My entire forward-looking landscape has changed

From my journal dated January, 30, 2003:

I got a note from Laurel* yesterday – probably precipitated as a result of my recent  article in the homeschool newsletter. She said she was praying for us, but that she couldn’t call because she would cry. She’s a sweetheart. I know she means well and doesn’t want to cause any further distress for us. But if nearly everyone avoids us for the reason that they might cry, who does that leave to be with us? It leaves us almost completely alone.

Can’t people see that? Don’t people realize how alone we are, that we’ve been so very alone since right after Jason died, and how hard it has been to be this alone for so long? Hours and hours and hours alone. It’s been 11 months! What good has it done to wait? It’s obviously still hard for people to talk to us, to be around us. They still avoid us. It hasn’t gotten easier with time; it probably just gets harder and more awkward as time goes by. They didn’t want to hurt us by crying in front of us, but I think it hurt us worse to just leave us alone. It made us feel so deserted. They probably should have just stepped up in the beginning. I know it’s not easy…I wish they would have tried.

It hasn’t been easy for us, either. I don’t know if I’m doing any better than I was months ago. I’ve never had to do anything so hard – something that cut so deep, something that shattered me so completely – in my entire life. I don’t think I’ll ever recover. And then, on top of that, I’ve been trying to deal with and sort out all of these feelings from the way people have acted/reacted to us. “Secondary wounds” on top of other wounds. It’s so hard. It’s such hard work. It’s exhausting.

I started crying on my way home from school and cried all the way home. It’s hard to see a purpose at all in this life any more. I don’t see any bright future ahead. How can it be bright when my Mr. Sunshine is gone? I can’t see anything right now – either short term or long term – to look forward to. All I see when I look ahead is a future that looks dark, one that’s full of pain and hard work to rebuild our shattered lives.

I wanted Jason to graduate from college. I was so proud of him. I was looking forward to seeing what he was going to do with his life. He was such a great guy. He had so much potential. I wanted to be proud of his making a difference in this world. I wanted to be a mother-in-law to his wife. I wanted to be a grandmother to his children. I knew he would do them well, because it was in his character. I wanted all of us to be together to celebrate all the special events – the weddings, the graduations, the babies, holidays, life. I wanted all of us to be together to share the ordinary, everyday things. Oh, how I wanted those things with all my heart. I looked forward to all of them! I wanted the best for my kids, for my family. Now we have to figure out how to do all of those things without Jason; we have to figure out how to do everything without Jason. We have to figure out how to live our lives without Jason.

My entire forward-looking landscape has changed. I don’t even recognize it any more. It used to be so full of promise, so bright and shiny. In an instant, it was gone. Obliterated. Blown to bits. Now it looks so dark. I’m in some strange, scary, foreign land, and I don’t recognize hardly anything. I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to go forward. I don’t want to go on without Jason. But I can’t go back. There is no “back” to go back to. I have keep going forward through the dark, through the “valley of the shadow of death.” Forward in the dark – step by careful step. I keep on going; I keep on trying – but sometimes I just get so weary.

© 2011 Rebecca R. Carney

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7 thoughts on “My entire forward-looking landscape has changed

  1. I yearned to hear, “Absolutely horrible, I can’t imagine the pain. If you want to talk, I will listen.” Then I needed just that, to talk without interruption; even as I repeated myself. Therefore, thank you for your blog. I am listening.

  2. Thank you for your candor about the loneliness and isolation you feel. I frequently think how unfair it is that the wounded ones are often left to be the ones to initiate connection with the rest of us, to ask us to sit with you, to cry with you, to be angry with you. As a culture, we are seriously limited in our willingness and ability to acknowledge that pain and loss are an integral part of our existence. I try to remind myself that making an awkward, uncomfortable gesture is much better than the impact of no gesture at all. Thank you for sharing Jason’s life with those of us who didn’t know him.

  3. Rebecca, the entire reason I started a blog about my experiences since the death of my husband was to find others with whom I shared a common thread, so that maybe I wouldn’t feel so alone. By sharing this, you have done just that. Thank you

  4. Pingback: A Few Things I’ve Learned in the 10 Years Since Jason Died | Grief: One Woman's Perspective

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