Try to Imagine

Patricia McClure

Try for a minute to imagine waking up one day in world very different from the one you know and not really understanding how the hell you arrived here.  You don’t know who you are or how to behave in this new world.  You desperately want to get back to something that’s familiar but NOTHING feels or appears recognizable.  You can’t use your senses to help you understand this new world because they don’t work here.   Everything is filtered out but pain.  You have to depend on others to help you navigate through this new world because you don’t know how to do it on your own. 
Now imagine that everyone in this new world seems very, very annoyed with you because you’re not acting the way they expect you to.  They don’t seem to understand that you’re on overload trying to adjust to this new world.  It doesn’t fit with any of your past experiences, so you have nothing to draw from.  At times, you shut down and isolate so as not to be too overwhelmed by all the strangeness and pain.  Each piece of information from this new world has to be uncovered, examined, understood, learned and re-learned again and again and again until it becomes a part of you.  You are trying to do this but it doesn’t appear that way to others.  You often feel like your failing.  You’re aware that you’re frustrating the very people you need the most but don’t know what to do about it.  You experience uncertainty, confusion, fear, loneliness, and extreme fatigue.  And yes… become discouraged, hopeless, and at times feel worthless and humiliated.       Why wouldn’t you?
In the old world, you were independent but connected and you understood people and they understood you.  You were able to feel happiness and joy, as well as, sorrow and pain.  You were confident, competent and capable in the old world.  You had a familiar place and role and you belonged.  You would like to go back there..... but you can’t….because going back won’t ever be the same.  You would like to move forward but don’t know how….. and it won’t change what’s happened anyways.  What’s happened will always be with you no matter where you go.   It is forevermore a part of you. 
In frustration, you begin to think…….if I could just change......just be what they all want me to be......just go back to who I was......just not exist at all.....just make it all go away.  Oh how you wish you could just make it all go away….to not have ever taken place.

I used to be                                     Now when I can be…..I am 
A wife                                                A wife                                   
Mom of three remarkable sons         Mom of two wonderful living sons
A friend                                             A friend
A colleague                                       A colleague
A professional                                   A professional

But much of the time, I am a Mom desperately yearning and grieving for her dead child.         

This is my new world and I have to learn how to live in it.  I don’t like it and will never like it but with the help and kindness of other bereaved Parents, I feel less alone and isolated in this world.