What’s RealOn January 26, 2018 by Michelle Love
I had some time by myself yesterday. For someone who has lost their child, that’s such a loaded sentence. Being alone gives an opportunity for reflection, or just allowing yourself to go to places that you usually skim across every other moment. It’s a time to dive a little deeper and release some emotions.
I went to the cemetery so I could check on BJ’s flowers. We’ve had a lot of wind recently, and I wanted to make sure they hadn’t blown away. Most of the time I end up at his grave by myself. Sometimes Carly is with me, but yesterday she wasn’t. I stayed a little longer, and let my thoughts travel around the edge of everything I’d been pushing down. I fixed BJ’s flowers, and straightened the bow. I wiped off his marker and told him how much I miss him. (I usually do that anytime I see his picture.)
I walked back to my car by myself, and sat there, just looking at his flowers surrounded by so many others. In that moment, I felt really angry and disgusted at the fact that my son, and so many other kids are dead after fighting cancer. I am angry that the doctor told me BJ’s leukemia was curable, curable, curable, and still, he died. I’m angry that so many kids are getting cancer and dying from cancer, but yet, many of their death certificates don’t list the cancer as the cause. I’m angry that the ‘statistics’ are wrong, and that BJ’s ‘most curable’ cancer wasn’t curable, curable, curable after all. I wonder how many children die and are never counted as a death by cancer.
I never video myself, but I took out my phone and hit record. I’ve been debating all day if I should show this video to anyone else. I did share it with Carly last night, and she had the same opinion as I did. It’s raw. It’s not ‘strong’, like everyone thinks I am. The fact is, it’s what’s real. I don’t have total break downs every day anymore, but there are times that I allow myself to sink into what’s constantly pulling me down. It’s so heavy. I have to let it win sometimes, if only because of the exhaustion of fighting it. There are many nights I fall asleep with tears puddling in my eyes. He’s the last thing I think about every night. There are moments in any day that a memory will come and even if it’s happy, the tears come. It’s truly bittersweet to remember, and miss him so much at the same time.
What’s real is this:
- It sucks, and then sucks some more. All day. Everyday.
- Life is hard when you’re grieving your child. It always will be. I’m ok with that, and I’m not afraid of the hardships. I am a fighter.
- I push through the hard things as best I can. I always choose to do what someone else would think is too hard.
- I get up every morning and make my bed.
- I am still a mother. I’m Carly’s mother, and I’m BJ’s mother. Nothing will ever remove that title, and nothing can change that love.
- I smile, I laugh, I get angry, I cry. Sometimes all at once.
So, the video…It’s what’s real.