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Just Too Damned Tired

I don’t know why suicide is considered such a big deal. Especially when there isn’t family and few friends and especially without friends or family that would reach out or visit. Considering that I no longer have family – now that my baby is gone – who would really care?

I haven’t been out of this bed in a week now. Watching stupid old movies or some really good new stuff has been my only companion. And food. More and more food. I’ve been – more or less – out of my groups’ meetings, but it is really okay. I wasn’t really feeling any support from the other group members and actually feeling like no one wanted my deep grief. I was told, more of less, that I was bringing the group down and that this sort of therapy wasn’t for someone like me.

I’ve been to about 7 therapists and none have been right for me. I really haven’t felt any real support for any of the and frankly I have gotten tired of recounting the events that have brought me to this place… I feel like I am rattling off a well rehearsed list of litany. I don’t want it to sound like that. Streeter was the only thing in my life that made life worth living at all. And with the guilt and shame that I feel by not seeing his pain and his anguish and further by not protecting him. I was supposed to be the one to see his pain and hopelessness and get him the help that he needed.

So, what is there to look forward to in what’s left of my life? Nothing. As mentioned above, no family, few if any friends and nothing to look forward to. Not much sense in wasting more of anyone else’s time and energy.

I’m just too tired to do anything any more.

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I Miss You, Beautiful Boy

The very last thing I think about after crawling in bed is the hope that I don’t wake up the next morning. But morning comes and I am still in this life.

I make up little tasks to give me a goal to get to. Something that, at least temporarily, occupies my mind. They are really meaningless, in and of themselves, but I guess it keeps me breathing. For another day, anyway.

I slowly whittle away the days with “goals” that I can take aim for – a day, a week, a few weeks – anything that helps get me through another day. The biggest and by far the most important is the customized urn for Streeter’s ashes.

I think about his urn. And his ashes. And his photos and his schoolwork and all of his treasures and wonder what will become of them. He was an only child for me and I have severed all ties to my siblings, so there is no where and no one to pass these things down to. What will become of him when I am gone? And what will become of me and that which has made up my life?

I am so sad. It is beyond words to try and describe it. I really feel like there is no reason for me to take another breath. Or to wake tomorrow morning.

Streeter's Mom Final

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Its The Little Things

Sunday mornings. Breakfast made for me by Streeter. He loved to cook. He was really getting to be a good cook. Find recipes on the ‘net and he’d try them out. Especially love doing fun things with eggs.

Headache big time this morning. Keeping me in bed and watching old movies in the dark. This would be the time that he bring his laptop and come in and crawl in bed with me. Watching the movie, talking to me, and playing or reading on his computer.

Its those little things that I miss. They way he would just know what to do to make me feel better. He would give me these ‘headache kisses’ where he would very gently kiss me on the forehead between my eyes and then one on the lips. The way he was just ‘there’, you know, I could hear him breathing and an occasional laugh and he would show me something funny on Instagram or Imgur, usually about dogs. I loved his laugh. He had the most genuine laugh.

I thought he was happy. Satisfied. Hopeful.I don’t know what happened. Or what really was going on. And why he thought he couldn’t talk to me about it.

My life is changing so much. I am usually okay with change, adapting, moving forward. But this, this is something else. I can’t bear to think about that all that is left of him is in a small box sitting on the little sofa in my room. Most days I can’t imagine that he is never going to just be there, like he always was.

Always there. Now, forever gone.

I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I find it unfathomable to think about moving forward. Each day being more difficult or painful than the last.

I’m too old to do anything now. I’mean, what’s the point? I’m alone with no future. I used to dream about more traveling with him. Seeing him go forth in the world as best as he wanted. To see him meeting his special someone, falling in love, maybe grandhilcren. I have lived for him for so many years, I don’t know who I am or what I am supposed to do with a life that has no meaning.

I mean, what’s the point? What’s the point NOW?

I am meeting a lot of people through the groups I attend. But no one is in my situation of being the person who has lost their only child to suicide. They have other children or siblings or they’re actually young enough to start life anew.

I foresee the remainder of my life much like my mother’s. Living in the square space of half a room in a nursing home sitting in a chair and watching television for the rest of her life. Rarely any visitors, no friends, nothing to do and no one to say it to. Sit there until she died. She wasn’t much older than I am when she went into the nursing home. Well, she actually went there for therapy for a badly injured ankle, but just didn’t have any willpower to get better or even come home.

