Sometimes I get so tired of being strong

My older son Shawn should have turned 40 three days ago. But, he died in1992 aged 18. Even my therapist who I still see sometimes said something about his death not yet being fully resolved. Fully? Are you kidding me? It is not resolved at all! If I let myself think about it, I can instantly be back at that worst moment of my life, when I heard he was dead. Unless I am constantly on guard that moment is still right now. Right now I can be there, with the policeman at the door, so uncomfortable, and me yelling”get out of my house” as if their going might somehow make it less true. The haunting cruel words the cop spoke which I will not tell you since I do not want them to haunt anyone else.

You would not know this to look at me or even to know me. I am one of those people who seem to have it together. Who have grown from this experience and become stronger. And this is true in part. But it has come at such a price. It is four AM. I wish I could sleep.

8 thoughts on “Sometimes I get so tired of being strong

  1. Joanne, I hope for you moments of peace. You are not alone. People will often want us to be the person they can understand because it takes too much effort or compassion to go beyond themselves. There are others though!

    • Thank you for responding, Richard. People even after so long do not know what to say so they do not say anything. I am really touched when people do speak up like you have.

  2. I think of beautiful Shawn so often. You could tell me those cruel words because I would be “with you” as you bear them. I cannot even begin to “get” how deep this pain runs but I do love you and I hope it comforts you to know that cannot change. Nancy

    • Nancy
      I am reconnecting with someone from Suzuki days in Waterloo and seeing her for lunches. I thought the other day that it is time we did this. I know you are always there and we always pick up exactly where we left off but we are not immortal! I am going to contact you in a less public way and we need to stop procrastinating on this! Thirty-eight years, now

  3. It is sobering to read this on yet another of those hopeless days when I think I can’t keep moving forward. But I know in my bones that what you say is true. There is no greater loss and time does not heal. But it helps to see that you have continued moving forward in spite of those hard truths. I can’t help thinking that 18 is a particularly hard age to lose a child, just on the cusp of adulthood, but then I’m guessing that all bereaved parents feel that way, no matter the age of the child. I will write soon!

    • Sending solidarity….or whatever it is-I think of you every day, Andrea. I suspect you got my e mail. I think it is natural that we compare ourselves to other bereaved parents, I always have. I am not sure why, as in, is mine or theirs worse.
      We will talk. Hugs. Aways hugs.

  4. There is no “better” or “worse” age when a child dies. My son died suddenly, 7 months ago, at the age of 29. He left so much unfinished, so much not done, so much not started.

    • Linda, I know. And I am so sorry you, too are going through this. This question is one that Andrea has asked herself, and so have I, in the earlier days. As I said, there is no such thing. Peace to you.

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