Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I am coming back to life

A couple of days ago I suddenly found myself thinking about the future, wondering what I was going to do now, and realizing that whatever it is would be very different to anything I might have been headed towards in my old life, before losing Daniel.

I'm not the same person, and my future is not the same as it would have been.

But thinking that made me realize that I've come out of numb survival and I am ready to live again.  Funny, hadn't realized I was just surviving...

I feel good and I'm looking forward to the future now.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I have survived

Yesterday an unusual thought crossed my mind. I realized that I have survived Daniel's death, that the moment the police came to the door and told me what they had to say was not the end of me.

It's strange, because until then I hadn't been aware that there was a part of me which didn't expect me to survive.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Time to see a counselor...

It's been 18 months since Daniel died, and I haven't wanted to see a counselor until now.

I'm supposed to be applying for jobs and I do ok with the part time ones, but find myself really dreading the idea of a full time job. I talked to my local employment service and they sent me off for an assessment. The person who assessed me was sympathetic and caring. I felt bad telling her about myself, but she said I was doing well, she could see I was clean and not dishevelled, and she said that in itself was an achievement considering... She will set up some sessions with a grief counselor for me. After the interview my legs felt like jelly and I felt very vague and scattered, probably because talking about things brought back a lot of the emotions.

I've handled things on my own to this point, partly because I didn't want anyone interfering with my natural process (whatever that might turn out to be). Now I feel ready to be helped, listened to and supported in this next phase of recovery.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

What books helped you to deal with your loss?

One book which helped me is Courageous Souls - Do We Plan Our Life Challenges Before Birth, by Robert Schwartz. This book covers a variety of life situations as experienced by real people, and is a fascinating read. It gave me a lot of comfort and a broader perspective on life's challenges.
Please add your special books in the comments section, and share how they helped you if you can.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Resources which helped...

The Compassionate Friends is a world-wide association of volunteers who have lost children. They will sit and listen to you, or share their story. They have all been through what you are going through, and they ask nothing of you in return.

It was very helpful for me to speak with local members of TCF. One lady lost her daughter at about the same time as I lost my son. We went through similar stages of grief, and it was good to be able to talk to someone with the same perspective. A couple of ladies from another town, who had lost their children years earlier, spent some time with us as well and shared their feelings and experiences. Only someone who has been through the same thing can really understand how you feel, what is going on inside you, why you may be living so differently than you did before. One lady, who had lost two children decades ago, told me that you never go back to "normal", that your normal is how you feel today.

Talking to people who had been through the same thing helped me to realize that I wasn't going crazy.

What has helped your get through?

Many things helped me.

My youngest child is 10, and I wanted to get up every morning and do the right things for her.

My child's friend was around a lot. She stood by my daughter, and helped distract her. Having the two of them around, playing, helped to keep me balanced.

My eldest daughter lives with her dad, but we still have our connection of love. She came to my place after her brother died, and her support and understanding were of great value. We shared a similar feeling about the events and their meaning.

Soon after Daniel's death, I wrote a book called Choose to Live! It is more of a self-empowerment book than a suicide prevention book, but writing, publishing and promoting it were all activities which were like a lifeline to me, keeping me going.

My friends and family supported me when I needed it, and left me in peace when I needed that too.

And there was the kindness of strangers... I had moved to this small town only months before Daniel died. After he died I was in no shape for socializing and meeting new people, but the people in this town are friendly and open, and it meant a lot to me just to get a smile and a hello as I walked down the street, or to talk about little unimportant things with my neighbours. These little things kept me connected to the rest of the world.

Last but not least is the sea. Shortly before Daniel died, I moved from an inland town to the coast, and the beauty of the sea often felt like it was the only thing worth staying alive for. I spent hours on the beach every day. It soothed me, it drew out of me the pain and jangled feelings. I had dreams in which I was being called back to the other side, but the thing which made me choose to stay was the beauty of the sea.

Who or what have you lost?

Grief can come over the loss of many things - a loved one, a pet, a way of life, innocence...

I lost my son. With that, I lost my entire future as his mother, and the many things we would have shared. I lost my connection to the world of teenage boys. I lost my energy and drive, my strength and health, for many months. There is a lot I just don't find important any more.

Of course, life does go on and each hard experience has gifts within it. That does not take away or invalidate the pain.

I will not ever be the person I was before, for better and for worse.