My heart doesn’t understand

From my journal dated June 29, 2002:

Joe seems to really be struggling. I don’t know what to do to help him. Saturdays are probably the hardest days. They just loom there empty. It’s just so hard to find a purpose right now. He doesn’t say a lot to me…and I just pray for him. I don’t know what else to do. I’m so worried about him.

I had to pick up a prescription last night at Albertson’s. The pharmacist is a guy I know and worked with. When I first got the sleeping pill prescription, he told me about the dangers of taking them, how they keep you from grieving or prolong the process. Last night he made comments along the line about me doing better, that I could hardly talk last time I saw him. He told me how he was taught that your brain takes six weeks to “get around” the idea of loss and that taking sleeping pills doubles that time. Six weeks…really??? It takes six weeks to reconcile yourself to the idea that your child has died???

I don’t think anyone who hasn’t been through a loss, particularly the loss of a child, has any idea. It’s been almost four months, and I can’t “get around” or get a grasp on the concept that Jason is gone. It’s like my mind refuses it; my heart refuses it.

I’m tired. Tired of trying to figure out how to help ourselves. Tired of being alone. Tired of people making suggestions or telling me things when they have no idea what they’re talking about. Just be my friend, be there for us. Listen. Care. Hug. Help.

This has been an eye-opening experience…an experience in lack of understanding (mine and everyone else’s) of how deep grief can be and all that it encompasses following the death of a child, in how crushed a person can be and not actually die, how much pain a person can be in and still wake up every morning and try to function “normally,” in loneliness, in alone-ness. People I considered to be adopted family – good friends to all of us – have disappeared. Even when I sent out an email about Joe struggling so much since Father’s Day, no one even called him. One respond email said, “Thanks for the reminder and update,” and one asked if things were better.

My mom has only called once and emailed me once since she went home after the memorial service…almost the same with David and Sandy [my brother and sister-in-law]. I think Mom just can’t figure out how to talk to me without crying. I know she cares. She’s dealing with a lot, too – death of her grandson and the pain of knowing what the rest of us are going through.

How can we be so alone? Maybe the gap Jason left is so huge it would take a lot of people to fill it. With people doing so little for any of us, it just seems like an even bigger void. I don’t consider a call once a month of so any real support…or people feeling sorry for us or doing something solely out of pity…or someone swooping down to “rescue” us by stopping by once or quoting Scripture at me like it’s supposed to solve everything…or saying things that clearly don’t help.

Maybe I’m too picky. I just feel like someone we know well should have walked with us from the beginning. Someone to care for us, hug us, pray with us. I don’t want to hear one more excuse about why someone hasn’t called or stopped by…or how they are too busy…or it’s too far to come to our house. Whatever. They just sound like excuses to me…they  mean nothing to me.

I know it’s tough to know what to do or say!!! But to leave us so alone most of the time is a travesty. As a person who sees both sides of the coin, there are things my head comprehends and understands…but my raw, hurting heart doesn’t understand any of it.

This entry was posted in Bereaved Parent, Death of a child, Grief/Grieving, Support and tagged , , , by Rebecca Carney - One Woman's Perspective. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rebecca Carney - One Woman's Perspective

My name is Becky Carney. My husband, Joe, and I have been married for 44 years. We have two living children, Eric (41) and Jenna (36). We lost a baby in utero at 19 weeks in 1987. In 2002, our middle son, Jason (19), and his best friend, Alina (20), were broadsided by a drunk driver who was going at least twice the speed limit. They both died instantly. This blog is written from my perspective as a bereaved parent. I don't claim to know what it's like to walk in anyone else's shoes. Each situation is different; each person is different. Everyone handles grief differently. But if I can create any degree of understanding of what it's like to be a parent who has lost a child, then I have succeeded in my reason for writing this blog.

4 thoughts on “My heart doesn’t understand

  1. Hi Becky,
    Your post was listed under “family” tags. My heart goes out to you. I just posted about the sudden death of my cousin’s daughter (24) from a water accident. The funeral is tomorrow and I ache for my cousin and the entire family. We are reeling. My parents lost a child years ago to SIDS and I don’t think one ever “gets over” the death of a child.
    Here’s my blog:

  2. Hi – its all just as you say exactly – and has/is for me – i lost my son 4 months ago – and every feeling you have expressed – is similiar- as are experiences of family and friends -thank you for your courage in writing this – and just to say – love and care to you -my gp prescribed me sleeping pills and then said ‘is there anything else?’ come back when they are finished – you can get plenty more..’ un-belieavable.. I would also like to say thinking of you too – and if I could – give you a hug -thank you

  3. Pingback: Abandoning those who grieve | Grief: One Woman's Perspective

  4. Pingback: A Father’s Heart | Grief: One Woman's Perspective

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