As of January 10, 2020, our youngest son, Kevin, has been gone from us for 18 years. Each year since his death, I am transported back to that day, as if it only happened minutes ago. I can feel the intense, paralyzing pain and sorrow. I relive the last time I saw and talked to him that morning, and I can still say word for word what I was told, when the nurse from the hospital called to tell me that our son was in "critical condition."
The memories are vivid! And, though I know I was in shock, I can recall every word spoken, every sensation, every image, every tear, every emotion, as though I am there now.
In supporting and encouraging grieving moms for more than a decade, I learned that this experience is not uncommon for those who have suffered the loss of a precious child. Actually, most grieving moms I know experience this same sensation of being taken back - transported in time to that day that changed our lives completely.
This year, I was able to better describe this experience and I now realize that I experience a kind of "time warp." The definition of a time warp is: "(especially in science or fiction) an imaginary distortion of space in relation to time whereby people or objects of one period can be moved to another." It wasn't until this year, 18 years later, that I found the words to better describe what happens to me and I am very grateful for this realization.
My husband, Bob, and I ended the day by taking our son, David and his wife, Vel, who also live in Colorado, out for an intimate Italian dinner. We spent more than 2 hours talking about Kevin's life and death, and how he made such a difference in all of our lives. We also talked about how we have all changed, since we suffered the loss of him, and that even though we still hurt from the loss and miss him so much, we have personally/collectively realized the importance of not taking anyone or anything for granted, and that time is definitely "fleeting" and not to be wasted.
Our oldest son, Eric, said to me that he was "thinking of how according to God's Word that for Kevin, time is irrelevant, because in God's Kingtom, time has no significance, so for him he doesn't suffer as we do in counting the days, weeks, months and years without being together." That's an amazing and somewhat difficult truth to grasp, but God tells us this is so, and we believe Him, and agree that will be the case for us someday, when we enter God's Kingdom to find Kevin there waiting to welcome us as citizens of Heaven.
Now that I better understand what happens to me on the anniversary date, I believe that next year, I will not be caught by surprise, when I am "moved from one period of time to another." I think this new realization will be helpful to me in the coming years, and perhaps I won't experience that "time warp" in the same way I have for the past 18 years.
Have you, as a "mom like me," experienced your own "time warp?" How do you handle that day on the calendar that will probably take you back in time? I hope that you let yourself feel what you need to feel, but that you also have the eternal hope that sustains you, as you continue to live without your son or daughter in anticipation of being reunited in the future.
Back in the PRESENT with Faith, Hope and Love,
Angie "a mom like you"