“If a mother is mourning not for what she has lost but for what her dead child has lost, it is a comfort to believe that the child has not lost the end for which it was created. And it is a comfort to believe that she herself, in losing her chief or only natural happiness, has not lost a greater thing, that she may still hope to "glorify God and enjoy Him forever." A comfort to the God-aimed, eternal spirit within her. But not to her motherhood. The specifically maternal happiness must be written off. Never, in any place or time, will she have her son on her knees, or bathe him, or tell him a story, or plan for his future, or see her grandchild.”
― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
The past couple of months I feel like, through much prayer, self control and discipline, I have learned to "manage" my grief per say. I've not come upon too many things that make me totally shut down in public. I've not ran away and hid when a memory presents itself. I've not let myself get too upset when I feel someone or a situation is forgetting Noah...or, on the flip side, someone or something reminds me that he is supposed to be here.
But, without question, I still mourn for Noah.
I mourn for what Noah has lost. A life he was supposed to be living. Field trips he should be on, school and church plays he should be singing in and roads he should be running up and down on. I will admit I feel a twinge of jealousy and bitterness arise in me when I see a group of boys out laughing and playing. He's supposed to be there. And then I try to remember what I've been told. What I've learned. What I know. "Noah is ok! Noah is in a better place." His end on earth does not mean the end of him. It is the end of what I knew of Noah. But it wasn't supposed to end this way. At this time.
Sometimes, however, my grief will take a different turn. I can get lost in my own grief and so consumed by it I just zone out and will tend to shut even those closest to me out of my world. I am oblivious to what is going on and I find myself in complete mourning, depression and just plain feeling sorry for myself of what has been taken from me and wondering how on earth will I go on without someone I was never supposed to lose in the first place.
And then, I mourn as a mother.
I ask myself how did this happen? Why did this happen? What part did I play in this? It wasn't supposed to go this way. I have lost my son and there is nothing I can do to bring him back. All those times he was scared and I gently reassured him, "Noah's it's ok, mommy won't let anyone or anything hurt you." I didn't come through on that and even now I find myself hesitating when I say those words to Haleigh Raye. What if she doubts me, as a mother, and thinks, "but something did hurt my brother." A confidence about my maternal role has been taken away. I can't protect them, I didn't protect him like I thought I could...like I was supposed to. And then another wave hits me and I mourn for all the "supposed to's" that I can't do anymore.
I can't mother him anymore. The anxiety, the fears, the worries come back like they are all new.
I won't get to watch him grow up.
I won't get to watch him graduate high school.
I won't get to watch him decide what career he will choose.
I won't get to watch him fall in love, pick out a ring and marry his bride.
But I'm supposed to be able to do all those things and more. It's not fair. I made sure he participated in sports, budgeted for braces and did yearly physicals. I helped him with homework, tried to secure him a good education so he could choose the career field he wanted. I prayed for his future wife and wondered what she was doing at the moments I prayed for her.
I did that because I was his mom. That is what I was supposed to do. It is what I was called to do. It is what I wanted to do. But it is not what is.
So, now, what am I supposed to do when he doesn't need me anymore? When the natural instinct and yearning of being a mom to him is there but he is not.
What's supposed to happen now?
(I set on this post for a few days trying to find some neat and tidy way to close this post rather than leave it open ended with a question. But I realized I can't because I don't know what is supposed to happen next. I don't even know what I'm supposed to do next. There is no correct way to deal with the turn my life has taken. Anyone that knew me before the loss of Noah knows what a planner I prided myself in being. Part of this struggle, with my own grief, is the fact that so much is unknown and that can scare me more than anything. I've had to give up a control in my life I thought I had, I thought was mine when all along the control was not mine to have. Noah's death has brought me to my knees and made me really stop and think, "do I really believe what I say I believe." I will be honest I've doubted a lot of things and I've had to come face to face with that and deal with it. And there are sometimes it has not been pretty to be confronted with myself in that way. But when the grief has exhausted me, the supposed to's are too much and pain has lost its numbness I can rest that Noah made a decision to put his childlike faith and trust into a God so that, in death, he would be where he was supposed to be.)