again… what my blog is all about, has been since I began it, will always be… no matter what I write.

It’s about grief… pure grief, no sugar-coating. If I go through spells, feel it… I will write about it with no apologies. This blog is about remembering Tommy… no matter what else I write. I will always write my pain, sometimes, it will be in the form of anger or pure sadness that he is gone.

No one has to take it to heart, or take it personally… and no, I don’t need to seek help from anyone. I’m very aware of what I write, what I feel.

To those of you who have never lost a child, remember this… grief doesn’t just ‘stop’. It may ease off for a while, only to come back full-force. It may come back softly… no one can predict grief, nor can they predict the severity of it.

When I write about grief, I welcome you to come to ‘see’… without actually having to experience it in your life. Come quietly, read… and go on with your life. Love your children with your heart… I pray that you never lose one to know … personally what I write about.

See… reading about ‘my grief’… can make you treasure your children who are here, whom you love with your very heart. Leave my blog, and love your children… more… while you have your chance. My chance is… gone.

My son has died… he is here no more… my chance to love him more is ‘forever’ gone… yours, isn’t. Thankfully, I told my son I loved him always… that has been my only comfort through this time.

You may not do as well as I have… I haven’t done well at times… that’s true. I have made it this far… learning how it feels to lose my only child… I had nothing, no one to compare my grief to.

So, if you think I probably don’t ‘grieve right’… I wonder if you have ever experienced losing a child? If you have lost a child as I know a lot of people have since beginning my blog… I notice they understand what I go through.

I notice the ones who haven’t lost their child… are the ones who tell me ‘what I need to do’… be careful… because you never want to find out what one needs to do ‘after’ losing a child.

Sometimes… things happen back to others when they don’t understand… I know this for a fact. There have been times through the years I’ve not understood why people were the way they were… never knowing that one day … I would know, I would feel, I would hurt like they do.

‘Before’… I thought I had the answers…. ‘after’… I learned that I knew… nothing. Experiencing ‘real life’ gives one the answers… because you see, feel, know exactly what something means. When it’s painful… oh my God, you see, feel, know what ‘real pain’ is…

I make no apologies in my blog when I write about Tommy… I am going to remember my son… and if I hurt… I am going to write about it. I hope you will continue to come here quietly, read… follow me always. This will always be a blog about … grief.

No matter how happy I will be, I will always write about grief… no matter how happy I am. To my last dying breath … I will grieve for Tommy, I will grieve for my only child.

I am a very real person… I tell you just the way it ‘really is’. If some people don’t like it, I’m not apologizing… some of you have blogs I follow… I don’t judge you at all………… ‘I just know what your blog is all about’, and I accept that. If I like it, I come back… if I don’t, I won’t make comments to you… there’s no need to. Your life is… what it is.

I simply wait for a little time… come back again. ‘Who am I to judge you, judge the words you write’? I would never dream of it. When I feel your words touch something ‘deep down inside me’… I will comment to let you know.

If they touch me in a ‘negative way’… I simply go on until another time to come back to read. ‘Why?’ Because I sense you are going ‘through one of those times we all go through’. I can’t tell you how to feel, I can just … care.

You don’t even have to tell me anything… I don’t write to get sympathy, or for someone to say wonderful, kind things to me. I’m used to living real life, I face things ‘head-on’… I know life hurts just as well as it feels good. I love life as good as the next person… but, I know it isn’t always perfect.

I know I’m not the only person in this world who hurts, grieves, gets sad… but………. I am the only person who can write…….. about ‘what I, myself… feels. No one else can. I can only care about the pain you go through… but, I can’t write about your pain… I don’t ‘feel or know’ it.

My heart can only sense how bad it hurts… my eyes can fill with tears when I ‘feel’ it… I can only ‘say in words’ what ‘I think you might feel’. If you cut yourself… you bleed, I don’t ….. only you can ‘bleed for yourself’. If I bleed… you can offer me a tissue, but… you ‘can’t bleed for me’… either.

If you wonder if someone said something to prompt me into writing this… yes, there was one comment I read that bothered me. I’m not angry… I did think ‘who are you… to tell me such?’

Once in a while …someone will email me telling me that ‘they have never lost a child, but…….. they think I should do this, or …do that’. I read the comments, and I respect someone’s opinion… in the back of my mind I’m thinking … ‘you don’t know what you are saying, because there’s no way in … hell… you can possibly understand the grief a mother carries inside when she has lost her child’.

And…………………. ‘until you do….. it can happen to you, it really CAN happen to you, too ………… only then, will you go through what mothers go through when their child has died’. When that happens, come back to tell me how that feels… you think you know grief, but… until the child you brought into this world dies… only ‘then’… are you going to ‘know what it feels like’.

Every grieving mother I’ve come into contact with, since writing my blog… knows exactly what I’m writing here. Tell them what you told me… they might not be as kind as I’ve tried to be.

I wrote my book with the thoughts that ‘somehow, once I wrote, published it’……… I wouldn’t have to feel the pain of grief anymore.

Can you imagine my surprise when I found out… I am going to still feel grief, and I’m not going to know when it will happen?

It didn’t ‘go away’… silly me, I entertained the idea :))) that my grief would go away if ‘I put it all in a book’. Ha! Ha! The ‘last laugh is on me’…

This was a good time for it to happen… damnation… these are the Easter holidays… it is an ‘acceptable time to experience grief’… hellfire, it hurts that my son isn’t here. You’d miss your son, daughter too, if it were you.

Damnation, hellfire… yes, I said these words… I’m expressing my anger at a comment I received. When I write, I am not expecting anyone to say anything… there are people who really care, who read quietly… leave quietly. They want to ‘see, know’… what grief does to a mother… but, they don’t want it to touch their life.

That’s ‘why’ there are blogs, books… so, we can go ‘peek in just to see what things are like in another person’s life’… If one can judge without having ever experienced something… there are also, millions of books, blogs about things you’ve never experienced… don’t forget to judge them, too.

You will stay very busy… hopefully, nothing in your life ‘strikes you down’ to feel those things you know nothing about’…. the things that you so, easily judge in others. The ‘tune you are singing now… will change into a whole other song’… into one you won’t recognize… because ‘you’ve never sung that song… before’.

I ‘know’… I’ve been there in my ‘so smart, young life when I was so invincible, full of arrogance, and thought I knew it all’. Sadly, some of us never learn even when we get older… because they never experience but, maybe ‘one of the things’ in their life that I’ve experienced so much of, in my life.

That’s probably ‘why’ I’m a very compassionate person who cares so much with her heart. I can cry for you, too… I know pain only too well, so… I know how it feels… it does hurt. I’m not mad… anymore.

Damnation, hellfire… I’m not apologizing… I’m not.