I feel like that now. We’re in the midst of selling off everything and anything that ever held any pleasure or memory or hope. And it seems the perfect progression that started with them carrying my son’s body out to an ambulance.

I don’t know how to get better or have hope or even allow myself to dream. Hope. Wish.

Streeter's Mom Final

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14 Weeks Ago Today

Its really starting to happen. Whether or not I want to. Regardless of whether I like it. No opinion on when it gets done, but it has started.

What, you ask? This life, without my son. Trying to dig and claw past every memory and hurt and loneliness and pain that has been every waking moment for the past 14 weeks today.

I feel like a walking shell of where once a person existed. I’ve always been pretty sure of who I was and where I was going, but this, wow… yeah, this has really knocked me off track.

And yes, I know there was a person pre-mom, but she’s changed into Streeter’s mom. And now that she is gone, I don’t know who I am anymore.

Or if I even care.

I chatted recently with some folks online about regrets. I looked around my high school stomping grounds and decided that life wasn’t going to be handed to me, but that I would have to fight for what I wanted. And fight hard. And not always fairly. But what I found was that I was a pretty happy person. And I knew it. I knew what I wanted and I went out and got it.

Only someone forgot to mention that being this cocky is like spitting into the wind. And it all came back on me.

I was already – if you really want to be honest about it – wondering what life had in store for me. I mean, the entire purpose of this blog, originally, was about where life might take me. Of course, I expected more of the same, mostly-successful, pretty happy and confident that things wouldn’t necessarily be smooth sailing, but that things were in line for the most part.

Ha. Now this blog is about how I convince myself that I still need at least one more morning to wake up. One more loose end to tie up. But that life has pretty much been lived. And the future really doesn’t hold much for the out-of-shape, overweight woman with bad knees who teeters on the edge of heart disease/diabetes/stroke.

I almost recall the moment that each of my parents became “old”. That when you spoke to them it became this litany of physical ailments rather than news of what they were doing. And I found myself doing the same thing a lot lately.

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I had an opportunity last year when the kid and I went to Arches National Park, there was a trail that was 6 miles. But it was rated as “moderate” on the hike scale, which meant some climbing up and back down. Not so good on the knees. But Streeter wanted to go, so I made him a deal… I would drive the car up to the end and then hike towards him.

When we met up, I had managed a good section of the trail… somewhere just short of two miles, we guessed. To which, while we were hydrating, he made this comment, like, “You’re a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for…” or words to that affect.

And now, looking back, I wished I had pushed myself harder on that trip and specifically on that trail. It could have been a thing that we recalled as us doing together rather than him doing it alone.

He spent way too much time alone. I think. I am still trying to understand how a healthy and relatively happy young man would feel the need to take his life. And how I have to feel like it is my fault. I was his mother and I was supposed to protect him. And I failed.

I really feel like I failed him. And in turn, failed myself.

Streeter's Mom Final

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Add Black to the Red, White and Blue

Today, for some reason, is a very bad day for me. Black. Hopeless. Lost.

Maybe its the preparation of tearing apart everything that has been built for the past 14 years. Selling it off piece by piece, much like it was put together.

What happens now? I just don’t see any real point to it all anymore. When you’re young and just starting out, everything seems possible. Everything IS possible. Family, jobs, homes, vacations… memories.

What happens when that all starts to unravel? I think I sort of saw this coming about a year or so ago. Something, a feeling, a certain sadness starting creeping into things. The stress of all the surgeries and recoveries. all of the time off from working. The bills and the stress of the loss of monies into the house.

You can’t live with that kind of stress, loneliness, depression without it taking its toll. On you, on everyone.

Looking back, it was a coincidence, luck or just the timing, but I am so thankful for the time I got to spend with him, being off work. We didn’t do a lot, but what we did, we did together. Mostly.

I keep myself busy, well sort of busy, doing all these little tasks. Its just one after another, but as they accumulate, they start inflicting all sorts of emotions. Emptiness. The sum total of our lives dissected into tiny little portions. What’s the saying? The total is worth more than the sum of its parts? But what happens when all the little pieces start to disappear?

