I knew, logically, that my kids had experienced loss in their lives and how that must impact them to this day and will for the foreseeable future, if not forever. It never fully sank in the possibly impact of this loss until today.
Today is the second day of April. The day after possibly the most annoying day in the world, but just a day. However, these past couple days mark the beginning of a hard month for me. If you have never heard of trauma anniversary read here. Basically it is the re-experiencing and intrusive memories and emotions surrounding a particular trauma that is brought about because of a cue, like the date, season, ect. It took YEARS before I understood what this was. YEARS to understand that struggling in classes in the spring and avoiding this I loved and family and wanting to bury myself under blankets in my room until summer. I thought maybe I just hated spring. Then, with therapy, I realized what was going on. I actually (now) LOVE spring and what it brings, but there are still challenges. I hate April, if the whole month could go by in 10 minutes I would be happy. This month brings unwanted memories of hospital rooms, funerals, EMTs, heart-break, uncertainty, and decisions. Memories of what was lost and how it was lost. Desires for the end to not be the end, for the ability to pick up the phone and talk about my life, the ability to introduce my kids. Memories are good, and I also remember good times. But memories is not all this is. There are nightmares, flashbacks to the looks on the EMTs faces, the phone call, ect. That I neither want nor desire.
Now that that is explained, I have something important to say. To my kids: I can never understand, but I get it a little more. The way that I lost is different than the way my kids lost. Their person is still alive and out there but not able to see them, mine is not. One is NOT worse than the other. Just because the people they loss hurt them significantly doesn’t mean it is an easier. Just because their loss was really for their own good, doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. And if I am sitting here, hurting, 12 YEARS after the fact, what is it like for my kids, less than a year out? I cannot even remember a year out from the loss.
My loss experience is predictable in a way. I feel sad, overwhelmed, and wish the person was still in my life. My kids’ loss experience is SOOO different! They probably feel what I feel but also conflicted, confused, mad, guilty, and many other things.
Loss is loss no matter the way something was taken away. Today I have a bit more understanding of the experience of my kids. My heart breaks for them while at the same time marveling at how strong and amazing they really are. My kids are dealing with all of this and HEALING! I see it every day in so many ways. I see it in the sharing, in the relaxation, in their words. I see it in the amount of time it takes to put them to bed and in the ease (relatively) of the transitions. God is doing amazing things in their life, and through them, in mine!