Human Being versus Human "Doing"

I am trying hard not to fill my every waking moment with activities leaving no time for grieving.  For the first year after Max died, I was numb.  I just stumbled through each day and slept as often as I could.  And cried and cried and cried.   Moving into the second year after his death, my feelings have come back and I am so sad.  I'm sad for Max's sister, for my husband, for his cousins, my sister, etc.  My feelings are not positive most of the time and it's so hard now that I'm capable of feeling again.  I have always been very good at "denial."  For a long time I denied Max used drugs.  I allowed myself to be manipulated by my beloved son.  As I educated myself, I saw his problem for what it was and did my utmost best not to enable him.   I know from reading posts on FMO that the feelings of grief have to be expressed in order for them to lessen.  So I am slogging through the incredible feelings of loss, sadness, and vulnerability that many of my  FMO's have experienced.  I am not letting myself hide my head in the sand.  Nor am I allowing myself to stay in the grief chasm for too long.  In order to allow myself to feel, I have tried to stop doing as much (I retired early in August) to fill my time.  I am trying to be a human "being" rather than a human "doing."  It's so very hard.  I've written before that I am a woman who lives in the solution.  I like to fix things and help others.  What we're going through can't be fixed.  Ever.  It is what it is.  I ask myself what Max's death can teach me?  Patience.  Vulnerability.  Appreciation for what I have.  Living in the moment.  Expressing my love openly.  I only wish my son didn't have to die in order for me to learn these things.  Max, I love and miss you so much.  You are my soul.  Please help me move forward and through the sadness until I reach a point where I can tuck it away and bring it out occassionally.

Replies

Robin4
Robin4

I feel like I have learned valuable life lessons and have grown so much as a person, but the price has been a high one to pay. Just as you said, I wish my son didn\'t have to die to learn these lessons. My hubby always uses that same term, \"it is what it is\". I don\'t like that phrase, but it is true. We can\'t change anything about what has happened in the past, but our attitude and the way we move through this grief can be changed. We can be sad and miserable (which is easy to do) or we can can look for happiness. Happiness won\'t always look for us. It\'s a continuous search. Most days I\'m able to keep searching. On other days, I embrace my grief and let it loose. It can be very cleansing. Keep going forward for you and your remaining family. Praying you have peace and comfort and find some joy. Love to you. Robin
deleted_user
deleted_user

What a beautiful and articulate journal entry! I know I am a few months ahead of you in this process we are sharing, but I have just recently come to the very same realizations--finally understanding what the death of my son can teach me. For a long time I felt that losing Tim was the worst thing that could ever happen to me and our family--but after the first year it slowly dawned on me that something this tragic could happen again, and that feeling of vulnerablility plagued me for months. I have finally realized the same things you mentioned--that we can only live in the moment and I appreciate daily all that I have and the wonderful people in my life. And I know that Tim would want that for us. My 26 year old daughter has really struggled with the feelings of vulnerability, so I will send this on to her--it is so helpful to know others share the same concerns.

By way of encouragement, as I am reaching the 2 year mark, I can finally do what you are aiming for....tuck it away and bring it out at a time when I want to remember less about Tim\'s death and more about the wonderful times we shared with him when he was growing up. And you\'re right--living with a child with an addiction seems to involve a certain amount of denial and enabling. My brother was an alcoholic, and I did learn to be a little less of an enabler from our experience with him--but it was still very hard to do the \'tough love.\' But we tried our very best to do the right thing, and ultimately the choice to remain sober rested with him. Our oldest son and his wife just purchased their first home, and as thrilled as we are for them we are also feeling sad that Tim is not here to share it--he would have been so happy for them too. So, I know this is the way it will always be and we will always shed a few tears at the happiest times in our lives.

