One thing in particular that’s mentioned from people struggling with grief is how people start to avoid them. Not like a polite kind of slow fade out either. I’m talking like cut off…no easing out…no explanation (not like we need one)…they just disappear. If you think about it, that’s pretty fucked up. On the other hand, I can’t say I get it but…I think I may know why people do it. Not that it’s right, it’s still 100% the shittiest thing to do to someone. Hopefully, explaining this from my POV and personal opinion makes sense… For me, I’ve noticed how I seem to always try to explain my pain of losing Jace. It probably seems so repetitive that people are afraid to ask how I am or even cringe at the thought of mentioning anything that might remind me of him…not that it would matter because eventually something about how I’m struggling will be mentioned. It probably seems like I am looking for pity or…pathetic attention…constant sympathy I guess. Believe me….that is the very last thing I want! When I’m at a loss for words or trying my best to explain what this is like for me…inside it’s a feeling of desperately wishing for an answer almost. I’m turning 45 years old this week and I am so lost. I mean, unimaginably and completely lost. Now I know I’m going to sound like a lunatic when I say this but, when has that ever stopped me?? And this will probably not make sense to anyone…I sure as shit know it doesn’t make sense to me…. And please, keep in mind how incredibly difficult it is to explain something that I know is impossible. Besides the disparity of wanting some sort of answer, I also just want Jace back. When it seems like I’m rambling on to everyone else, I’m hoping the more rambling will wake me up from this nightmare. I’m never going to apologize for being brutally honest about my feelings. I’m just sorry that there’s such a lack of compassion and support from people who don’t understand. The sane part of me knows I’ll never get an answer for my pain, Jace isn’t coming back no matter how hard I wish, ramble, plead…no one will ever truly know how I struggle or feel. And that’s ok. I’d rather have someone say nothing at all and just listen or let me feel it than to be cut off. Shit…I’d rather have someone be as brutally honest with me and tell me…”Look, I cannot deal with you anymore because I don’t fucking get it. You’re depressing, hot mess of a disaster and other people have problems too”….I would much more respect the honesty than the cowardly cut off. Obviously that would mean one less person in my life. Ha…I almost have to laugh at the thought of anyone thinking I’d even care at this point. Other than my family, I can count on one hand the number of people I trust and talk to. No matter what anyone may think, I’m completely fine with that. It reminds me of something my grandmom said…”I’d rather have 4 quarters than 100 shiny pennies”…I was 5 years old when I heard her say that. Forty years later, I get it.
I am repetitive with certain things I say. Losing a child is unnatural, unbearable and something a mother will ever get over. I always feel like I’m walking on eggshells, trying not to offend other grieving mothers when describing Jace. It’s the main reason I usually make sure to always say….”I know I sound like every other grieving mother when I say…blah, blah, blah…” I would never disrespect a mother whose lost a child but, I’ve decided to stop using that phrase. Every mother should feel the way I do when I say MY child was special, MY lose is different…because it’s an individual truth. For me, Jace was so unique, so different. Not only because he was transgender…because he impacted so many lives in only 25 years. He was meant to be here, there was a purpose for him. I so believe that! I can’t count how many times I’ve told him that. The letters I found last year in one of his folders was proof that I’m not just sounding like a grieving mother, there WAS something special and different about him. Over 20+ letters, all from different people throughout the years would all say how crossing paths with him made them better people, made them feel that knowing him made their lives better, made them more positive about life and achieving their goals and dreams. Some only had known him for a few weeks or months, others for years. Now there’s no convincing me otherwise with why I say he was different, special, meant for so much more. The world should’ve known him…it sure would’ve been a much better world to live in.
The day I had my first child changed my life. Everyone says that 😒🙄… well, because it really does. For most teenage mothers I think a baby becomes either life-altering or life-awakening. Having Jace awakened every chamber in my heart and soul. It was like feeling my heart beat for the first time. My life had meaning, goals, positivity to thrive and prove the world wrong about the stigma of being a teenage mom. That day the term ‘unconditional love’ had a whole new meaning. Because of him I became who I was. Because of him my heart opened up the doorway to love even more as a mother (3 times more lol). I was an 18 year old who had no idea what or where I wanted my adult life to go…that was before I became a young mother. The only people who had any faith in me were my Mom and Dad, Donna and my sister. And even my Mom and Dad were probably losing circulation with crossed fingers at first lol. I had soooo many people who doubted me…and that’s just putting it nicely. I didn’t really care. I was so blinded by love of that baby that I would’ve moved Heaven and earth to make something of my life. And I did. My life changed on May 6, 1995 and my life changed again on September 5, 2020. Another thing I often repeat is how I’m a stranger to myself now. Of course I love my 3 girls and grands more than anything in the universe! Just as I described about Jace, I’d not only move Heaven and earth but, mountains and rivers for them as well. That will never change…just everything else has. My heart is so shattered, so broken that I honestly feel it. I’m so different. I remember a few weeks after Jace passed I looked in the mirror and I had aged 10-15 years overnight. I don’t smile the same, I don’t laugh the same, I don’t think the same…I don’t even love the same (excluding my girls and grands…expressing it just changed…it’s harder). It sounds cliché but, my physical body is just a shell over hollowness. I feel nothing about anything anymore. I know life changed for all of us when Jace passed. No one loved us the way Jace did…or ever will. His heart was his gift and a curse. It’s nauseating that 18 months has passed since he’s been gone. I feel like everyone is dealing or at least masking their pain a whole Hell of a lot better than I am. Everyday feels heavier. I feel like there’s an overwhelming amount of pressure for me to be handling my feelings and pain better but, all that’s done is make me hide it to the point where I just overflow…and I even hide that and do it alone. My heart will never make it for too many years. This is going to kill me. Whether I am crying uncontrollably alone or in the middle of the street for everyone to see…it doesn’t matter. I can truly say there’s no way my heart can do this year after year after year. I just don’t know how other grieving mothers are able to do more when it comes to grief and positivity. I almost want to reach out and tell them it is okay to say how heavy this is. As much as I admire those women and the strength the show…it’s got to be breaking them down or it will eventually. No amount of will power, faith, religion, positivity is stronger than the love and pain we go through after losing a child. Next time…whether it’s me or someone else you know…is desperate and vulnerable enough to trust you by trying to put their pain into words…don’t think of them as weak or looking for pity/attention. Hug them tight, hold them for however long it takes and allow them to feel it, to cry those tears out. Most of all, be there and be present because you want to be. If you don’t, be honest and tell them.