After blowing off some steam last night I thought that perhaps the best way to remind people about how I feel is to simply copy and paste something that I wrote last year. I wrote 'The Truck' when I was feeling somewhat angry at the idea that people seemed to be forgetting about Georgia. The response that I got not just from friends and family but also from other grieving parents was overwhelming. Families of SMA ended up publishing the following in their newsletter and many families were sharing it with each other.
When a parent receives a terminal diagnosis for their child, you may as well hit them with a truck...literally. All of the air seems to leave your body and you are left disoriented and hurting. The diagnosis is just that however, a word, a prediction of what will probably happen. A parent will most likely take some deep breaths shake off the disorientation and keep moving. Their child needs them and so they step up to the plate.
When your child takes their last breath however the truck hits you again. This time it slams you right in the chest leaving you struggling to breathe and wondering why you would even want to. Your body seems to ache all over and you have a hard time deciphering what is real. Everything seems surreal, as if you are truly walking in a nightmare. You just want to wake up and live happily ever after.
Peeling yourself off of the pavement is no easy task. Oh sure, you can read books about it, talk to experts and even take meds. It still isn't easy. It can take weeks, months even years. There is no timeline. It took me a long time to peel myself up off the pavement, to become a mother and wife again. As the weeks went on, I found myself seeing clearly. Breathing didn't hurt so badly and I knew all of the reasons that I wanted to keep it up.
I have accepted the loss of my daughter. I have learned to smile when I talk about her instead of crying my eyes out. I have found ways to keep her memory alive. I consider myself a better person since losing her but... I still get hit.
You see. Once you have lost a child, you can peel yourself off the pavement but you can't get off the road. The truck just keeps coming. As time goes by, you can start to expect it at certain times and prepare yourself. But there are still days, moments where the air is suddenly sucked right out of your body and your heart aches terribly.
I choose not to avoid the truck. I let it hit me. Sometimes I even welcome it, help it along. It reminds me that I am alive - that I am only a human. While I put on a smile and explore the world with my three surviving daughters, I am forever a mother that has lost a child.
Love to you all,