Private Thoughts of a Grieving Mother…

February 26, 2014

Even though I started blogging soon after losing Austin, there were things I still didn’t share.  Some thoughts about my grief were just too hard, too raw, too real.  But I still wrote them down in a private journal.

This is the first safe place I’ve felt it possible to share the pieces of me that once were.

Grief.  The first year.

3 months after: Pain inside and out

I never knew how much grief hurt inside and out, until I lost a child. Not only does your heart break, but so does your body.  There isn’t a moment that goes by that something on me doesn’t hurt now. In the early days of the grief, I was mostly numb but I guess my body had to have some way to express its pain. I contracted shingles during that first week and suffered from them for months after.

Looking back it seems as soon as one ailment heals, another begins. Throughout the process, my body has ached. In the evening, it feels like I have the flu. I am flushed, achy, tired and my joints ache as if I’ve worked in manual labor all day.

I am tired all the time, even if I get sleep. Although, I don’t think I actually ever get a full night. The moment my head hits the pillow, I fall asleep, nearly ever night; however, I wake up often. Sometimes I go in and out of sleep throughout the night. Sometimes I lie awake for hours. Maybe it is the body’s way of distracting the mind from what it doesn’t want to know???

 5 months: No tears

I don’t understand how sometimes I tear up at the slightest thing, sometimes I bawl and scream and then other times – nothing. I beg for tears, to feel the release, and they won’t come. How can I not cry?!! I don’t know how I shouldn’t be in tears every moment.

At the funeral, I prayed for peace so that Tim and I wouldn’t break down and it came. But I think it stayed. I’m calm more than not most of the time. And I hate it. I feel guilty when I’m not crying. It doesn’t change how I feel. I am sad, depressed, angry – all of the time – but I just don’t cry.

Then there are moments it is all I can do. Tears stream down my face, sometimes alone, sometimes with sobbing. Some days I don’t know why I bother putting make-up on because it is gone by the time I get to work. Rides are the hardest because I’m alone and I can let my guard down. There is no one to upset so I can feel.

I’ve never experienced so many forms of tears until I lost a son. There were days my eyes would barely open from crying so intensely and my whole body ached from the jerking and throbbing that it did to unleash the pain. Complete broken sobs.   There were days I couldn’t speak on the phone because the sound of someone else, would bring me to tears.   And then there are moments when I’m so pent-up, so mad, so hurt, so lost – and I want to cry but can’t. It is like you no longer have control of your emotions. You are being held hostage and someone else has taken over, the director of the tears. They come when they come and there is nothing you can do about it.

Runaway:  11 months in

I just want to run away sometimes. I get so tired of having to “keep it together” and remain calm, organized, sane. My youngest son is about the only thing that keeps me tethered. I get out of bed for him, I pay bills (late) but for him to have a house/lights/etc., I buy groceries for him to have something to eat. Most of time I’m on auto-pilot, I’m a robot. I just do what I have to do to get one more day done. over. I feel so bad for those parents who are grieving and don’t have another child to keep them grounded. I pray for those friends I know like this, who I’ve met along this journey.

I’ve never been this sad so many days in a row in my life. I’ve always been a positive person even though I’ve had my reasons to be depressed. And I’ve had my days before this tragedy but I shake it off, move on. THIS has just been torture. It never leaves. It doesn’t get better. I can’t shake it. In fact, sometimes I feel like it gets harder every day. Every day on the calendar is another day away from Austin. Another 24 hours longer that it has been since I’ve seen him. It hurts so much. It is physical. I FEEL the pain, inside and out. I feel sometimes like I’m drowning and I don’t know how I’ve ever manage to live the rest of my life like this. All of my adult life has been with Austin and I don’t know how to function without him. It is a void that will never go away.

But you have to. You can’t just sink into a hole and go numb, as much I’d like to some days. I have to move forward. I have to get up every day and keep going, even though I don’t want to.

I do it for both my boys. I do it because Noah needs a mom, he needs to never experience pain like this again and I have to shelter him, protect him, love him. And I do it because Austin would have wanted it. He never liked to see me sad, to see me cry, and I know his soul cannot be at full peace until Tim & I are better. That is why I continue. but it doesn’t change the fact that most days I look at the road before me and wish I could drive and drive and drive…and run away.

