In the days and weeks following the loss of my son to a heroin overdose, sleep was my friend. The pain of loss was so impactful, so overwhelming and so real that to sleep was relief. Relief from the pain and from the extreme sadness of those around me. Those I loved the most. It was hard to see my children in pain over the loss of their brother. I couldn’t bear the tears of my brothers.
The first night I spent alone I couldn’t wait to climb in bed. I slept so long I didn’t know what day it was when I next opened my eyes. Groggy and a little stiff I turned toward my window to see if I could tell what time of day it was. I had nowhere to be but, I’d wondered if I’d been sleeping for days.
Then the first remembrance hit me. The thoughts of death and pain, wake and funerals and those words that will never leave my mind “he died this morning”. They came at me like a wave and took me under. I don’t swim. I couldn’t breathe. This was real. I hadn’t been having a bad dream. He was gone from me and this time he was never coming back. I didn’t get out of bed that day, and the next few days are a blur. I was supposed to go through this alone now only I didn’t know how.
Every morning since has been the same. Morning brings with it mourning and I relive the pain. Some days I can pray right through and somehow get through my day. Some days I cry and cry all the way to work, and when I get there I am cleansed for the day and I go about my business. Some days when the pain is just too much I go back to sleep. I don’t want to get up. Then their are the days that find me zombie-like and I just muddle through. Living but not really. Mostly just surviving and hardly getting by.
It’s not that with the daylight I can’t find reasons to smile. See, I am very blessed. With the love of family and my friends. I have two other children one boy and one girl. Grandchildren that remind me life goes on and on. Even after the first love of your life is gone. I can see beauty in things all around me. In people and in things. I can appreciate the beauty of fragrance, sounds and angel wings.
Most days I am so lonely I don’t know what to do. No one can know the pain I feel. It is mine to carry and mine alone but some days I wish I could just pass it on for someone else to hold. Not forever, because that wouldn’t be fair but just long enough so that I could truly fill my lungs with air.
This is my life now. Even the brightest days will be tinted with sadness and I must accept this as true. Maybe this is just one long night for me and I will still wake one day to a morning without mourning.
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. – Psalm 30:5