Owen's passing about 16 months ago was a dark time. It still feels dark sometimes. I have to admit that it's still like a dream a lot of the time. There's no "help" book for losing a child any more than the mysterious book we all wish we had about perfect parenting. Sure there are books, advice and other sources we can turn to for guidance, but the mind and personal emotions don't always pattern things you read about or hear about in other situations. Losing a family member is difficult at any time and at any age. Losing a child is difficult, but it feels wrong as much as it feels difficult.
I still HATE cancer. That is a strong way to feel but it is honest. I never felt like cancer won and I have always felt like Owen fought and our family fought to defeat it and we did. I feel like cancer changed our lives. The change is indescribable. I don't understand how it ever crept it's ugly head into our lives the way it did because genetically, historically and sensibly it just doesn't make sense. The fact is that it doesn't matter as there are many things that never make sense but happen anyway. It's just a lot easier when the result is not death or major life alterations. I don't want to be insensitive because I am very aware that there are millions of other people in difficult situations with futures that are uncertain and family members whose lives will be short. Life takes on changes all the time, This change is a hard one to learn and it brings new emotions frequently and with frustration and sometimes anger.
Time spent mourning has no limit. It has no pattern. It feels messy. It feels healthy sometimes. But after more than a year there is a space in my heart that I haven't been able to fill. It might fill up and fade with time, but the memories won't fade and the amount of love I feel for Owen will be a measurement of the depth of my loss. I have read and it makes sense, that having deep love for a loved one who is lost will increase the depth of feelings of emptiness. Of course it will. Any parent understands that the love that you have for your child is a measurement too large to describe.
|Thanks to Kara for giving me a special notebook to record thoughts and things about Owen. It was theraputic to draw!|
As a mom of now all teenagers, I have a hard time understanding what my place is. It's a change that would've eventually come, but not so abruptly. No class parties, no bouncy back pack running to the car, no homework math jingles and silly or innocent questions from the back seat of the car. No more of a lot of things. Also, no more chemo, radiation, waking midnight hours, questioning eyes with "why me" and "it hurts", and no more experiences of living in a hospital for days and weeks at a time. There's definitely no question that it's nothing to trade for, but there is comfort knowing that Owen is break dancing, laughing, serving, socializing and Lego building in a much brighter and grander place than we can even imagine. That's my comfort for the day and I'll take it.
I question if I'm just not ready to get back to the things I used to do or if the things I enjoy have changed. Maybe my purpose has changed. My family means something different to me. What mattered then matters differently. I try better to live in the moment. My goal is to be better at it because I struggle. Our family has love and support from so many and we will forever be thankful. To be that love and support to others, I think, is the best gift we can give to Owen. I'm never going to stop missing him and I suppose I'll always feel a little empty in ways. Luckily, I have 3 other great children to love and hug and support and a husband who I have for a best friend and eternal companion. We all miss Owen. We move on in life with emptiness in ways that we don't have words to explain. It is part of The plan of this life. Our time here is but a moment. Without our hero brother and son, we exist differently.