But on the other hand, it seems like a clean slate. A way to start all over. Unfortunately, being this old takes its measure on starting a life over. And so many options, so many choices, so many decisions.

Mostly I think that this seems too fast. Unfortunately, the time off last year has weighed heavy on the household. From a financial aspect. Which means that I need a well paying job right fucking now or I will lose the house. And the house has been stuffed full of stuff – you know, the things you collect over the years. The little things you bring into the house one or two at a time.

And if you know me, the über-organized person, I managed to use up every knock and cranny steath-fully organized down to the very last inch. I suppose in a way, you could call me a really organized hoarder. Many things were bought in anticipation of a larger project. Which seemed a good reason to buy small things again and again and again. Not really keeping a good mental inventory until there were more than one could ever hope to do something with and by that time, the idea’s time had come and gone.

So, on to the next something and building towards another venture. Repeat and restart. Again and again.

The loss of my son – my best friend and funnest cohort – was a real blow. To everything that is me. I seem to have lost even the thinnest of the threads of dreaming, planning and hoping. All I see is down and dark and frightening. And mostly lonely.

It occurred to me the other day that I have lost the one, repeatedly, unending source of physical touch… a hug or holding my hand or my goodnight kiss. It may be why everything seems so, so hopeless and dark. I am beyond any idea of what is means to be lonely. I think I’ve figured out why widows end up in these little groups. They are at least of some comfort to one another.

Which of course, lead to another thought; something I’d heard long ago and filed for future reference: “Women have sex to get affections while men give affection to get sex.”

Now, I know this is a generalization, but when I first heard it, it didn’t make much sense to me. But I was young and affection wasn’t in short supply. Well, neither was sex, for that matter. But without my son, my affection supply is in short supply and in dire threat of running dry.

I am not sure where this was going. It just occurred to me that while sorting through and laying my life literally on tables, that I am running short on life. And I cannot imagine that my life would be this way for another five years. Ten years. Longer?

It really scares the shit out of me.

Streeter's Mom Final

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Happy Birthday My Son

So far, okay.

Weird thing thoug2015-12-05-18-53-22.jpgh. When I woke up  – or rather as I was waking up – I saw Streeter standing a foot or two from my bed. His signature baggy sweats and his red ‘Coca-Cola’ t-shirt and that damned beanie cap that he wore to keep his hair out of his face. He was facing away from me, looking down.

And I said ALOUD, “There you are.”

And then I was awake. And he was gone. Again.

Streeter's Mom Final

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What do the Words Mean?

How can I tell you how much I miss him? This is one of those days that he would have been right here to help… when I wasn’t feeling well, he knew my comfort food. He knew he could curl up beside me and watch “The Thing” for the ten thousandth time. He knew when to talk and when to be silent and just “be”.

I know most people, by this point, have long since stopped reading. There is just so much compassion and understanding people can have before something requires their time and attention.

What I say here virtually never changes and one can be sympathetic for so long. For me, however, every morning I have to wake up to the fact that he is gone and he is never coming back. Every morning is a fresh set of heartache and pain and losing him all over again.

I can’t image living with this every day of my life, yet I still somehow manage to wake up the next day. To the pain of knowing he is still dead and I will never see him or touch his skin or hear his voice. I know I fall asleep every night from sheer exhaustion – exhaustion from pretending that I am fine, that I have something to live for, that I need another day.

But another day simply means more grief and heartache. There is no end in sight. There is no hope on the horizon. And there is no happiness waiting.

 

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A Mini-Nuclear Breakdown

So, I’ve been humming along seemingly okay when out of the blue, something will make me – once again – realize that my sweet son isn’t upstairs with his headset on. He is dead. Really and truly gone from this world. It just seems so much easier to pretend.

But then I am watching this series on television and up pops a new character played by a familiar actor in another series that Streeter and I binge-watched not all that long ago and my first reaction is to shout out to him to come take a look.

Then it hits me, before I utter a sound, I know that there is no one upstairs. And that IMG_1887what remains of my darling boy is a container smaller than a shoe box and he is never coming back to me. He will never again hug or kiss me, roll his eyes over some dumb thing I might have said or have him cook for me, as he was a blossoming chef. Gone are the moments of sharing trivia and bad jokes and all of our adventures that we just hadn’t had time to take.

