19 Years Later

They say time heals all wounds.  I think that was written by someone that had never lost a child.  Nothing heals that wound.  You only find ways over the years to cope with your loss on a day to day basis.  It’s been 19 years since we lost our little boy Jason.  It’s hard to think that NINETEEN years have gone by!!  It still sits fresh in my memory.  That horrible day still flashes in my mind like a bad nightmare each and every year.  I try to replace all that with the happy times.  But the PTSD won’t allow that no matter how hard I try.  So each year, the week leading up to and on this dreaded day, I do a lot of distractions to focus on the good and not let those flashbacks over take my mind.

JaybirdAfter 19 years, I still have that empty place in my heart.  I know many of you newly bereaved parents are thinking, how am I going to continue on with life?  How do I smile when my baby isn’t here with me anymore?  How can i dare be happy?  I know you feel that guilt every time you laugh or smile.  I went through it for years.  You find happiness again. But do know, it doesn’t mean you have forgotten.  Doesn’t mean you aren’t hurt and forever changed. Doesn’t mean you don’t care anymore.  Believe me!  That pain and hurt is still in there and it’s ok to smile and laugh and have fun. But it will be in your own time.  Your son or daughter wouldn’t want you miserable your whole life.  They want you to move forever because they know you still love them.  They still live in your heart and in your memories and you hold tight to that.  I still cry when i watch Jason’s videos. I still cry over not being able to hold him or see his smile or hear his voice.  But I feel joy that I had such an awesome little boy for those 3 short years.  3 years, 5 months and 7 days.

One thing I keep in mind is that each October 1st is never that horrible day it was in 1996.  That each years is a reminder of that day.  I try to focus on the good times. Like remembering his first day of preschool when i thought he would be clinging to me saying don’t leave Mommy, don’t leave! But instead, he walked right into his classroom, sat down in the circle of new friends with his legs stretched out looking at his new shoes he just got for school.  I wish I had my camera that day.  I wish I could take that image from my mind and print it out. But instead, it’s a good memory forever branded in my head.

mourningMy message to newly bereaved Mom’s, Dad’s, Grandparents.  Time won’t heal your wounds, but they will scar over and feel less painful.  You will smile and laugh again.  But it will be in your own time.  19 years later, I still post the same photos each year in remembrance of Jason on the day of his passing and on his birthday.  It’s how I personally cope.  Each of you will find your own ways to cope and never let anyone tell you how to get through your days, weeks, months, years.  It’s your grief. But always reach out to others if you need.  Don’t hold it in and let it eat away at you.  Whether it’s to a good friend, a bereaved parents support group, journaling, or a therapist.  Everyone needs help processing such a tragic loss.

As you can see, my thoughts are still all over the place when it comes to this and I’m not a writer by any means.  I just hope that I offer hope to others that have lost a child (of any age) that you will smile again one day and that’s ok.  My thoughts and prayers go out to anyone needing a site like this because I really wish there wasn’t a need for it.  Hang in there.  The only way through grief is just that… you have to go through it.