I sometimes think of my grief as a place in my mind – my house of grief.
I live my day-to-day life – with work and busyness and the routine – outside of this house.
But every morning I wake up – the second I am up – I am in my grief house. In the biggest room.
This is my “missing Nolan” room. I am in this room the most.
I have other rooms in my grief house.
I don’t go into the denial or shock room anymore.
But I did in the beginning. The anger room is tiny. I don’t go there much. I spent the first months in the searching room.
I got some relief, but unfortunately, in my time spent there, I found more questions than answers.
I went into the depression room last year December and stayed there for a month or so.
Didn’t mean to. But it happened.
It was decorated for the holidays, but that did not make me happy.
The room I hate the most in my grief house is the guilt room.
This is in the basement. I visit this room almost every day.
I know all grieving moms go here often — especially moms whose child died from suicide.
You know you don’t need to – and you shouldn’t – but you still do.
Something calls to you from in that room.
It tells you to come and waste your time and expend your energy.
You enter and go through the same routine.
“I should have known. I could have stopped him. I failed him. I should have fixed him – I have failed as a mother and a doctor. He is gone, and it is all my fault.”
But us grieving moms know the truth.
We only know what our child allowed us to see or told us.
We cannot read their minds.
Even though we are their mothers, we cannot say we knew our child completely and especially in those last moments of their lives.
WE CANNOT BLAME OURSELVES.
But we still do.
I try to get out of the guilt room as fast as I can.
The new relationships room is so good for my soul. It is where other grieving parents and friends are, and I get my strength when I go in this room.
Sometimes I get lost and find myself in the disorganization room – that happens a lot on my days off.
It pisses me off when that happens.
The house can be confusing because the rooms constantly change in location.
Sometimes you don’t know which room you are entering.
It does feel like you are losing your mind.
Unfortunately, the guilt room never moves… it is always in the basement, and it demands a visit too often.
Thank goodness I do not have a loneliness or isolation room in my house.
Never found it and I don’t think I ever will.
The room I like most is the “helping others” room.
It is sunny and warm and makes me happy. It has become a room that is missing a wall and is open to my everyday life and my work life.
Thankfully it is a room in my house of grief that I spend more time in.
This room is less and less hard to find. It does not move as much as it used to.
The missing room is where I end my day.
It is where I think about Nolan, my parents, many other relatives and others who are gone.
The list of people I am missing is growing.
But they are all together in the best house ever – the House of the Lord.
I expect I have a considerable amount of time before I get to see this house.
I will wait.