January 31st is my daughter, Alex’s four year Angelversary. As some know, Alex was 17, a Senior in high school, had just taken her SAT’s, then bam, in a coma for 8 weeks before she died. This year is no different from the first three. I feel flooded with memories and disbelief of all she went through. It continues to feel so surreal that she is really dead. She was my Grace child, my child who was so incredibly beautiful spiritually and physically. How could this happen? She was so vivacious, loving, intelligent, excited to turn 18, to live on her own, to get married, be a mom; the list could go on ad infinitum.
Her best friend just got engaged, which is such an example of how confusing being a grieving mother is at times. I want to feel happy for Alex’s friends and classmates as they experience happiness and success. I have to say it takes my breath away when I see photos of her friends, making new memories that Alex hasn’t been a part of for four years.
Right now, the pain due to her absence is unbearable. For many people who do not get child bereavement, after four years, I should be good to go now. My own father cannot stand that I continue to grieve. I really do not have patience or tolerance for judgemental bystanders. Its cruel and abusive to judge a person who is grieving. Grief, depression and sadness make many people very uncomfortable. I have made great strides with staying away from judgmental people, and who have made it clear they cannot handle being around me anymore. I have been angry and hurt by these things. Now, it really just disgusts me. One day, maybe I will be able to pray for them without my own judgements. For now, I try to focus on the people who have been supportive and shown such love and empathy toward me.
There is an element of tunnel vision in child bereavement. I am sure this will broaden as time passes. I have read that it is natural to seem obsessed with the child who died. I live in what almost seems like a different world. A world of regret, sadness, yearning and desperation..desperate to make sense of the afterlife. That is the reality of what its like to continue living without my child, the life of a grieving mother after almost four years.
I have tried my best to consider how Alex’s death affects my family, but fail miserably most of the time. I know life will never be the same without Alex, it will never be okay that she died. I dont know if the accident and death anniversary will always be like reliving it all. I will continue to write about my journey as it comes, which has been so necessary for my sanity.