A lot of people know by now I struggle with privacy. Sometimes I need it so desperately, I tend to withdraw completely. This situation has exacerbated that. I didn't like the fact that people I knew had access to my blog and could update other people on what is going on with us. I guess my reasoning is that a several friends have walked through the fire with us during this situation. They have carried us, and it wasn't an easy, convenient task. Then there were so many strangers reaching out to us without even knowing us. Not knowing what we were going through, or completely knowing what we were going through, and showing so much compassion, it was sometimes the push out of bed in the morning. I feel complete comfort in opening up to many people, but if anything in the world should be private, this should be. And, here I am, on the Internet, not knowing where else to say this.
I have found that I just had to withdraw from almost everyone. And, it wasn't anything anyone was doing. There was no malicious intent. I simply stopped being able to relate to anyone for awhile, except for those who had experienced the same.
The first thing was shame, and guilt. My husband would say "what if this happened, what if" and I would think "oh yeah, he's right".. After this happened, that thought tormented me. Did he die because I wasn't cautious enough? I also knew people wanted to know exactly what happened. I just couldn't go back to that day. I still can't. The trauma of that day still haunts me. And, the truth was, we still don't understand it. We were there with another family, and they don't understand it either. Did I take off his life jacket because we were eating? did he take it off? how did he end up there? To get where he was, he had to have fallen. We were turned around to eat, and he was not brave with water.
My son was also very quiet. This is another fact that comes to me at night, and leaves me broken. Was he passed over, because he was quiet?
And, after this happened, everyone else in our community still had their families. Women went back to blogging about recipes, talk about having more children, how busy they were, and all I felt was like I had been taken out to the desert, stripped of everything, and left to die. Not by my community, just by losing my son. I couldn't talk about what was for dinner, but I completely understood why my friends did. I just couldn't. And, then my mind turned into a dark, dark place. I saw the reactions on people's faces at parks and things, and then I'd get into my beat-up car, looking homeless thinking "I wonder." I wonder if they have me in one of those stereo-types. Redneck mom has too many kids for her income. Probably doesn't do a good job raising them. Probably checked out. I wanted to tell everyone how much I adored him, the things we did together. But, I couldn't. So, I just wanted to crawl into a hole and die. I wanted to talk so much about him. I wanted any excuse just to mention his name, but how. How can I when the inevitable question follows "What happened?" I guess I came to the conclusion that he had to become a secret. This beautiful boy I carried in my womb and spent five years with. I guess my life would become pretending I always had three kids and going home and smelling his clothing. I didn't blame people for that look that said "That wouldn't happen on my watch".. I didn't blame them at all. I just couldn't fix it. Then everything came into play. That friend that always passed over your children to elevate her own, that couple that seems to always be spared any tragedy or hardship, that person that believes Christian died do to your lack of faith.. I could see, it was going to be easy to destroy myself in bitterness. This battle over my mind was nagging, constant, and I couldn't sleep anymore. The fact that Christian's small life had to include two of my awful pregnancies. My husband's jobs always taking him out of town, and leaving me burnt out. Finances always being a source of stress. There was enough guilt to make me want to run to a roof and jump off. I thought one day "ok, God, I just can't live that long. Please, just don't let me live that long".. I said the words as I looked down, holding my one year old daughter. I knew I also couldn't share these thoughts with many people. Fortunately, the community down here is full of some very seasoned, Christians, and that always means wisdom and .....grace. Yet still, as wonderful as they were, I simply didn't relate to them anymore. I couldn't hear about how big and growing every one's family was. I could before, but mine had shrunk, and it's not supposed to happen that way. I didn't feel I had the right to talk to parents that had lost a child due to sickness, because my son's death was completely preventable.
The friends we had down here were great, compassionate, and wonderful. But, they moved on, of course, just like I would have. They went on to normal things, raising great children, making great memories, and I just longed for death. What was left of my family seemed to be coming apart at the seams. My oldest had lost a brother, moved into a different house, and had his dad leave to work out of town. To say this year has been difficult would be an understatement. The truth is, most days I just tell God I don't know what to do anymore. I don't know how to do it anymore.
I couldn't communicate anything about death because people would think I was going to off myself. It wasn't until I met with some other grieving parents, my exact thoughts were said aloud- by others- in public.
Then there is that one conversation you know you are too weak to have. The person that won't stop giving you unsolicited advice, the person who believes going through a hard time, or being sad isn't biblical. The person that emails you letting you know of all the exciting things God is doing in their life. You want to just say one word "seasons". I'm in a different season. I'll rejoice with you soon enough, I'm just in a different season.