Photo by Billy Dehmer at Westbury Gardens of his daughter
It’s funny how when our life is aligned we go through each month without much thought to it. We know when it is over, it will come around again. When we lose a child each season is magnified by looking back to every event that took place. It’s how we stay alive in the past and never let go.
For all that feel too much, internalize everything, expect the same in return, who are easily disappointed, worry what people think, a people pleaser and run out to get that little gift for someone just to see them smile…….never stop being who you are. It will be the thing people will always remember most about you when you are gone.
We are no longer the people we once were when we survive such a great loss, especially that of a child. The complexity of multiple layers of grief are so hard to define. Only those that have experienced it will actually ever be the ones that will understand. I am no longer who I was. I’ve become a master of replicating the person that once existed in order to fit back into life.
This was Jones Beach with Billy. We were waiting for Maggie to be born June 2011. We were so happy this night. Probably one of the best nights of my life. We had front stage tickets to see dave Matthew’s. I’ve never seen my son so happy.
One day I made a friend of my sons who gave me hope for loss. To find purpose and build muscle around the pain to help others. 6 months later he is gone through yet another tragedy. Life keeps reminding me that everything can change in a heartbeat.
If we are fortunate, we are given a warning. If not, there is only the sudden horror, the wrench of being torn apart; of being reminded that nothing is permanent, not even the ones we love, the ones our lives revolve around. Life is a fragile affair. We are all dancing on the edge of a precipice, a dizzying cliff so high we can’t see the bottom. One by one, we lose those we love most into the dark ravine. So we must cherish them without reservation. Now. Today. This minute. We will lose them or they will lose us someday. This is certain. There is no time for bickering. And their loss will leave a great pit in our hearts; a pit we struggle to avoid during the day and fall into at night. Some, unable to accept this loss, unable to determine the worth of life without them, jump into that black pit spiritually or physically, hoping to find them there. And some survive the shock, the denial, the horror, the bargaining, the barren, empty aching, the unanswered prayers, the sleepless nights when their breath is crushed under the weight of silence and all that it means. Somehow, some survive all that and, like a flower opening after a storm, they slowly begin to remember the one they lost in a different way… The laughter, the irrepressible spirit, the generous heart, the way their smile made them feel, the encouragement they gave even as their own dreams were dying. And in time, they fill the pit with other memories the only memories that really matter. We will still cry. We will always cry. But with loving reflection more than hopeless longing. And that is how we survive. That is how the story should end. That is how they would want it to be.
If you are an over-thinker, you probably take people’s opinions too seriously and try to understand exactly why they say whatever they say.
If you also have a sensitive heart, then all this overthinking probably drives you crazy, because you try to analyze everything without sounding insane to others.
Another harsh truth about sensitive over-thinkers is that they see the world in black and white. They can’t be in the middle and settle for gray. They don’t have ‘half-feelings,’ they either do or don’t, love or hate, feel completely happy or completely devastated.
Sometimes, you might be ‘too much’ for some people; too sentimental, too analyzing, too emotional, too nervous, too romantic.
And that will make you sad, but you’ve got to realize that not everyone is going to like us. Because if you don’t, then you’ll always feel like you don’t belong.
Another common thing insensitive over-thinkers is that they have an inner struggle to be present in life, but they usually don’t really feel connected to their environment or the people around them.
I thought time would help. Time just teaches us how to survive . The first 2 years are shock. The shock wears off and transitions into coping. You become skilled in living in your old shell disguised within each new day just so you can fit in to your old life. But the inside is different. Its filled with pain and sadness. Then there are those days that the cap pops off and all of the water contained to the bottom raises to the surface exploding out of every pore. You search for survivors swimming down the same stream hoping they can share in this new world that has been created locked in silence. It feels good to talk about it but even then you have to guard the words not to overwhelm them with added grief that belongs to you for fear you will chase them away. Being alone in your thoughts is your best friend I have come to learn.