I cry alone

I’ve never been so alone in grief and sadness. What hurts is that I shouldn’t be. Tim is hurting too but for whatever reason, we can’t share this. If I’m sad and he’s not, I don’t want to bring him down. Maybe he thinks the same way? I don’t know. I have to find time to cry. There are so many points in my day that I want to, need to, and can’t.

So, I cry in the shower, because nobody can see the tears. I cry on the way home from work. I cry when everyone has gone to sleep.

I remember those first days…. in the instant it happened, I had no control. tears streamed, I screamed, I wailed. when I got home and “composed” and surrounded by people, I couldn’t cry. I used the bathroom a hundred times, just so I could go scream into a towel. aAd at night, once everyone had gone, I broke.

At the funeral, I held it because I knew if I broke, everyone else would too. I had to be strong for Noah especially. I didn’t know if I could do it – and really, in the end, I didn’t. God did. I prayed that morning for peace and he gave it to us. That is the only way I can explain how we got through those days in the funeral home. I didn’t break until his last call (a tribute saved only for firefighters).

But since, it seems my tears have to be hidden. I wish tim and I could hold each other and cry together. I wish we could share these tears and help each other heal. Instead we hurt alone but at the same time.


my biggest fear is that Austin will be forgotten. I am afraid that people will forget about him, who he was, what he did for this world. I feel like family is afraid to bring him up, for fear it will make us sad – and it does – but I’ll cry those tears, to have him remembered.  When someone comes up to me and mentions him, my eyes are instantly filled with tears – but my heart is healed a little bit, because he wasn’t forgotten.

the first anniversary is coming up…just a week away and I am frantic, trying to think of what to do. I want to honor him, remember him, but I don’t know how. I don’t know how we’ll feel that day or what we’ll want to do…and my heart is breaking because I don’t know how to remember him best.

  • More from the Author
Heather Blair
About the Author
In 2008, my world as I knew it changed forever, with the sudden loss of our 14-year-old son, Austin. The journey to my blog (and attitude toward life) was bumpy and tearful, beginning at a memorial blog for my son. I later chose to take another path, challenging myself to find the JOY in every day, despite the sadness I still felt. I love and miss him daily but I’m living my life to honor him – and celebrating every moment it brings. My goal…to find and share the joy in every day. You can find me at Joyful Challenge
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    • Ann

      September 4, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      I can understand exactly what you are going through. I lost my only daughter to this horrible disease called cancer!! My Sharon passed away in L.A. on the way back home to Sydney. ..She went to this hell hole called Oasis of Hope in Mexico. It should be called the Oasis of Death!! I had to wait 4 weeks to get my baby girl’s body back to Sydney. She didn’t travel mother should undergo what I went through..watching your daughter walking so confidently at the Sydney airport and coming home in a coffin! ! She left her 8 year old daughter and husband behind to mourn her loss but as her mum…part of me died the day my Sharon passed away. .life will never be same again…She left this wicked world on 9th May 2016…my grief,my pain and my devastating loss is mine and mine alone to bear…I wouldn’t wish this pain even on my worst enemy…I cannot move on every day is a struggle for me.not a second goes by when i don’t mourn for her..She was such a beautiful person so bubbly, so caring, so loving and she had the biggest heart…my tears have a life of their own. .I cannot eat, I cannot sleep and the pain in my heart is never, ever going to lessen in any daughter talked to me everday even though we lived thousands of miles apart. She was my firstborn, my best friend,my confidante. I have stopped living..all my movements are robotic. .life is not worth living anymore. I tried going back to work but I couldn’t. .my life ended the day my precious child was taken so suddenly from me..No one will understand a grieving mother’s pain except for another grieving mother…every birthday, every anniversary and every special occasion is a nightmare to me now. Missing my angel like crazy.

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    • Connie

      September 22, 2017 at 1:29 am

      I lost my oldest son 2 months ago today and I just can’t live without
      Please help

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