Being Strong and Making Decisions

Last week, on what would have been Barry’s 20th birthday, I finally placed his ashes in the local cemetery. That might sound like nothing to some people, but it actually took a lot of courage to do this and it has left me grieving the loss of another part of my son. But I do not want to harp on about the negatives…

It was something I wanted to do. And I know it’s something that needed to be done. I’m glad I did it and I know that with each week that passes, I’ll be happier with my decision to follow this action through.

Today, I returned to work full time. Today, and I’ve given this a lot of thought, I have decided that it’s time for me to move on in other ways too. I believe it’s important to rebuild my life. Barry will always be with me. I gave him birth and I will carry him in my heart forever. I will always miss him and I will always grieve for him. But life is short and I have other family members who need me. I have to rebuild my life for them. How can they move on if I am holding them back? And I am. I know I am.

Today I also left the online support group I’ve belonged to for the past year. This is part of the email I sent to the group prior to leaving…

Although this group helped me to cope when I first joined, now I find the group brings me down…it depresses me. Personally, I’m not strong enough to handle that on a daily basis. At the moment, I find myself in a quiet place and I need to protect that…for me and my sanity. I can barely look after me and my immediate family. I cannot take on the grief and loss of everyone else. That’s selfish, I know, but we all need to put ourselves first at some stage. We all have to do what is right for us.

This isn’t to say that I don’t feel for all of you. I do. Too much. I know the trouble and confusion in your hearts and I know the pain each and every one of you is going through. Please don’t let the grief consume you. Please find a way of finding a safe haven and building something worth living for around it. Please be kind to yourselves and remember that you do have other family and they grieve too. Maybe not in the same way you, a parent, does, but they still grieve and they need you.

I want to thank the owner of the group (past and present). This group is wonderful and I would recommend it to anyone who finds themselves in my position (but I hope not to meet such a person). This group is important and should never be let go. Some people don’t show their appreciation (they are not able to), but I’m sure they get as much as I did after joining. Just knowing you are not alone helps a lot. I believe that is an important ingredient to starting the healing process. I also want to thank the long term regular posters of this group – the ones who always step up and encourage and help and offer virtual hugs. You’ve been wonderful and I don’t know what I would have done without you. You allowed me to vent and you understood where I was coming from. Perhaps when I’m more healed, I’ll return and help other people. At the moment, I don’t feel I can do that.

Our children have gone to heaven, and one day we will be reunited with them. In the meantime, we need to hold them in our hearts and live life. We have to, at least, make an effort to live and that’s what I intend to do…starting today.

On 27 May I had my last counselling session too. This was a mere week after the first anniversary, but I was resolute in my decision that I was wasting the counsellor’s time. She didn’t put up much of an argument, so I believe I probably was. However, because of this sudden change in myself, I did question my motives when I decided to leave the online support group too. Was I pushing all support away? Was I making myself a hermit? Or…was I truly ready to stand on my own again? I feel it’s the latter. I feel I’m ready to face life fully again, but I have to take control and I have to ensure I’m in the right mindset. Whilst the support group is wonderful, reading the emails sometimes (well, often) left me in tears and I can’t afford to let that happen. I have to ensure my “safety net” is secure.

Only time will tell if I’ve been too hasty in my decision making.

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