Control or no control -I’m going to embrace who I will become.
“Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.”–Vicki Harrison
Control a: to exercise restraining or directing influence over b: to have power over
I feel as though I lost control over my life when Kellan died. Every single thing I prepared for. Any idea of the life I had dreamed of for myself and our family was shattered.
I can no longer control my emotions or how things make me feel. I have no control over my tears flowing, or the thoughts that race through my head. There is no more shutting my brain off. But I also feel more level-headed and logical than I have every been.
I have thought of Kellan every single second, of every single day since the moment I held him in my arms. Even when I’m in conversation or seem to be focused on something else, Kellan is always running through my mind. It’s mentally crippling.
I often have wondered when the day would come that I won’t think of him 24/7. And then this morning, as I was getting my hair done and laughing, I realized suddenly that today was that day. I wasn’t thinking of him in that moment and I couldn’t believe it.
4 weeks and 4 days after his death was the first time I didn’t think of him for every single moment of my day. Now that it has happened, I can’t help but ask myself if I actually want to not think of him every moment? I thought that’s what I wanted. I’m unsure now, but I know I can’t control it. Maybe that’s the issue?
I want control back of as many things as possible, so I do my best to recognize what I can have power over. Sadly, there’s very little. I almost feel like a child that fights their parent on what they wear and eat. They get very little control over their lives, so they’re fighting for what they can. I get it now. Let your kiddo not match for a day and look like a fool – it’s ok.
As I start to piece back together what I can of my shattered life, I’ve realized that I’m in survival mode. I like to plan my day, decide who I will see and talk to, and put myself in situations that I know I can handle. I protect myself as much as possible, and I love when I’m given options and the ability to make choices. I need control.
A good friend of mine recently asked if she could e-mail me as a way to connect, instead of texting or calling me. I loved this idea and look forward to her e-mails. I can decide when and where I read them, and if I want to respond. I can open and close them as I want. I have control.
I’ve realized recently that I am not excited about anything in my life currently. Things that happen can make me happy, or make me laugh. But there is nothing in the future that excites me. I can’t control the future, and I am honestly scared of it. So for now, I remain unexcited. I can control that.
I went through a breakup in 2009, that at the time I thought was devastating. Oh Tiffany, if only you knew back then what you know now. But I did handle that breakup like a boss. I changed my phone number, and deactivated my social media for 3 months. I then went on to live my life as vibrant and in the moment as possible. I traveled, I took risks, I embraced change. I met my future husband – the love of my life.
So almost exactly 10 years later, 2019 Tiffany decided to read a chapter from her old playbook. With that, I deactivated social media and am going to try to live my life. In the moment, and embracing the changes that come with it. Maybe as I allow myself to do this, I will get a small sliver of excitement again. Only time will tell.
I will say, as soon as I went through the deactivation process, I felt a huge sense of relief. It’s remarkable the stress something so trivial can cause you without you even realizing it.
Since I don’t have social media, I decided to revisit a few blasts from the past today and go through the pictures on my phone. Buried between a million pictures of Sophie, I found several quotes I’ve saved throughout the years (My phone insanely has photos that go back to 2008). I had saved this one in 2015, but today I needed to read it:
“Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.”
I think that’s exactly what I’m doing. I was forced into an impossible situation when my son died. So now I will do what I can to un-become the things in my life that don’t help me move forward, and become the person I need to in order to move forward.
I think Kellan would be proud of me. Control or no control – I’m going to embrace who I will become.
I just read the following on a post today and it made me think of you. Thinking of you! —-
I know many of you have heard of the 5 stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance). It’s not accurate, nor is it based on solid research methodology. Do NOT feel like you need to hit these 5 stages; and don’t feel like you have failed at grieving if you never hit the acceptance stage. You never truly “accept” a death (ask anyone who is still grieving a loss 30 years later). Instead, we have broad phases (numbers just used for organizational purposes): 1) shock and numbness; 2) yearning and searching; 3) disorganization and despair; 4) reorganization and recovery.
People often jump back and forth between the phases. For example, after you have “reorganized” your world to figure out how to operate in a world without your loved one, you might be triggered by a song, smell, birthday… and have a grief pang that transports you back to shock and numbness. That’s normal. Anyone who tries to hurry you through “depression” to get to “acceptance” is wrong (and rude). Grief is not linear. It is messy and doesn’t follow 5 simple steps.
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