Which One of Us Died?

On June 16, 2011 in the afternoon, at the University of Washington Hospital in Seattle, WA, my son’s heart stopped.  As explained on another page, it was a wrongful death.  It may seem odd but I felt as if he were the only person in the world who understood me and whom I loved for his attributes, his intellect, his compassion and his being.   To say the least we were close.  When I was in graduate school he taught one of my classes on Ethics.  His intellect surpassed mine or David’s.

His opinionated nature was part of him that I loved.  “I love that movie” “I hate that movie” and then an explanation as to why he felt the way he did.  It stimulated me to go beyond the surface of anything to reveal its core.  He was only 27 when he died; too young, too fast.

No more laughter, no more phone calls late at night, no more 2 am philosophical discussions……no more Alex.  He was and is my everything.

When you love as deeply as I loved my son, it is not he who died, but me.  Five years later, I am a shell of the person I was.

My husband is able to move forward even though he grieves furiously.  He is devastated and took responsibility for the greater part of the events that followed the death.  I could’nt move; I couldnt breathe or brush my teeth or pick out clothes for the day.  I have no other children so there was no one I had to care for.  No one but my husband who has since become like an appendage.

I sought the counsel of a psychic although it is far from unique.   I heard that many mothers who lose their children engage a tarot card reader or psychic in hopes they will communicate with their son or daughter.

So we moved from Seattle, WA to Phoenix, AZ in hopes we would start a new chapter.  Such a thing does not exist.  There is no new chapter, no moving forward, no new beginning.  There are cognitive behavior skills which encourage distractions from the rumination about your loved one who died.  I am grateful to have even one tool.

Elizabeth Kubler Ross, bless her heart, has attempted to put “stages” of linear time as one copes with death.  Even if I disagree with her theories, it can be helpful for some and for this I am grateful.  For myself I cope by riding the roller coaster from day to day, the tears welling up and turning on a stupid movie to distract my thoughts, swimming, trying on makeup…..but I would admit to anyone without shame that I merely exist.  Exist in the sense that I move through a day accomplishing small tasks and dreaming of the day I too can lay on a bed and leave the exterior world.

I can never love again in the sense that I historically fell in love every other day.  That ability is gone.  I run from emotion now for fear I will cry and the tears will take me to the abyss.  Aside from loving my husband who is a dear dear man, my life feels meaningless and empty.    I wait everyday for my son to walk through the door.  He never does.

So it isnt clear which one of us died that day.


The following link is to his movie on You Tube.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO0U1IYhx2E&t=31s

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