Today’s theme is loaded with a lot of sub-questions so I will do them as a question-and-answer session.
Q. So many of us split our lives into a timeline of before and after our children died. Who were you before your child died?
A. I was a mom of a nearly-grown 19-year-old embarking on his young adulthood, and stay-at-home mom to a little toddler, not yet 2 years old. I blissfully got to be a stay-at-home mom to my little guy and often met friends for play-dates.
Q. Who are you now?
A. I don’t want to be what I am about to answer. I am a bereaved mom. As Dr. Joanne Cacciatore said: I am mom to one who walks and one who soars. I am a wife, a mom to a spunky, bright first-grader, and I figure out daily how to be a mom to one who soars.
Q. Who are you now in this present moment?
A. Sitting on my couch after getting home from class tonight at 10:00 p.m., I am very much a student. I just turned in an 8-page paper. My school program is wonderful. It is fascinating and rewarding. It also takes up more of my time than I thought possible.
Q. What are you feeling?
A. Tired (because being a mom to one who soars is not always conducive to a peaceful and sound night’s slumber lately). Happy (because my paper is turned in). Content (because my hubby is next to me on the couch, and my class load for the next couple weeks seems manageable).
Q. Have you been irrevocably changed by the death of your child?
Q. How are you different now?
A. I asked my husband how I am different now–not a great idea. First he paused…and probably against his better judgment said, “You get more upset than before. I think it’s even harder for you to get stuff done.” Then he said that I am probably more empathetic than I was before. And because I’ve been through this, will be a great counselor. Then we both laughed when he read that I wrote “I asked my husband–not a great idea”. He said, “Well, it’s not like you would have a trauma and you’re happier! And more organized and more efficient!” Aaah, grief humor.
Q. Do you love anything about the new you?
A. I like that I decided to go back to school, and that I will be able to help people in their grief. I like that I have a little different perspective to cut to the chase of what’s important, and to speak my truth.
Q. Do you want and old part of you back?
Q. Who are you becoming?
A. I am becoming a mental health professional. I am becoming more authentic. I hope I continue to become a better person, wife, and mom…to one who walks and one who soars.