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Join me in figuring out "what now?"

From High To Low in 30 Seconds Flat

Things have been swinging back and forth for the last couple of weeks. I try to get up and do some work on packing and sorting and storage etc. For added incentive, I watched eight seasons of “Hoarder” which has be motivated beyond belief. Not that my house is a ‘hoard’ but that there are a lot of things that have to be moved.

Today, I had a phone interview. Talked with the HR woman for like 45 minutes, went through the job requirements etc., my job history, the company environment, everything. I hung up the phone excited and happy that not only does this possible job represent everything I believe in and have the experience to do, but their salary dollars are in my price range.

For some odd reason, my ‘husband’ was in the kitchen over hearing all of this. I thought he’d be happy, because this possibility represents what he thinks of as his “duty” to make sure I was “okay” (whatever the hell that is supposed to mean) before he left for his retirement in Arizona.

He asked me where it was, and frankly I knew the general area in the ‘greater Kansas City area’, but I flipped to the company website and on the homepage was this map:

Screenshot 2018-07-31 18.14.25

I replied: “I’m not sure exactly but it is directly across the road from “Johnson County Funeral Chapel.”

He looked at me and in a voice that had zero emotion, replied: “Hey, that’s the place I went to pick up Streeter’s ashes. I know where that is.

Forget that he is talking about my only son’s death and ashes no differently than if I was saying a golf course or shopping mall. Forget that it has only been four months since I found him dead in his room; I was just on a high about a real opportunity that I was excited about and very qualified after spending the past 18 or 20 months out of work; it would mean that I was offered and I accepted, I would spend every day across the fucking street from where my baby was cremated. And I hit rock bottom. In an instant, I went from feeling like I was standing on the tallest building and the next I hit the pavement. I was at rock bottom.

And that never occurred to him. To say such a thing without emotion or any empathy or thought beforehand. And I felt like I lost Streeter all over again. And he still didn’t get it. When I finally came back out of my bedroom (another two hour crying jag), he mumbles something under his breath that was supposed to be an apology. I don’t think he even got it then!

Thankfully, it wasn’t the funeral home. I wouldn’t have been able to drive to work every day knowing it was across the street. Am I making too much of this? Was it really such a big deal?

You better believe it.

Streeter's Mom Final

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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.

DSCN4889

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 ├╝ber-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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