It’s behind every corner waiting for me. Some days I am very aware it could jump out and I am guarded with my steps, always ready and on the lookout. On those days I can keep it at bay and function on the surface, but on the days where I am a little extra tired, or a little too confident that I have my stuff together….BAM! She finds me. She is a vicious attacker, almost silently taking me down. She is the opposite of rose-colored glasses, she is gloom-colored and she colors everything around me. All of a sudden life is darker, joy is muted and the questions start. As her questions take hold of my consciousness, Grief, takes hold of my heart. I can’t see through any of it when it happens this quickly, I am lost in the gloom-colored world this lurking beast has brought.
My grief comes from my son’s diagnoses. He is 2. He isn’t even into the hard stuff of real school and friends and social implications, yet my grief is telling me all about that. He won’t be the same as the other kids. How will he tell his teacher what he needs if he can’t talk? What if someone mistreats him and he can’t verbalize it to us? Will he continue to just yell when he can’t communicate what he needs? What does the rest of his life look like? Is he happy? That last one isn’t fair, he is happy. He is the sweetest little dude with the sweetest little smile. But will he always be happy when his world is not just his family that loves him and dotes on him? What will happen?
GRIEF, for the ease of life that he will never have. GRIEF, for the activities that he will be left out of. GRIEF, for the day he comes home and asks why he is different. GRIEF, for all the times I have to drag him to therapy when all he wants to do is play with his brothers. GRIEF, for his frustration that I can’t answer his needs half the time because we can’t communicate. GRIEF, that I can’t enjoy his cute little kid phase because I am worried about him and always thinking about the future. GRIEF, that all my boys are growing so fast and I am missing these precious times because we are going from appointment to appointment and worrying about the next thing. GRIEF, that for people to babysit for us, they have to be comfortable with medical procedures.
Then as the Grief Monster has placed the gloom-colored glasses firmly on my face, her best friend comes, Guilt. How can I be feeling these things? I need to be putting more energy into helping him. Should we try a new therapy? Should we change hospitals? What books do I need to read? How can I get so frustrated with him when all he wants to do is communicate but he can’t? How dare I snap back at him for yelling at me again! The least I can do is give him more patience. It’s my fault he can’t talk or walk. I should be working with him more. We should be doing more therapies. Will he blame me for all of this? Is this what the rest of his life is going to look like? Is this what the rest of my life is going to look like? How can I even be thinking about myself at a time like this? What about his brothers, am I neglecting them? Will they be resentful?
Down and down we go. Grief and Guilt taking me through a spiral of gloom. It seems impossible to break. It is my journey. And onward I go. Someday hoping to keep the gloom-colored glasses off my face forever.