Saturday, March 26, 2011

broken limbs among the flowers

Months and months ago..probably shortly after Michael died, our counsellor said to us that one day we would find that we hadn't cried that day.  Then it might be that we hadn't cried for a couple of days.  I didn't believe her.  But then one day it happened.  I realized that I hadn't cried the day before and I felt terrible, wondering how I could have not shed a tear for Michael, for our family, for myself.  Let me say here that because there are moments, days even, when I don't cry,  does not mean that there are moments or days when Michael isn't in my thoughts.  It's difficult to explain, but if you can imagine viewing everything through a sheer curtain, that's what life is like now.  I view everything through a curtain of memories of Michael. 

This morning though is a morning of tears.  Michael's candle is burning and our digital picture of frame of pictures of Michael is on and I look at those pictures and am still struck by the unreality of this.  This cannot be.  He can't be gone.  Not forever!?  Am I waiting for him to come back?  Waiting for him to say God gave him another chance to come back if he wanted to, and he did want to?  I would still make that bargain with my God.  I will go and Michael can just come back to those who love and need him. 

For now I will go outside and work on the little area I have as Michael's garden.  His angel fell and it's leg broke off the other day.  I had a moment of panic and then realized that there is something very special about broken angels so Michael's broken angel is sitting amidst the primulas with his leg propped up beside him.  I love it. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

confessions of a grieving mom.

I forgot that I get more out of writing than I give.  Feedback from friends, old and new, helps me so much.
I've been away for a few days and had some realizations about things that have happened since Michael's death so I'm going to write again  Because if you are in our position or know someone who is, maybe knowing that someone else feels these things will bring a bit of a feeling of normalcy.

1.  I cannot bear to hear a child cry. It breaks my heart because I can see they are trying to understand and it's just to much for them right now.

2.  I cannot bear the sound of an angry voice.

3.  I am angry because I think I am the only person who believed Michael was going to take himself away from us.  The only one...and I don't understand this. 

4.  I believe that I know myself better than anyone else and I believe I know that what I feel is real is is not going to ever get better.  This is about more than grief.  This is about being broken.  Being broken is okay, lots of things are broken and still function, they just function in a different way.  I am not the same person I was thirteen and a half months ago. 

5.  I am sorry for so many things I did in my life. But things done cannot be undone.  They can't be changed.  They can sometimes be forgiven but sometimes they can only be accepted or acknowledged as just being or having happened.  That's me.  It goes something like this:  "Yes, been there, done that, wish I hadn't but I did. It's something I have to live with".

6.  I love my son and I will always honour the decision that was only his to make...but I wish he had been able to get the help he needed to stay with us. 

7.  I play Animal Crossing because Michael's character is still on there.


Monday, March 21, 2011


Why do I blog?  I'd only heard of blogs before and never read any. 
I was journalling and one day I thought that maybe some experience that I was going through might help someone going through a similar experience.  However, now I'm reading other blogs which are informative.  I don't know that mine is...mine is more a public forum for my grief and that's not what I intended when I started.  I feel safer going back to journalling.  Sometimes people get hurt by reading sad things. 

I wish I could always have a supply of happy things to say, uplifting things, helpful things.  But I don't.  Nor will I ever.  I know I will never say "I am better".  I will always say "I am okay". 

So I am going to take a break for awhile from writing in this forum.  I just can't do this right now.

I will continue reading the blogs I read as they give me strength but until I can do the same, the time isn't right.
Thank you for reading and sharing this much of  my experience with me.

