September 21, 2010 at 5:32 am

We take Fred wherever we go, everyday.  I have finally been able to put away the letter we received a few weeks ago from the other side of the family…stating that we were ridiculously holding Fred as a saint or martyr….and that he too had his faults.  The letter was mean, spiteful, and at the end threatening towards us not being able to see the girls. It was sent to my mother, all of my children, and me.  I lost my son, what else can I say to this person.  As I said after I received the letter, our tears wash away all the faults of our lost loved one.  We do not try to make them into saints or martyrs, we just love them and miss them.  I had 24 years with Fred.  22 of those years without that side of the family.  I know my son.
I don’t really understand all the letters we (I) receive, the hateful ones.  The supportive letters, cards, and visits are great and what keeps us going…but the random negative letters that are full of hate, call us names, or try to explain how this tragedy is indeed “catching”…I will never understand.
Yesterday one of the Denver Broncos players was found dead in his apartment, apparent suicide.  I read this story online and just kept reading it over and over.  What provoked it?  The few details given explained a happy, funny, smiley person that had a huge successful future in front of him.  Just like my Fred.  While my heart was breaking for that mother, and for that family…I wondered what could have been so bad for him, what could have been so out of control?
I think I walk around mostly zoned out and not fully aware of what is going on around me.  Just this morning I was trying to think about how I felt during certain things, at specific moments recently…I could not remember and could not really come up with anything.  The girls were here the past week with us, that seems to wake me up…and our new grandson was born as well…..That was an amazing experience that I will never forget.  It was hard in the delivery room at a couple moments to keep it together and to NOT get emotional.  I just kept thinking, Fred where are you, or Fred you are missing so much, or Fred you are supposed to be here right now.  I still just cannot believe he is gone.
I have written about all of my thoughts and feelings since Fred’s death.  Some of the entries I put on here, but most of them I keep to myself.  I have dark days and sunny days, I feel sad and I feel angry, I question myself at times and then can turn around and feel confident that I gave Fred everything he needed in life to succeed.  This journey is exhausting while enlightening. I look at other mother’s and feel envious, their families are complete.  I watch them smile and laugh and talk about their kids.  That was me at one time.
Today at Target our cashier had a necklace on that was a small vile, for memorial ashes.  I did not ask her about it, I just knew what it was.  I watched her closer than I typically would watch someone ringing up my groceries, but I wondered…did she lose a parent, a pet, a sibling, a child?  I wanted to tell her that her necklace was beautiful but I couldn’t.  See, I know what it feels like to NOT KNOW WHAT TO SAY.  I think it is better to say something…anything…in the attempt to convey feelings and support even if you think it is dumb or wrong or not helpful.  Always say something.
I am going to need to look for a job soon, something part time that I can watch Eoin on Tracey’s school days and still work.  Me having this time off and not working a second job on top of the bar has hurt our finances.  It will be good for me to have something to focus on part of the time anyway….I just need to stay away from what I WAS doing…counseling for heroin addicts, meth addicts and other addiction….since I am not fully confident that I could keep it together while talking about other people’s issues when mine are so close to the surface.  Not that they have anything to do with each other, it is just sometimes hard to let go of other people’s issues…and I really didn’t enjoy it anyway.  It will be good to go back to work, whatever I find. And hey, the news on the radio is that the economy is doing great in Colorado right now!!
I have so many days that I try to “start over”.  I really try to push myself to move forward and try new things to get through this.  Some fail miserably and others just seem stupid.  I worry that I am not being true to my feelings sometimes, that I am trying to cover up and get through it any way possible.  Other times I feel I am way too true to my feelings and I need to cover and up and shut up sometimes.  I am so worried about making other people uncomfortable around me, and so worried about people not understanding or judging me.  With all of that worry, the worry about work, and the normal day to day worry about the business, the family, etc… I think I am going to explode most days.  The stress is hard to manage at times and I just fall apart.  I have brushed up on stress management, read through some old career stuff I had for employees to hand out.  I threw it away.  LAME!
The season is about to change, we are moving into fall pretty quick it seems.  When Fred died we were changing seasons, spring to summer.  I try to remember what my dreams were before our son died, before our life changed and went into a different season.  People talk about life in four seasons with fall and winter being old age…only recognizing change in conjunction with our age.  I can think of seasons in my life and change of seasons constantly, just like every season of every year.  My summer is falling into winter.  A time to continue to reflect.  Sometimes life seeming to be frozen, time stopping, and memories of sleds, skiing, snowballs, snowmen, etc….  Winter is not the bad season, it is just different from summer.  I do not associate it with old age and pre-death.  I think of it as peaceful, reflective, and sometimes harsh.  Winter for me, is always a change of season where I slow down, think, face truths, and shovel the deep layers of accumulation from my life.
I love my family, I love my community, I love my friends.  This is a good start to figure out how to love myself again.