Well, here it goes... My fb post for July 23, 2013. Why is it important? This fb post is what has kept my brain occupied this month when I needed to think of Logan and loss. It gave me something to "do." I'm kind of a doer and sitting and being quiet isn't exactly what I wanted to do. So I would become occupied by thinking and writing. Great plan?! The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.... True that.
"This is the day that I dread every year. The anniversary of my middle son Logan's death. The day that everything changed- six years ago. It is not possible to put a positive spin on this day. His birthday- YES. The Anniversary of his death- NO. What do I want the "good" to be on this day?
1) I invite all of my healthcare provider friends to recommit to the understanding that the negative outcomes often occur during the most mundane and average days... And often from a series of subtle and innocently appearing events that cumulatively create a trajectory that cannot be reversed. BE AWARE!
2) Sleep apnea WILL shorten your life. At the age of 17, it was later discovered that Logan already had moderate cardiomyopathy as a result of his sleep apnea. Please google "sleep apnea" for more information and discuss this with your physician. It brings joy to my heart when people do this. Sleep apnea really isn't about being too tired.
3) Reflect.... "What legacy am I personally leaving in this world?" Do all of these things in honor of Logan. Help create a legacy of safety, awareness, and personal change. Because of the sensitivity regarding the cause of his death, I would really appreciate minimal comments to this post. Thank you for remembering our Logan today. He is at home and at peace in the kingdom of Heaven... But one day a year it's okay just to be sorrowful or even angry- for we were robbed of so much as he was unintentionally ripped from our lives."
So girls, this years thoughts of the anniversary of logans death have a flavor of frustration and anger. I may not believe in Kubler-Ross' Stages of Grief as a "grief model" but I believe that these are ALL valid emotions. Anger is one of these emotions.
What is the source of my frustration this year? I'm a slow learner. It took me a while...
When July 1 hit the books, I surprisingly began to feel irritable.... Like the Princess with the Pea under her mattress. I couldn't put my finger on it exactly for a while. Then I realized that I was anxious of the "day." The trauma of that day is occasionally brought to my mind... That damn horrific helpless feeling with complete loss of control. You remember that sound that we made when our children died... The WAIL?! I KNEW what it was and had heard it before but it STILL frightened me!
Also, I look at the amount of vacation that I'm allotted, and it stinks that I need to take a day off to grieve Logan. (Ok- more than a day because i left early today!) PLEASE do not think that I believe that my employer owes it to me. I do NOT! I DO think that needing to take a vacation day or two for grieving is a CRAPPY waste of vacation days. Purposeful days but STILL unfair! Haven't we given enough? Donated enough days to grief? Haven't we served our time?! I want LIFE to win, not grief!
Last month, I made plans to see a dear friend in Texas a week before now for a fun weekend- before the "retreat" weekend. "Retreat" being code word for the weekend of unpredictable thoughts and sorrow that I would face prior to the big ole anniversary. This fun weekend was specifically planned for celebrating and friendship. I had no idea that I would have a big case of "crazy brain" that weekend-- as I was on edge and not at all myself. Didn't I make the conscious decision to let LIFE win? That became one more defining moment -- the lack of control that has lassoed all of our lives. It kinda hacks me off. I "planned" specific time to remember Logan and his loss. Grief didn't follow MY timetable. I even put it in my day planner. Hmmmph! :)
When it was time for my self designated "retreat" weekend for reflecting about Logan, I decided that I really wanted to sleep on that Saturday. I opted to take Benadryl to snooze the entire first day. Bright idea!?!? Not!!!! My thought--- less time to be aware of this crappy weekend! Plus, I was tired. THAT REALLY backfired! Great idea?!? NO!!!! I woke up Sunday morning feeling like CRAP. My entire body ached and hurt. A body is NOT made to be immobile so long! We are made to move all of the muscles and joints in our body. How much more avoidance could I DO?!
On Sunday, I decided that I physically couldn't take the exhaustion that laying around the house creates. Although I was physically exhausted, I believed that my BRAIN needed to work--- even though my body was feeling like a 90 year old woman.
Several weeks ago, I was in the toy section of a store with my grand baby and something caught my eye so I picked it up. It was a kit to make "paper sun catchers." That second day of my retreat weekend, I decided I that needed to try to focus on the instructions of making those origami paper sun catchers. (Yes, I'm officially a ten year old!) By bringing out a tee tiny bit of my creative side, I was able to get an itty bitty surge of energy. Next, my sweet gal pal texted and encouraged me to meet her for a walk. I sat for several minutes looking at her text.... staring at the phone. My mind kinda wanted to see her, but my body was still exhausted. I startled myself when I said "yes." We met few hours later and I was surprised more than anyone when I eventually relaxed and giggled.
The journey to July 23 this year has been unpredictable. We have no control over anything in our lives, although we create grand illusions of control. Don't we?! Reread that sentence. please. This has been the source of my frustration-- haven't I earned the RIGHT to control this animal called grief that I didn't ask for?! Ha! At least I can now laugh at the absurdity of my thoughts....
My friend Rick states- "The emotion of grief is a tricky guy...sneaky...comes in a different route each day...you unlock one door and he comes into another. The more u try to control him, the more sneaky he gets..." Rick-- you wise wise griever, you! True true true.
Tonight is the eve of the dreaded anniversary. I'm at home in my condo on this pleasant summer night. Relaxed but waiting for the tsunami of emotions that may surprise me and knock me on my feet when I least expect it.... Understanding that my son Logan deserves the "full meal" deal of grief.... Even when we think we have grown past it. He's still my boy and I'm still his mommy.... And a hundred years of earthly separation will never change this.
Hugs to each of my mama friends...