Living With Loss: Ten Minutes at a Time

Periodically, someone asks if I have a blog.  I didn’t, but while writing the book about my beloved son who passed away unexpectedly at age 25, I thought about it. Along with the publication of “As Present As The Mountain,” came a website.  It never occurred to me to have a website either, but attached was a page for a blog.  So here we go.

Those who have lost children know that there are no words, not in any language, to convey what living is like now.  In several Facebook groups involving parents who have lost adult children, there is a sad comradery among we strangers; an odd intimacy.  Time toys with the devastation inside us, but does not heal. Some days you are ok-ish and go about your business.  Maybe you think of your child and smile.  Other days, the second you wake, you put on the boxing gloves.  Some days I just try to stay upright between bouts of crying.  Yes, six years later.  Mostly, there’s a gray melancholy behind my eyes as I, as T.S. Eliot put it, “…prepare a face to meet the faces that (we) meet.”

As with the book, I have no expectation for where these words will go or who will read them.  I’ll consider it a sort of public journal, and it probably won’t be of interest to those who have not been through this greatest of all possible losses.  But as I said to a friend who was going through a painful, unwanted divorce, grief is grief and a broken heart is a broken heart. I know I have found comfort in unexpected places.

I’ve worked diligently these six years to continue to be Colin’s good mother, a mother he can be proud of.  It is so much harder now, though.  It would be so easy to give up, to say, “Oh, who cares?” But his directive to “Keep on bein’ my mom,” could not have been clearer.  However, all the things I did before to be a kind, generous, loving, hard-working, patient woman, so he would have a mother who was all those things, are so much harder when you hurt so much that all you want to do is tell the world to fuck off.

But I don’t, at least not every day.  That is where the ten minutes at a time idea comes in.  Sometimes I am so sad that I can only face an impossibility like taking a shower, doing the dishes, exercising or reading for ten minutes.  The small time-frame makes it endurable.  When I can endure something, it gets done and suddenly I have ten minutes worth of success behind me.  I notice I feel better.  It is a daily uphill battle that is made easier by my sistermoms, those who know, down to their bones, what I’m talking about.  How I wish they didn’t.

So, this is where we will start.  How does a blog work?  No idea.  But I think that about once a month, I’ll post something.  If anyone can relate, and offer insight into their own path, it will help me.  That’s what is important now, right?  A group of mommas who are grieving, loving, helping and most of all, continuing…to be our children’s mom.

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