Trying to Deal with a Normal Situation

Gary and I are going away this weekend. We will stay one night in a hotel on the coast. If the weather is nice, it should be a great weekend.

But since the arrangements have been decided…I haven’t been able to sleep. Why? Because Daniel isn’t coming with us.

My mind is running at top speed. I suppose you can imagine what I’m thinking, what I fear. I feel increasingly nervous and I honestly don’t know if I’ll enjoy the weekend away. And if my mobile rings…

Last night I insisted that Daniel’s girlfriend stay over with him while we’re away. Now that’s a turn for the books, parents are usually not keen to encourage this situation, but it will make me feel better if he’s not here alone. In fact, if he had told me that she couldn’t stay I would have refused to go. I’m not joking.

Daniel asked why it was so important that she stay and said he’d be fine on his own if she couldn’t. I just said that I didn’t feel comfortable leaving him alone. He knew what I meant. I could tell that he thought I was over reacting, but he didn’t say anything. We haven’t been away since we lost Barry and I can’t help associating going away with the death of a child. In my mind, I had decided never to go away again until Daniel left home.

For heavens sake, Daniel’s almost 23 years old and I shouldn’t have to worry about him like I do, but my fear has returned and it’s very strong. I feel so torn. Should I go? Should I stay? What if I go and something happens? Will I be able to forgive myself? But what if we all have a good time and on Monday everything returns to the normal routine? Maybe if all goes well, I’ll be freed from this fear for any future holidays we might take…but is it worth the risk?

I can’t sleep. I feel physically sick. I know I’ll have to resist the temptation to phone him every half hour to make sure he’s alright. Gary tells me that Daniel and his girlfriend will have a great weekend without us hanging around and that we should try to have a great weekend away. I know this is true, but what if…?

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3 thoughts on “Trying to Deal with a Normal Situation

  1. Karen,
    I will think of you all week end and pray you manage to have a relaxing, enjoyable time. Your fear is so normal and understandable…I have no idea if it will ever go away, but I imagine it will get a little less as you regain some balance & feeling of control in life.

    Two months after you lost your precious son, my darling granddaughter took her own life. My daughter, son-in-law, and grandson found her in the garage of their home, just as Daniel did. I know what turmoil and chaos our family has been in for the last fourteen months, so I understand your fear. I wish had answers for you, wonderful wise words of wisdom, but I’m afraid all I can do is tell you my heart aches for you and your family. And I will remember you all in my prayers for strength and resilience so you can lean on your brave heart & kind soul.
    Peacefulness, Diane

  2. Hi, Karen, I hope you really enjoy your week-end away. I can understand your apprehension about going away…your last holiday experience has left its mark….but you bravely realise you have to get back to doing these “normal” things, when your life is anything but normal.Doing things that other people do with little effort takes a lot of energy and the emotional drain you are feeling about Daniel must be so awful. Trust Gary’s advice and make the most of your break.

  3. Diane: I’m so sorry about your granddaughter. Suicide devastates the entire family and is hard to accept for many reasons. I hope your family are finding moments of peace in their journey through their loss.

    Maree: I hadn’t looked at it like you describe – doing things that other people do with little effort. You’re right. How many people are scared to go away? How many people fear they will lose their only other child if they do? Thankfully, my fears were unfounded and we all survived the weekend, but I’ll write about that in full soon.

    Thank you, both ladies, for your prayers and encouragement.

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