Saying Good bye to a Mother’s Child

What a day.  I knew it was going to be a difficult one, but I had no idea just how emotionally exhausting it would become – for all of us.

I’m sitting here alone on my bed, the dogs settled in for the night and my beautiful children in their rooms for the night … well, at least inside the house … 4 or 5 more trips to the kitchen before the house goes to sleep.  John should be home soon so I wanted to embrace the peacefulness before I have to engage in conversation.  I hope that didn’t sound as bad as it did … I love having John to talk to, but I really need to be writing.  Today was hard.

The first order of the day was Colton’s visit to his counselor, Jane.  He adores her.  We are really happy for her and that he likes her.  He’s tried counseling before and just didn’t take to his therapist.  She’s different.  She’s funny, she understands him and he likes that.  Today I went in with him and we met this other worker who’s suppose to set him up for some community youth stuff – he’s not into that and the minute she suggested coming to our house for a visit, I could feel both of our bodies sink into the chair.  Colton and I have somewhat of the same personality – we have a lot of the same thoughts, emotions, and feelings.  We accepted her invite but we knew that isn’t going to happen.  Colton and I like our space and prefer to do the visiting – that way we can make it short and sweet.

After that lady left, Jane asked how our week was – I immediately began talking about the death of those two boys over the weekend.  I wanted her to encourage Colton to go to it. He was pretty adamant about not attending the wake for either of the boys.  I felt it was very important for him to attend.  He needs to see what this does to a community.  These boys were partying and driving – not a good mixture and I needed him to see that.  Then she asked me how I was feeling.  I told her how I’m pretty sure I’ll fall apart – I have 4 teenagers and this tragedy has really pulled at my heart strings.  She tried to explain to me how to go to a peaceful place once I felt myself begin to fall apart.  I thought, ‘yeah I’ll try that’.

After we returned from his session, I traveled over to the school to pick up Amy for the wake.  We got ready and I continued to ask Colton if he’d be coming.  His reply remained consistent, “I don’t like these things” … I tried to tell him no body does.  We waiting for John to get home from work – he was late – because my stress and anxiety levels weren’t high enough, I had to wait for him.  Colton joined us in the car and off we went.  I made a deal with him and told him if there were a lot of people there when we got there, he could sit in the car.  We didn’t see a lot of people, but we sure did have trouble finding a parking spot.  We gave Colton the chance to either stay in the car or come in with us.  To my surprise, he followed us inside.  We waited 40 minutes to get anywhere near the family.  Amy and I fell apart early – I couldn’t get to my peaceful place at all.  I tried what Jane told me to do and it was no help.  The minute I heard the boys’ friends sobbing and watched the pictures of him sail across the tv monitor playing songs from the radio, I was pretty much done.  The closer I got to the family and their son’s casket, the more I sobbed.  Then I saw that little boy laying there in peace.  All I could think of was no mother should have to bury their child – it’s not right.  My heart racing out of my chest, I had to get out of there.  I left the building as quickly as I could.  Amy found a couple of her friends and they shared hugs and tears.  I joined John and Colton in the car and when Amy was finished with her friends, we left.

The drive home was silent.  I could hear Colton sniffling in the back seat wondering what he was thinking of.  After we got home, Amy went to her room, John went back to work, and I sat in the livingroom.  I could hear Colton in the kitchen sitting at the table.  It’s not like him to just sit at the table – no food in front of him.  I joined him.  He was looking at his friends’ obituary and the picture beneath the words, then it was his turn to fall apart.  Finally.

Nobody will understand but me how ground breaking it was for Colton to show his vulnerability.  Very rare does someone like Colton show his emotions and feelings.  For someone like Colton, he pushes his feelings deep inside himself where no one can find them.  Often times, not even he can find them.  So, for him to allow me to witness him getting in touch with his feelings was a bonding moment for him and I.  I gave him a hug and told him, “this is why I hang onto you guys so tightly” – he knew that.  He was very upset these boys made this horrible decision, a mistake that they will never learn from.  I told him, “I’m sorry for the loss of your friends” … and we cried.

Everyone is in bed now – doors are locked, lights are all out – I even think the kitchen is done for the night.  John lay next to me now watching tv and I’m about to climb under my blankets and try to get some sleep.  It was a difficult day but at the same time, I think it was a little bit of a breakthrough for Colton.

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