Moms Columns & Blogs

A Change of Venue

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At all times I feel like an imposter in my own life, a not so great pretender, trying to be someone that I’m not.  One bright and beautiful morning, in the not so distant past, I awoke to a wonderful life.  That day abruptly transformed into something dark and desolate; as I passed through those double doors of despair and sorrow, a lesser woman emerged, for much of me was left on the other side…  The hardest thing about losing Brian is the most obvious...I miss him terribly.    

I have read that the act of grieving is unique to each person; I can say without a doubt that I know this to be true.  We are a family united, mourning the same loss, surviving the same agonizing aftermath, but we could be complete strangers as well…  My husband and daughters have no compassion for each other; they expend no effort at all toward understanding.  They are focused entirely inward, their own hurt and misery at the forefront of every word and action.  The complete lack of consideration is disconcerting to me...the selfishness goes well beyond age appropriate…  Each of them believes that their pain is the greatest pain, their need is the greatest need, their suffering surpasses that of all others...  Judgment, denial, self-righteousness, anger, meanness, deceit…you name it, I’m seeing it all.  And they see nothing, conveniently enjoying a self-induced loss of sight and sound.  It is very difficult to love unconditionally and forgive easily in the best of times…  We are not so easy to love these days.  Perhaps that is the true meaning of love…caring about each other no matter what, ESPECIALLY when we are not so likeable and kind…  

Maybe it is time for a change of scenery.  While I am reluctant to leave the safety of our home, a pattern seems to be emerging, and not necessarily a positive one.  John hurls himself headlong into work every day, overwhelming his mind with the challenges presented there.  At the day’s end, however, he draws back, like a turtle withdrawing into its shell.  He appears long enough to snap at one or all of us, retreats again, at least until the next opportunity to snip presents itself.  Beth works day and night, driving herself to the point of complete exhaustion.  Consequently, she has no patience with those who do not see or do things her way.  She and John cooperate in one endeavor; they both tag team me, demanding explanations on how I am handling Grace.  In their shared opinion, she is out of control and running wild.  I am desperately trying to determine the proper ratio of freedom and restriction for her; what is appropriate seems to change hourly.  Grace flat out refuses to have anything to do with either of them at this point.  I cannot allow her to shut me out too; I accidentally learned that another teenager from Butler was hospitalized this week, having issues coping with the deaths of Brian and Chris.  Grace senses their alliance against her, so she is more defiant than ever, leaving me standing alone in the newly formed chasm dividing our home.  I am utterly spent: refereeing, watching, fighting, hurting, crying, talking, running, never sleeping, working, hoping…I am so weary from the effort to be all things at all times…but what choice do I have?  I will NOT give up…if He brought me to it, He will surely bring me through it…  

A definite change of venue is in order; I need some rest, a break from this now recurring drama.  I’ve decided that we will escape to the lake house.  The return to Lake Murray will be painful; Grace, Brian, my mom and I worked tirelessly last fall and this spring cleaning it out, sprucing it up and making repairs.  The very best times of my childhood were spent there, and I am hopeful that the comfort of good memories from this place will offset any hurt…  And maybe I will actually sleep, knowing with certainty where Grace is, that she’s safely tucked in for the night.  My own version of returning to Mayberry, I guess…and I am very grateful for it…  

Plans are underway for the informal support group; there is also an online group under ‘Moms Groups’.  Anyone who has experienced loss is welcome to join.  Wishing you hope… TG     

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator