I have been watching life go by in slow motion this week. One way I can describe it is that it has been similar to watching a dream sequence in a movie. Another way is to think back to one of those movies you’ve seen where the momentum of the story is slowed down in order to emphasize a particularly poignant moment. Another thing I can add to that description is that it also feels like I am on the outside looking in on someone else’s life but it’s difficult to see what exactly is going on because the window is so thick with brown, disgusting dirt and dust that I know I am missing the important parts of the show. Surely, this cannot be my life right now.
And yet it is.
I have watched people go about their daily lives, bustling around, smiling, laughing, some not so happy, others seeming impatient while standing in line, angry for no reason, others oblivious to anyone else in the world except themselves. All are unaware of my broken heart, unaware of the deep cavernous grief I am experiencing at this very moment. I want to scream at them, yell at the top of my lungs “DON’T YOU KNOW MY SON JUST DIED?” I don’t, of course; yet I cannot help but wonder just how the hell life can go on for everyone else while my has stopped?
And yet it does.
My beautiful, cherished and much loved son died suddenly but peacefully in his sleep on July 29, 2017 from a intracerebral hemorrhage sustained from a fall down his stairs. He was 28 years old. Much too young, much too vibrant, much too full of my dear, sweet boy, much too full of everything to be gone.
And yet he is.
There is nothing on the face of this earth that can prepare you for this kind of pain nor is there anything that can take this crippling and nauseating and excruciating and gnawing and heavy and raging and tortuous and violent pain away. It feels as though my heart has been ripped from my chest, twisted, squeezed and crushed on its way out. There are moments when I cannot breathe, so many moments when I feel like I am going to be sick. I only eat when food is placed in front of me. I have no taste, no desire to nourish my body. I want to curl up in my bed and never come out of my room ever again.
And yet I do.
Sleep is elusive. The first few days after Dylan died I was afraid to close my eyes for fear that I wouldn’t see him if I did. Where would he go if I closed my eyes? How would he know I was thinking about him every minute of my day if I was sleeping? Last night, I managed a few hours of sleep in a row rather than the five to ten minute chunks of sleep I have been getting. My first thought upon waking at 3:00 a.m. was, where is he?
And yet I knew.
He is in my heart, my soul, my very being. He will be in the sun that rises and sets each and every day and he will be in the gentle breeze that blows through my hair. He will be in each raindrop and snowflake and leaf that falls for the weather never bothered him. He will be in my laughter, my tears, my dreams, my very breath, and in every single thing I do from this day forward. He will be there encouraging me to get up on the days I do not want to. He will be there urging me on, one day at a time, one step at a time, one breath at a time, when the last thing I will want to do is carry on with my life.
And yet, somehow, I will.
AND I will carry on, not only for me but for Dylan as well because that is what he would have wanted. I will carry on for my husband, Mark, and for my sons, Ryan and Liam because that is also what they will want and need. I need to survive this. I must survive this. I have to survive this.
And I will.
Dylan would expect nothing less from me and that’s just the way it’s going to be.