McCracken's Mom.  xx

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Dear God
I know I am blessed with good health, loving family and friends and live in a safe country.  Please don't think I'm not grateful. But I miss my son. I want him back so badly.  Is it wrong for me not to accept what is?
It is just so hard Lord.  So very hard.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

sour notes and sweet anticipation

5:40 am.  Hmm...slept in this morning?  I left choir last night with a song from Winnie the Pooh running through my head.  It's the Tigger song, "The wonderful thing about Tiggers, is Tiggers are wonderful things".  Only what I was singing was "The wonderful things about my meds, is my meds are wonderful things".  Silly, I know.  But, taking my ativan last night enabled me to go out and actually enjoy my practice with the choir.  There was a bit of a down side - my fingers every now and again, had a mind of their own.  But I thought it better to have the odd sour note than not be there and I came home feeling far better than I had when I went out.
The other odd thing was that it was still light when I went out.  Now that we are on daylight savings time again there is way more daylight.  I didn't realize what a difference that would make. My usual habit is to draw the curtains and blinds and shut out the world. There was something liberating in going out  in the evening and in the light.  Now I realize I did this because I had taken my ativan.  But still, I did it.  And, on top of that, I didn't feel the need to opt out of my obligation for the upcoming Easter season.

Right now I'm going back to bed because I'm sleepy.  I was awake for hours after I got home last night and this morning I can still feel the effects of the meds so am going to try to sleep for another hour. 

Michael was with me last night and he's with me this morning.  I'm going to light his candle and talk to him for awhile.  Today we have his little girl for the afternoon.  How we love these visits.   For now, I need to rest up for my high energy granddaughter.  I can't wait to see Michael's eyes on her little face.  The anticipation of seeing my granddaughters and being Nana to them gives me such strength.  I am so very grateful for the blessings I have in my life. 

Today is a forward stepping day.   I'll take it!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

one pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small...

5:36 pm. second time on today.  This is how quickly things can slide.  Tonight I need to take the first anti-anxiety med I've taken in weeks.  Looking back at the day I'm trying to track what brought this on. What did I do today? Well, I went into work..just to see if I could.  It was good see friends.  Five hours ago returning on a gradual basis seemed do-able.  Then I remembered a commitment for tonight - just choir practice.  If I was a voice I wouldn't go, but I'm the accompaniment which means I must go.  I think that's it.  Evenings are the worst time of my days.  Because - ? Is it because I'm tired by then? Is it because these are the bad hours, the hours in which Michael made his decision to take himself away, and then did so?  Is it because my husband is home from work and I cherish this together time we have? 

It's all of the above.  I'm not ready to feel relied upon by anyone but my family.  Friends understand that some days are good and some call for quiet time. 

So, time to let the little pill dissolve under my tongue so I can accompany the choir tonight but I'm going to have to gather the gumption to try to explain that I am not ready for this.


5:30 a.m. I am lighting the first candle of my day.  Early morning has always been my favourite time of day.  I was looking back through my baby books the other day and saw in Michael's that some of the entries had started with comments like "Baby boy, you are still asleep as it's early morning...".  Now, even though he is no longer here in body, I continue to write to him early in the morning. 

About a month ago I was able to stop taking one of the meds I'd been taking for nearly three years.  Although that is a good thing, one of the results is that I have distressing dreams.  Sometimes Michael is in my dreams but not often.  Someone who knows about dreams and their significance would probably have a hay day with them, but I'm not interested in trying to figure them out.  Every night I fall asleep hoping he will visit me in my dreams.  I'm tired this morning but after a dream much like Toad's Wild Ride last night I'm afraid to go back to bed. 

One of the effects of Michael's suicide last year my fear of committing to anything.  I have probably mentioned in earlier posts that I am a volunteer pianist at church.  The night Michael died I had gone to choir practice, even though he had been telling me he was going to kill himself.  What was I thinking at that point???? I don't understand how I could have left, but I think I must have believed that it was just another very bad night that he would get through.  I would only be gone for an hour or so and then I would be home and we would work together at keeping him safe.  But I never got the chance.  He killed himself while I was out and while his dad was upstairs.  Somehow God must have given me a bit of a warning because I remember opening the front door and looking directly at where he was.    I'm digressing...what I started to say is that I find it very hard to go to choir practice (or anything else) in the evenings now because I am afraid something bad will happen while I am out.  This is why I haven't been able to return to work.   The thought of my workplace reminds me of those last six months with Michael and it brings on a real blanket of anxiety, almost a feeling of suffocation.  I'm not explaining it very well but what I'm trying to say is that now, a year after his death, I'm starting to understand some of the feelings I'm having.  It's almost like there are layers to grief and the top layer has peeled away exposing a different fresh layer.  This layer is different but it's still raw and painful and frightening. 

