Stepping Stones

This is my first blog post in a while. Christmas was an immense battle which left me exhausted and broken. But very slowly, piece by piece, tiny step by tiny step, I’m getting stronger.

Next month will be the two year anniversary of Ned’s death. He also would have been celebrating his 7th birthday. Two years? It feels like yesterday.

April will bring the one year anniversary of Dad’s sudden death.

I have had people say that it’s time for me to accept what’s happened now and move on with my life. I don’t bother to reply to these comments. They don’t deserve a reply.

So, where am I at? I still have the same diagnoses: Complex Grief Disorder, PTSD, Depression and Anxiety. I still cry myself to sleep every night as I have done every night since I lost my little boy. I still have panic attacks and become fearful of leaving the house. I still have suicidal feelings. I am still on very strong, very high dosages of medication.

But, and it’s a huge BUT, I am slowly learning safer coping strategies to deal with my grief and my mental illness. I have learnt and now accept that some of my coping behaviours in the past have been harmful and ended up leaving me in a worse state than I already was.

With the amazing and endless support and care of three wonderful professionals – my GP, my psychologist and my bereavement counsellor – my behaviour patterns are changing. There are three main changes that I have made over the last month:

  1. I have stood up to certain people who have intimidated and bullied me for years, simply by telling them that they are no longer a part of my life.
  2. I have started to write for children again. Being a children’s author was always my dream and I have realised that I’m not ready to give it up.
  3. I have started running three times a week – no music, no running buddy, just me and the world around me.

Three small stepping stones on a very long road to recovery. They may seem like nothing to some people, but believe me, it has taken a tremendous amount of grit, determination and energy for me to get here. It has been a huge battle.

I will never recover from losing Ned. I’m not the same person as I was two years ago. That person died the second the police officer told me that Ned had passed away. But there is a new me forming. A very different me. My view on life is very different. What I want from life is very different.

I will never stop grieving for Ned. The tears I cry at night will never dry up. I will never forgive myself for letting him go on that horrific day. But I know that I have to be here for my two other sons. And I want to see them grow up. I love my three boys equally with every beat of my heart.

There will always be bad days and I may not be ready to step onto the next stepping stone for a very long time. But as long as I can keep both feet steady on the stone I’m standing on and not fall into the deep water below, then I’ll be ok.

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2 thoughts on “Stepping Stones

  1. Wow Sharon! You really are so strong and determined -more so than you can see for yourself. These are amazing and wonderful steps forward and I salute you.
    You have many friends supporting you even if in silence. Let us all be some of your stepping stones too!

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  2. My heart goes out to you. I also lost my boy. He was a bit older — 14. He left one morning for a church recreation trip, had an accident, and never came home. That was in 1991. I thought I’d never stop grieving, and I haven’t completely, but I’d like to tell you after a few years the impact of the grief changed to where it was not longer the first thing I thought of every day. The pain was still there and the memories of that day, but it wasn’t dominating my life anymore. There came a time when the good memories surfaced more often than the memory of loss. Yes, sometimes seeing a photo or hearing a song or a mention of some other association will bring the tears back for a while, but most of the time I can live normally. This is also true of five other moms I know who lost their sons. The grief and the amount of support we got from our families differed with our situations, but all of us have gotten to the place where the loss no longer defines us and dominates our lives. But when we suffered our losses, none of us really believed we’d ever get here. I hope this will encourage you as you continue your grief work. I really believe you will eventually find peace and acceptance and be able to fully live again, even if it won’t be the same as it was. God bless you and help you as he has me.

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