Facebook/social media is bursting with all kinds of emotions, events, victories and yes, grief… some love it, others hate it… For me it has been an escape from my own life, while other days I’ve shared some of my deep sadness. Most of my feelings are usually private journaling, some which I’ve blogged, but much of which stays safe from the eyes of others. I’ve never found reason to scrolled back and read what I’ve blogged or journaled these past 4 years. I’ve always thought I’d never want to relive some of my thoughts. Much like seeing a therapist, I’m sure I’ve repeated myself many times over and over and do not have desire to go back to those words. I’ve cried myself through a lot of unspoken words as I type and other days were a sort of meditation; not a tear or a word spoken, just my heart pouring out of my fingers releasing every word into a document those of us living in deep grief would want to scream from a roof top. In a strange way it was a sense of relief and letting go. The words that courageously made it to my blog were so those who felt comfortable reading, could. Those who were not…no need to… I get it.
Several times a day I pop on to Facebook, I like to see what the girls may have posted, the jokes and the vacations my friends are enjoying. I like it, actually I love it. Facebook has brought a smile to my face on days I really needed a lift.
For the past few months I have noticed something different as I scroll my way down Facebook feeds. I’m thinking most people love it…. “Time Hop”… reposting photo memories from the past, something that didn’t happened in past years. Sure, a casual Throwback Thursday of people reminiscing their own life was something I enjoyed looking at too. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the fun and excitement of great memories. While some of these photos that come up in my top hop were posted of the girls or grandkids and it brings a mile smile to my face, others are a painful sword-through-the-heart kind of moment. Four years ago I was barely surviving, my heart was broken and I was so afraid that people would forget Grant. I posted many pictures of Grant the first several months after losing him. Based on my top hop I guess more than I even remembered.
Facebook lifted my heart many of those days, friends from all 45-some years of my life would post kind, thoughtful, encouraging words to my page or message box or just simply like the many pictures and memories I shared of my boy. Some understood and for others I’m sure they just didn’t quite know how to reply at times. My friends have liked the happy times and understood how to reply to the worst days of my life. While at the time this is exactly what I needed for the past month Facebook has been my Grief Shadow, Grief burst… It’s a very scary feeling. Losing a child is not only the deepest kind of sadness, it’s frightening. The fears of never seeing or touching your loved one ever again is torture. I have what I call scare attacks, an intense sadness that overcomes me when I least expect it at any given time of the day or night.
I have pictures of Grant all around me… but when I see a captured moment that I haven’t seen before or for a long time, when I inhale a scent that he wore or hear his recorded voice, it causes moments of anxiety… sometimes I feel like I’m suffocating as my fingers enlarge him on my iPad touching his face, wishing I could just pull him back to me. I study his hands, I study his ears, every part of my beautiful child.
I’m learning how to cope with these unpredictable emotions… whether it be calling my family or any one that will answer or remove my computer from my docking station and sitting in another area of the building. My office is a shrine of my children, all my children and Grant resides amongst the clutter just as he did the day he left.
I sure I’m not the only one on Facebook that has faced these “Time Hop” fears. I’m sure just seeing how your children have grown brings an emotional tug to your heart.
But thoughts from a mother who has used Facebook as an escape, entrusted her social media friends with her heart… Thank you. And for those who have cared and just didn’t know how to reply… it’s okay. And for those who just don’t know how to reply… thank you for just understanding this process of learning to live a different kind of life.