And then my chest gets tight and it feels like I can’t breathe and I pray for my end. Life is just not turning out the way I thought it would. And I guess that for everything that I have received, it has taken 150% more than when it is gone. Everything good in my life has come with difficulty and pain and frustration and heartache. Only this time it didn’t end with the thing that I wanted, this time it was just the beginning of the end.

Why did this happen? Why didn’t I see the warning signs? Why couldn’t he talk to me? What the hell was so fucking bad that the only option he saw was to end his life? Why wasn’t I paying attention?

I miss him so much that it hurts to breathe. Why didn’t I see?

Streeter's Mom Final

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12 of The Hardest Weeks Imaginable

Today has been tough. First, I realized that 12 weeks has gone by since I lost my baby. Second, after at least being physically okay, I have been hit with a major bug of some sort. I rarely surrender to these annoying 24 hour things, but this one hit hard. After sleeping a rough 12 hours last night, it hit again this afternoon and knocked me out for another four hours. And I don’t think it will go easy on my tonight, as its already 9:30 and I feel like I should head back to bed this very minute.

I happened to pick a movie to try to watch and so far the repeated phrase “Streeter would have loved this movie” keeps going round and round in my head. I swear on all that is holy that I heard him coming down the stairs from his room. I kept waiting for him to come ’round the corner and give me his standard “hey, momma momma” and I would ask him to sit and watch with me.

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I’m just wrecked. For the past three months it has been difficult to breathe let alone job hunting and house hunting and sorting and organizing all the crap in this house. I feel like there should be some special program for parents who’ve lost a child so that they can set aside the normal day-to-day and just grieve.

I think that I must still be in a state of shock or something. My mind races between our lives prior to this to finding him and now to have a small box of ashes that once was him. No more ‘just one more hug or kiss’, no more of our favorite outings and destinations. Just no more him.

His birthday is just two weeks away. I know that I am going to be stupid shocked… my beautiful boy would have been 23. Now he will forever be 22. This is just not fair. And it makes me angry and confused and lost. After all, who am I if I weren’t Streeter’s mom? I know that there was a me before him, but I don’t remember that person. I mean, who was I twenty-three  years ago (other than someone who was desperate to have a child)? Like I said to my therapist, when he was born it was like taking my own heart and giving it to him. And now that he is gone, should I not be gone as well? Who can live without a heart?

And spending so much time and money just to get him into this world and everything I’ve invested in raising him, there is no ‘going back’ to who I once was. Having a child (or children) changes you forever. There simply is no option to resume a life that is past. I used to be called  ‘JBG’, but she no longer exists. And for the past decades, I have and will always be, “Streeter’s Mom”.

I think I am going to back to bed. Take some hardcore-make-me-sleep-and-perhaps-not dream kind of drugs.

I just don’t know how this will ever get better for me. One woman in one of my groups lost her son 17 years ago and she still grieves and cries for him. I just don’t think I have 5 or 10 years to give to grieving, let alone 17.

Streeter's Mom Final

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What of My Life?

What makes my life so valuable, when my son’s life was not?

I imagine that if I ever were in such a bad place as to take my own life, it would be because I failed my son. I failed him in so many ways that I spend hours debating the value of my life. And have come to the conclusion that my life no longer holds any value.

I loved that kid more than anyone has ever loved their child. I walked through fire just to bring him into this world and god dammit, 22 years was not enough. I want him back.

Of all the wonderfulness that he was and brought into my life, just makes my mind and soul ache. Oh, I put on a brave face most days, but I am really not sure how much more can I stand. As I am in this house, I listen for him. The far away sounds of his computer playing video games and the way he would take the stairs two at a time coming down in the morning. I miss his smell and his voice and his wonderful smile. The way he used to get so excited like he couldn’t sit still. He had such enthusiasm about even the minute things, but it was always there.

I used to describe his smile to people by saying that he smiled with his whole face:IMG_6683

Do you see it? Even his ears are part of his joy.

How do I communicate what an amazing and wonderful person he was? And how it continues to devastate me every second that his is not here with me.

Why didn’t I see it? It had to be there. Was I so hard to talk to that he preferred to die rather than discuss it with me?

And what of my life?

Streeter's Mom Final

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