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You’re Not Going Crazy

You may feel like you are losing your mind right now. The feeling of sorrow, guilt, anger,
and desperation will combine into a F-5 tornado of emotions. At times you’ll dwell on one
feeling and other times random thoughts of your child, you, your family, will rapidly pass
through your mind. You will often wonder how you are going to get through all of this ick in
your heart, gut and soul. At times your brain will shut off as many of your emotions as it can to
help you keep moving forward even though you want to be stuck in one place so can just lay
down and not eat, think, drink, or breathe. Maybe you know these feelings already, your brain
is numb, and you enter into autopilot mode so you can get through the day. Sometimes you
obsess about your baby and other times you don’t think at all. You cry, laugh, go into a silent
stare out to nowhere. I have felt the same way you are feeling. There is anger, depression, an
inability to move from your spot. You may not have showered for 3 days (or changed your
clothes). All the while asking yourself “Am I going crazy?”. Like I wrote in the first line. You are
feeling crazy but you’re not going crazy. I suppose I would call it temporary crazy. This
emotional roller coaster and deep hurt and sorrow CAN pass if you want it too BUT it can
become your new normal. I’ve seen folks who just can’t get out of depression. Talking to the
right kind of therapist is a good idea for EVERYBODY.
I’m going to say the same thing over and over in this next part, not because I’m stuck
but to maybe strike a chord of what you are battling through right now. One minute you were
you. The next minute you found your child, or the police called you, or somehow you received
news that your baby, child, young adult is dead. At that very next minute you are not you any
longer but someone else. It is such a hard hurtful thing that discovery or the news. I can
imagine a doctor could tell you all the things your brain does physically at the moment you
found out your child is gone from this Earth. What I can call it is a quivering, crying, crap storm
of emotion that takes you from who you were 5 minutes earlier to what you are feeling right
now. So yes, you can assume you are temporarily insane. For me it felt like everything I knew
got yanked from underneath me. All truths became false. I had no confidence in anything, my
ability to reason, my ability to make a proper decision, I questioned if I could even screw in a
lightbulb, I was a mess. I’m not sure how you all felt when you lost your child, but I can only
explain it as a tectonic shift of reality.
Over the past 4 years plus I have found that reality (and sanity I suppose) came back in
little bits. At first I struggled through mundane things like eating, showering, working, paying
bills… ETC. If you have other children, you take care of them and nurture their wounds. Then
you take on more and more of the day-to-day tasks, and at some point, your old self and new
self-merge into who you are today. Don’t expect the person you were a year later to be the

finished product… Four or five years down the road you may be mostly fine. You must expect
the sneaker waves of emotion that will just rock you to the core. You will have flashbacks to
that day, and they will rock you to the core too. Holidays and their birthdays still hurt. I’m still
an asshole leading up to the day of my child’s passing. I don’t know how to change that yet.
You can’t wish your child back, they are gone. Many, many, many people live with the
ghost of their child and constantly relive that day, and it will only keep them static. You will
want them back so much, you want to fix that emptiness in your heart, we know, we have all
walked that path. I do understand not moving forward or moving on. I understand your fear is
that you will forget the one you lost. It’s an understandable fear and I will tell you, I will never
forget my son, Luke. We have a picture of him in our hallway, he will always be with us. If you
read, The Master Chief and Me, you know I still carry my son with me. But I had to face the
reality that there are two main roads. One is that I relive that day over and over, and over
again, or to say goodbye to my son and know that someday we will see each other again.
There is also another part of being a parent who has lost a child. And that is that there
are parents around the world who need you. Even as I write this, even as you are reading this,
a child has passed away and there are shattered parents who need you and I to help guide
them along their new reality. They need to say their kids’ name, they need someone to listen
to the stories of their child, they need someone who has gone through what you have gone
through to tell them. “Yes, eventually…” We are unwilling participants of the world’s suckiest
club (The I have lost my child club) and unfortunately parents are joining the club daily and are
going through what you have gone through. We need to band together to help each other
because we know the hurt.
I hope this helps, I know I questioned my sanity and reality after my son passed. There
are books like “Shattered” and “A Mothers Guide to Losing a Child” that speaks to what you are
going through the first year after losing a child. Both books are easy to read and will confirm
what I am writing and what you are feeling. My heart goes out to you, to all those who have
lost a child, or their sibling, or family member, friend… the list goes on and on of who is affected
with the death of a child.

God’s Peace be with you

Pat Santon,

Posted on by Pat
You’re Not Going Crazy

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