Something unexplainable happened. I felt a sense of strength that pulled me from that tear-stained couch. I grabbed a piece of paper and pen and wrote his eulogy. As I sat in the living room the next day, I sent up a prayer and thanked God for the "Footsteps in the Sand" experience that he was providing for me. I promised Andy that we would go on. I wanted to make my family whole again - just not my husband, Peter, and Molly, but my beautiful sisters and their families. I would help his friends adjust to this tragedy and I would pledge my God-given talents to fighting drug and alcohol abuse among teens and young adults.
This journey has not been an easy one. But I am writing this article to address grief during this month of Mental Health Awareness.
Allow your self to feel the shock, the pain, the grief, the anger, and the guilt. Avoid the desire to withdrawal. Know that these feeling and behaviors are more intense initially. Accept support from others. You might feel that no one understands what you are going through. My sister-in-law lost her son to SIDS. She organized the relatives that weekend into scrubbing down my kitchen. It was a source of embarrassment for me as I was not the most immaculate housekeeper but it was also a source of catharsis. I had to laugh as I entered the kitchen and saw her recruits glance at me with a look of "save me".
I found that my spirituality was heightened that day and it, along with family support, has given me the strength to carry on. However, I know that others are not as fortunate.
If grief evolves into a depression (see previous post devoted to this) please seek out a professional who can best provide you with the treatment you deserve.
I no longer look up at the sky and see dark clouds. They always part for me to reveal the rainbow. I know that its my Andy smiling down from heaven. I miss you so much. I will love you always. Peace, my dear son. Love, Mom