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and observations. They mirror exactly the way I have been feeling and I appreciate the time you took to write them down.
ihart
ihart

Hi,
The first year I did the same thing you did. I slept and ate and then I slept and ate...The start of the second year is when the shit hit the fan so to speak . I started feeling and I did not like that one little bit so I became very depressed but chose to ignore it for quite a while cause I always figure if I ignore something long enough it goes away...I was started on Prozac and did that for one year. In my grief I have had many different thoughts and avenues that my mind takes me and like you I have become philosophical etc. It is almost like I needed to find a super good reason for my sons death and I digested things like I am supposed to learn patience, I am supposed to...I have now decided that my sons death has absolutely nothing to do with me personally and sometimes things just happen.
Anyways that is where I am today , maybe tomorrow my brain will come up with another explanation for this utter painful experience. Hugs, Inga
deleted_user
deleted_user

My love.. I was in total denial my first year.. no tears, no anger I just kept super busy and did not deal with his death... I am at the 14 month mark and do allow myself to miss him and be angry... I am hoping you peace and love today.. be good to yourself and this journey we are on is life long so we must find our purpose and learn to live again...
biowoman
biowoman

I am so glad that you feel you are ready to face the grief. You will find your way...it is a journey and there is no end...but such is life. I think that being open and honest with yourself..allowing the sorrow is good. Careful not to become consumed...so continue to allow distractions...I am glad you are here...love and hugs...Karen
rcoco
rcoco

I wrote this poem in August, I think my feelings will always be the same.

Each day in the mirror behind me I see
a glimpse of an Angel and he misses me
he hugs my heart with strong arms that I know
he offers me shield from a terrible blow

each day in the mirror before me I see
a woman and a mom who once was me
I comb and I spray and go about my day
then I cry and I cry and remember to pray

each night in the mirror right through me I see
my heart and my soul that want to be free
but my baby left me here alone
so I live and I love until I go home

someday in the mirror before me will be
someone who I loved looking back at me
will they know I am there to help them see
the rapture and grace of eternity

This is an overwhelming path to travel, and we ourselves will know the glory of spirt soon enough. We all grieve with our own rhythm, but collectively we all know the most profound sorrow possible in this life.
hope and hugs, Rebecca
P.S. I am such a human-doing, that\'s catchy phrase!
deleted_user
deleted_user

Thanks for sharing this with us. I am a human doing too, but I still grieve when I have to. I\'ve learned so much since my sons\' death - it\'s amazing to me - I\'ve learned to be a better person, if that makes sense - to realize life is short and help, give compassion and empathy to everyone. Those were my characteristic traits before he died - I\'ve always been a giver - but the stupid things that would set me off before don\'t anymore - because I know - what ever happens somehow I\'ll get through it. I\'m glad you\'re focusing on the positives - and giving your best -
I\'m here for you anytime, have a blessed day
KellyLee105
KellyLee105

Wow! Beautifully written..My same feelings in different words..Thanks for sharing... I too, wish I never had to experience the loss of a child, to learn the lesson\'s in life...I\'am so sorry for the loss of your son, it hurts beyond words... Love to you...Kelly
KandL
KandL

The pain is unbearable at times, isn\'t it? Thank God we have others who understand. I am so proud of you for sharing and allowing yourself to grow while grieving your precious son. I aspire to do that as well; I only hope I can. Love you, Linda
deleted_user
deleted_user

God be with you as you struggle with the up and down days of life now...the new now for all of us. I hate the cliche \"one day at a time\" but there it is....a cliche for its truth....it is exactly how we must survive. Love and peace to you...Dale, Brandon\'s Mom
CorriesMom
CorriesMom

All I can say to all this is \"amen\". I\'m much earlier in this horrid horrid process (4 months) and still mostly numb I think, though I can\'t really tell. I have no clue what \"normal\" is anymore. But I love the thought of \"human being\", rather than \"human doing\" and will strive to do that as well. Each one of your comments is so helpful and reassuring to me. Thank you, Gari, for your beautiful journal entry and thank you, Everyone, for your insightful and helpful comments.

Blessings and peace ~ Debbie, Corrie\'s Mom
deleted_user
deleted_user

It\'s good that you are facing it head on. Be careful to allow some time outs. Grief is hard work and we still need relaxation and play to balance it. It is not easy but you are right, it is what it is. Sorry I\'ve not been here to help more. Love and hugs Cathy