It’s March. The worst month of the year. Which isn’t a fair assessment, generally speaking. March means spring, warm weather is coming. My dad’s birthday is in March; so is my husband’s and several other friends. St. Patrick’s Day. March Madness. Daylight Savings Time.
And my son died on March 15th, last year.
It’s weird. I cannot tell you what I did day by day, in these two weeks leading up to The Worst Day of My Life, but right now, every single day, I relive those few moments when it happened, over and over, a video stuck on repeat and I can’t figure out how to shut it off.
The exact moment when the call came through, as I was driving home from work. My daughter’s breathless voice blaring out of the speaker in the car. “Mom, Brady tried to kill himself!”
Me, instantly annoyed. “That’s not funny. Not even remotely. Don’t ever tell jokes like that again.”
Her, insisting she wasn’t kidding, then telling me to hurry up and get home, and then hanging up on me. My heart, starting to pound uncomfortably fast, even as I immediately began to tell myself it wasn’t true, it was a sick joke, and oh boy, was she going to be in trouble when I got home.
But I started calling anyway. Called the house phone, my husband’s cell, the neighbor whose kids were at my house at the time. No one answered. My heart rate increased, I almost felt like I couldn’t breathe. And I still kept telling myself it wasn’t true. It was a joke. A horrible, horrible joke.
My husband finally called back, and my greeting was, “What’s going on? Reagan called and said Brady tried to commit suicide. What the hell is she talking about?”
“She’s right,” he said. “Hurry up and get here.”
“I don’t know. I don’t know why. Just get home.”
“I don’t know. The ambulance just left, took him to the hospital. I’m waiting on you, so we can go together. The neighbors have Reagan. Just get here.”
And then the line went dead. Just like my son. My entire life, altered forever, in a way that can never be fixed. Death is rather permanent; the one aspect of life we can’t fix or change or get back.
So if I seem a little out of sorts these next couple weeks, I hope you’ll forgive me. Like every other aspect of grieving so far, I don’t really know how to handle this, as it’s my first time going through it. His birthday was, thus far, the hardest day since his death, but I have a feeling March 15 will be even worse, at least this year. As it turns out, the pain of losing your child is substantially worse than the pain of bringing them into this world. This pain never goes away, because everything went away that day.
So be patient, bear with me. I’ll be back to normal in a few weeks. At least, this new version of normal.
Tami Lund is an author of books with happy endings, and a blogger of depressing real-life subjects. She also drinks a lot of wine, but I’m sure you’ll agree that can be forgiven. After her blog post makes you cry, I recommend trying one of her books, to lift your spirits again. Because that’s why she writes: To make you smile, and help us all escape reality for a while.
I cannot imagine the pain you are going through. It is amazing to me that you can function at all. Your books have given me so much joy that I wish I could give you some. Time does not erase or make less of grief, you just get better at handling it. You are an inspiration to others. You are a strong resilient mother. Sending you good thoughts and wishes.