I read recently how when you dread days ahead knowing they will be hard, we actually make it worse. I thought long and hard about that statement and realized it was spot on!!! As I noted in previous posts, this happened over the holidays!! I kept telling myself to brace myself for those holidays knowing they would be sorrowful, I guaranteed they would be by doing so.
I have another date coming up that I am anticipating a similar reaction to… my son’s birthday. He would be 26 this February. The picture of him is forever 24 in my mind. He won’t age any more than that, but I still have visions of him as a small child. Those are the images that grab my heart and has me even sadder (if that is even possible!). Looking ahead to this day is truly building up the anxieties. I want to celebrate the day that I had my son, the blessings he gave me in those 24 years, and all the memories he left me with. Knowing I am going to spend the day reliving his life makes me realize again that memories are all I have left. I think I dread that realization the most!
How to avoid this anxiety may be a challenge. Let’s talk it out. What I have read after the initial article is to live in the moment you are in. My son is constantly on my mind anyway. I don’t want to tune him out and pretend the future isn’t going to happen. So, I will live in the moment that is constantly on my mind anyway. I’m still afraid if I don’t try and brace myself, it will be like a freight train the day of. Am I convincing myself that this is a no win situation? I will do my best to hold my head up and persevere. It is all I can do, live each day as it comes. I have also come to realize that shedding tears and being sad is not a sign of weakness and is just part of the ongoing process. I would like to meet one parent who lost a child and does not mourn on those occasions when their child would be the center of attention otherwise (ie: birthdays, holidays, graduations, etc). These occasions highlight the void even more, and that is ok. I would be more concerned should those days come and go as if it were just another day on a calendar.
When one of my son’s friends get married, I will be sad thinking I will never get to witness his wedding. Same thing with the birth of a child, his friends turning a milestone age like 30! These moments, even though my son would not have been the center of attention as on his birthday and such, are still a reminder of all the things he will not get to do and I won’t get to witness. I have to anticipate those hitting me harder than expected. Again, if I don’t anticipate them, I am afraid of my reaction when the realization does hit. I don’t want a freight-train realization. I feel I will be more prepared for my reaction if I think about it ahead of time. Maybe this is another self-diagnosed OCD aversion I have. I do like to be organized.
So what I have just talked myself out of is dreading these days. I will look forward to these days because of the emotions involved. I want to feel the presence of him. I may be living a “ground hogs’ day” and that is ok too. I don’t want to “NOT” think about him. If I dread the days, it implies I don’t want to think about the day. Far from it!! As stated, I think about him every day. I need to turn this dread into a positive. I get to think about him, talk about him, and enjoy those memories with all my family and friends. I am hoping they are looking forward to celebrating the fact we have those memories as well.
February 10th is going to happen every year. I want to celebrate that day. It will be a day of reminiscing about my son and all the wild stories he left us with. It will also be a day of tears. No way to avoid it and that is ok. I will not over-anticipate my sadness because those days bring memories to the forefront and allow me to bring him up in conversations with reason (as if I needed a reason most days). Again, I smile because he was here. I cry because he is gone.
#cantbeavoided #celebratethelife #hewouldbepartyingtoo