I was hesitant about blogging about this topic but I thought...what the heck...its my blog...just do it.
I just didn't want people to think that all I ever talk about is death. Its just that death happens to be a part of life...and being the Ianstein that I am...I have a theory on that. :)
Most people have experienced a death in their family...usually a grandparent or an Aunt or Uncle...maybe even a mother or father. I have experienced all of them and more. I also lost a nephew and a daughter too. When I lost my nephew Andy in 1991 , it was the most devastating thing to happen to my family. It wasn't like losing my grandfather or my aunt or uncle. And even as tough as each of those deaths were at the time....my nephews seemed harder to cope with.
Looking back at it all.... I never really thought about what it must have been like for my sister Felice to have gone through losing her child. I was only thinking about myself at the time. and how Andy's death affected me. Well, until my daughter Timberly past away anyway. And at that point, I felt a bond with my sister that only people who have lost a child can share. I remember people saying to me.,.".I just cant imagine what you are going through"...and they are absolutely right...they cant. Its so different than any of the other loved ones passings. Its almost beyond personal. Its really something that you don't think can or will ever happen to you. And when it does.. its like your inner soul dies along with your child, and the emptiness you feel inside is very real and and cannot be fixed. That emptiness plays havoc on your life for awhile. Nothing....and I mean Nothing seems as important as it once was. Its like you are at Ground Zero in everything that makes you tick. You lose your zest for life. You no longer have the drive you once had. Everything is just DIFFERENT.
As much as I hated it...it seemed that I couldn't do anything about it, but start over. We all cope with death differently and they way I handle death can be (and probably is) much differently that many others.
Once it happens to you and it sinks in that you are never going to be able to see or talk with your child again, (on this earth anyway) you can move on to the next step of healing. It sounds easy...but getting to that realization is not so easy. You see.... it doesnt become a realization until much farther into the greiving process. Not until some time has gone by and that thought of "Never" starts to become more of a reality. Thats when you say to yourself..Oh ok...thats what "never" means. This period is what I call the "post numbing period"...because you are just numb until you come to this point.
Once here I started to realize that my life was not ever going to be the same...and since "Never" had a whole new meaning now...I needed to re-evaluate how that affects the rest of my life. Turns out it affected everything. My family, my work, my personal time, my friends...everything. When the order of importance on things change, so does your approach to those things. For example....Once you realize that work is not as important as you once thought it was...it becomes much harder to get there with the zest you had before. Or once you realize that the argument you are having with your spouse is not that important...you tend to give in and not give a shit no more......(OK bad example...I hate losing any argument), But you know what I mean and who knew it would have had that big of an impact in those areas of my life? But it did.
So... when I say Starting over...I mean starting over in a positive way. So often in life we put importance on things that...well...are not really that important in the overall scheme of things. For me it was like I woke up one day and my child is gone and she left a note behind for me saying....
"Hey Dad... Life is to short to not be happy".
So I am starting to do that....emphasis on "starting". I have to remember the proverbial note that my daughter left me on a daily basis. Because life IS to short and we need reminders of that daily.
Luckily for me I have Timberly to remind me everyday that my God gives me choices...and its these choices that I make is what determines what my impact will be on that day, not only to myself but to others. If I continue to close the world out...I cant have the impact that God wants me to have. And personally...I think God has a very Big plan in store for me. (Yeah...I'm that important ) :)
So each day I will wake knowing that I must start over. And I will not sweat the small stuff, I will not worry about the things that are not important. But what I will do each day is ....SMILE ...not because I have to...but because its the choice I make..... And also because I know that I will see Timberly again one day. The short life I have here on this earth is nothing in comparison to heavens time. And when you know that....whats not to smile about?