Labor Day

The “first” holiday I faced a year ago…

Everybody handles death a little different. Those who have not had a strong faith base do not know what to think. They believe in angels and that is ok. They believe their loved one has gone to heaven to wait for them and that is ok. What they don’t know is why and that haunts them. They are sad because their loved one has left this Earth. What I wish for those individuals is that they find joy in the fact they were ever here on Earth! This is where my faith jumps in full-force. We are all temporary for this Earth. I have a vision in my head and they are happy, healthy, and without pain. They have joined other loved ones and that gives me peace.

I know several families who have lost a child. One family was able to pass a bill in the State of Illinois dictating how colleges and universities respond to students who come for counseling for depression! Their son committed suicide after speaking to counselors and the school could not inform the parents because he was over 18. Big kudos to that family for trying to prevent this outcome for other parents.

Another family started a foundation in their child’s name and does pro-bono legal work for military families! Those receiving families see miracles happen in the name of love.

Me, I write! This started with my poems on Facebook. Then I had posted my growth and epiphanies along this journey over the past year and, I must say, it has been therapeutic! For me, anyway.

This is the second time for the first holiday. Labor Day weekend this time last year was a blur. I had went back to work, although I was in a fog still. I needed to be busy. Everyone was starting to go back to their “normal” lives. My life would never be the same. I was still sitting up at night waiting for the garage door to open. I hadn’t been to his room much, but I knew it was coming. It had to. The smell of his work clothes had started spreading. I actually was looking forward to doing his laundry this time and sad at the same time. It would be the last time…

I have come a long way in this year. I still want to yell at him from the top of the stairs. I can. It won’t hurt. I want to yell at him to turn down his music, or to turn the tv off, or to get his ass out of bed. I want it to seem normal again. If he were here next to me, he’d make fun of me. I am ok with that. That would be another normal for me.

Find the joy! Spread the love! Remember the sounds. Enjoy the memories.

Everyday bucket list…

My EVERYDAY Bucket List:
*Be honest!
*Be kind.
*Do what is right, not what is easiest.
*Treat everyone the way you wish you were treated, not how you think you are treated.
*If it is not yours, don’t take it, abuse it, or sell it.
*Throw away your trash and keep things clean. Soap and water are not that expensive.
*Do things today. Time is not always a given.
*Work to live, don’t live to work but do your best at both.
*Tell someone you love them.
*Find a positive in every day.
*Don’t argue with someone when leaving the conversation is an option.
*Don’t force someone to love you. Love is the easy part. Hating is what takes too much of our energy.
*Don’t spread gossip. If you were not there, you do NOT have ALL the facts!
*Enjoy life. Do what makes you happy!

The start of the dash in the middle…

The dash in the middle…

Losing a child is the hardest thing I have done so far in my 50+ years. I cannot imagine anything harder! Having lost several siblings at “not-so-old” ages, it kind of prepared me to be accepting of things we cannot change. Didn’t make it any easier, just different.

My son was only 24 years old when he died in a single vehicle truck accident a couple miles from our home. I have listened to people, with very good intentions, tell me we are not supposed to bury our children and that he was “too young” to die. Well, as comforting as they hope to be, it doesn’t explain my situation since I did bury my son and he did die at 24.

In order to function moving forward in light of the fact I lost a child who was “too young,” I choose to focus on the life lived after the date of birth and prior to the date of death, the dash in the middle. In his short 24 years, the boy LIVED! I need to remember that and hope that everyone else does too! I also need to remember that I am still alive! Part of me died that day, but it wasn’t the part that had to work, do laundry, and pay the bills. It was a part of my heart that must now live with the memories of the child I brought into the world and lost.

My intentions with these writings is not to console other parents who have been here, although that would be a plus, but to focus on the life we have in front of us, the lives those before us have lived, and the moments we may overlook until it is too late. Our memories are all we have of those we lose and I want to make them positive memories! I want to see those things I overlooked in the past before I pass them up again!!

Everyday, I search my daily events and find a positive that happened that day. Some days are easier than others to accomplish this task. This has helped me to stop dwelling in the sadness of my loss, and remember good does happen, even if in small doses. This will never mean I do not mourn my loss. It means he will always be a part of me and my life, but I still have a lot of good things happen and a lot of positive people here!! I want to make sure I am positive to those around me for this is my dash in the middle…