My minister commented the other day on the fact that I seemed to "be doing okay."   She's right.  I am doing okay.  But I do okay by doing the things I need to do and avoiding the things I need to avoid.  When the ability to do that is taken away from me I start to flounder.  This is what happens when I feel I have to commit to something other than my family.  I can't do it.  I'm afraid.  I need it to be okay for me to be afraid.  The time will come, I believe, when my soul will have healed enough for me to do these things.  That time just isn't yet.  I'm sorry if I disappoint people but right now I'm the person walking in my shoes and I'm doing the best I can.  The love and support of friends and family continue to give me strength to get through my days.  But it's baby steps and I'm okay with baby steps.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

small gifts

It is another cold, wet Sunday and we are both a bit blue today.  I haven't written much in the past little while because to be perfectly honest I haven't known what to say.  The days go on the same as they have all year.  I miss my son, I wish he hadn't gone, I wish I could bring him back and it seems that the harder I try to be okay the worse I end up feeling. 

To me it feels wrong to try to suppress the sadness. 

When Michael died last year I read everything I could find on suicide and suicide survivors.  So much of it was helpful and because it was I decided I would write this blog in case someone else was going through what I was.  I've spoken to people who have lost friends and loved ones to suicide and have been really taken by suprise because they either had no idea that the person they lost was suffering, or they didn't understand any diagnosis that might have been made.  Because Michael had tried to get help, I had some understanding  of his condition so had done a lot of reading on his condition as well.  I knew the statistics on suicide for people like Michael. 

I really want to encourage anyone who is worried about a loved one to be informed.   You need to understand depression and anxiety not only to help your loved one, but to keep yourself healthy.  I'd add a proviso here though.  Talk to someone you trust.  We are lucky enough to have an incredibly understanding, compassionate family physician who has been our doctor for 28 years. But at one point, about a month before Michael died I had been very low with Michael's escalating self-harm attempts and suicide threats and had talked to a clergy member who, I suppose, thought he was being sympathic, and called Michael's behaviour "bullshit".  Sorry for my friends who don't swear but this came from someone in my church!! I was crushed and when Michael successfully completed his suicide less than six weeks later, I remember wondering what thoughts might be going through this man's mind. 

 Yesterday my husband found a camera of Michael's that we didn't know was here.  When I saw the pictures I remembered that a couple of Christmas's ago we had taken his daughter to a breakfast with Santa on one of his visiting days.  Such a short time ago yet he looked like the world still held the possibility of a life for him.  Discovering something of his that we didn't know we brings back those sad feelings yet is an unexpected gift and for that we are grateful. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tears for you.

Sometimes I get very tired of having to be strong.  It doesn't come naturally. Today I want it to be okay to be weak. Today I want to cry - I am crying.  I miss my son and I want him back.  There is no away around that fact.  It will never go away; I know this, and although I hear that it will get better, I don't believe it will.

Today I am listening to Michael's playlist of music.  There is really upbeat on this list and it's occurred to me that Michael's music truly reflects his spirit.  The music is beautiful and it helps me feel very close to him.  I have probably mentioned this before but our tastes in music werevery similar but he knew more about contemporary artists than I did.  Music touches the soul and listening to the music he listened to makes me feel close to his.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 370

Day five of year two.  Why has nothing changed?  Did I expect it to?  I think that buried deep somewhere was an expectation that somehow Michael might return once we made it through all the "firsts".  Sometimes the logical part of me takes a vacation and the desperate illogical part takes over.

Friday was a quiet day. We cried a lot and listened to Michael's favourite music.  I tried to imagine where he might be now? Is the soul further away after a year than it was after a month?  I wish there were answers to my questions. 

I am missing my son so much.  Why can't I wake up from this nightmare?