The Grief Room

Two months (!?) into this journey of After, my grief has found a new place. It has a room in my mind or heart where I can actually close the door and get lulled into a sense of being able to cope. I am able to go through the routines of my day, shower, eat breakfast, teach, grade papers, and keep the door closed and the feelings at bay.

Sometimes I allow myself to open the door. I look at my son Tom’s picture and think about him. His jokes, “that” look, his puns, the laughter he brought to the house. And then I cry. Sometimes it is a single tear down the cheek with a half-smile that matches his. Other times it is a bursting, sobbing rant, and I am afraid the neighbors will hear. Generally, I only open this door at home, when I am alone or with my husband.

Sometimes someone else opens the door. They ask me how I am, or, not knowing he is gone, ask after him. I do my best stop the door from opening, like when someone is forcing their way into your home and you put your foot there or push back against it. Sometimes it closes; sometimes it does not.

And sometimes the door sneaks open by itself. Like it does not quite latch tightly and the grief finds a way out. Sometimes it leaks out and I can dodge it; other times it rushes out over me before I can stop it. That often happens when I am driving and a song’s lyrics connect with my conscience or sub-conscience. It happens when I think I see him walking across the high school campus. It happens when I allow myself to picture his final moments.

I am told it gets easier. Tears will come less often. Perhaps the door’s latch will get more secure, and I will not feel the need to open it as frequently. But the door will always be there, as will the memory of our son who left us too soon.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock image by xuanhuongho

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Child Loss

The Dark Cloud Looming Years After the Passing of My Son

I have recently become aware of a dark cloud that is on the horizon. In one and a half years my son will have been gone as long as he was here. I’m not sure why this is causing me some trepidation. The only thing I can relate it to is my Mom’s demise. She died [...]
Megan wearing a swimsuit inside a yellow inner-tube

Grieving the Loss of a Child With a Disability

In my experience, people who have never lost a child have the false impression that a child with a disability dying is somehow a loss that is “less” than when a parent loses a child from a car accident, murder, suicide, addiction, or accident in general. Our loss is no less and no more. We all [...]

6 Things I Wish People Understood About Losing My Child

Losing a child is the most horrific thing can happen to a parent. You are not suppose to outlive your children. Our daughter had a brain injury at birth. She was on a ventilator and not expected to live. As parents, we had to make the unthinkable decision when she was 6 hours old to remove [...]

From a Grieving Mom to a Non-Grieving Mom

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” ~ C.S. Lewis When my boys were little, we had a motorhome we frequently took trips in. Even if we could only get away for a weekend, it was a good family time to simply drive less than an hour to a camping ground. One [...]