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Lost Love

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

The loss of a loved one is a heart wrenching pain that does not seem to ever go away, not in time and not in memory. I wonder why we experience these losses. It is an emptiness that feasters deeply in your heart. You no longer have access to that individual to hug them. I had twin baby boys but one of them died. I can’t begin to explain how this literally changed my way of thinking. I journeyed through a period in time not thinking clearly and losing the ability to speak for three days. While carrying the weight of his death on my shoulders, I felt as if death came over me. I wonder how many people have actually held a loved one feeling the air slowly drain from their body. My son was 26 weeks gestation with lungs that were extremely under-developed. The nurse brought him to me and I bravely held my son as his little life slowly disappeared. It was so silent, cold, sorrowful dreary and paralyzing in every way. Despite knowing his medical status and ratios of survival, the emotions of being his mother took over the functional parts of my heart, mind, and spirit.

I had never in my life felt that level of grief launching me into postpartum distress. I wasn’t given ample time to recover because next to him laid his brother who was also on the brink of dying. My grief counseling consisted of a quick little good- bye son, Mommy will always love you and carry you in her heart. If anyone has ever given birth to premature babies at 26 weeks gestation, you understand the level of immense torment of wondering if your baby will survive. Every single day was uncertain and required renewed energy to attempt to work, drive 100 miles a day to be present at the hospital.

My son was severely sick, he was on a ventilator for nearly 6 – 7 months, and his little heart would stop beating at times, sending him into cardiac arrest. The intensity of watching the code blue signals coupled with nurses grabbing the CPR Ambu bags vigorously trying to restart his heart nearly drove me insane. Watching his constant struggle just with breathing only added to my postpartum distress but I had to ignore it. My deceased son, Amir Matthew became a distant memory, well at least tucked away in my mind. There was no way I could continue to hold on to him because I had to shift mental gears expeditiously. Unbeknownst to me, several years of consistent stress would prohibit me from receiving desperately needed grief counseling.

These emotions that became a part of my subconscious mind began to surface in other areas of my life. It took an extreme level of focus to keep going even being challenged and tested on my job. I was positioning myself as a top performer on my job that was male dominated.

Despite dealing with my personal trauma, I still was committed to my career. I never expected I would have to defend myself when dealing with my son’s illness. I elected to file for FMLA but everything I tried to do, was just stripped away. I felt like I was going to have a nervous breakdown. I could not believe the hatefulness of some individuals, that were willing to dig into that sore and attempt to rip out my heart in its entirety. The grief of my son was one level, but all of the other surrounding circumstances made it 10 times worse. Grief can be masked in many areas, I had to fight everyday just to keep getting up and it established an aggressive baseline for me. Becoming an advocate for my other son also built a strong defense mechanism within me.

I learned how to have organized chaos that no one could follow except myself. I’ve mastered this skill set to leave people wondering and guessing because it became a protective defense while under the microscope. The grief never reared its ugly head, until years later when I finally broke down and just cried for several days. I had to find a breaking point to release that pain. I found strength in fighting for my other son’s survival. I literally wanted to just give up and die, I even took a handful of pills to attempt to end my life. I couldn’t bring myself to follow through because I still had my baby and a 14 year old brilliant daughter to raise.

Being the only parent that carried the load of ALL the decisions I nearly lost it. I pulled myself up through many days of praying and crying out to God. In these dark hours of my hopelessness, I truly found solace, healing and strength through my faith in God. I would go to work smiling facing everything and come home late and night and lay prostrate on the floor crying out to God to help me.

I knew deep down inside to keep going taking one day at a time. I learned how to eventually shrug things off quickly and I fought viciously to never give up. I dove down deep within and I gained some strength in places unimaginable. I can truly say without doubt that God can give you peace that surpasses all understanding.

I became a warrior and allocated pain as a reservoir of fuel redirecting that energy into working, taking care of my children, taking care of my household, and still remaining active at my church. I became a machine that never took moments to sit down and unwind. I will be honest, I didn’t extend a lot of mercy to people. If they approached me in a disrespectful manner, I reluctantly responded negatively. Just a vicious as the attacks were thrown at me, I fought back with the same vigor. I refused to ever take down from anything else, and I’m sure it offended some people, but I didn’t care.

I now realize this wasn't the best approach. I admit I was a warrior built for a battle and I was determined to be the winner. It made me numb to many emotions because all I had was pain to push me. I became immune to pain, losing relationships, people, losing loved ones, I was numb. Sometimes, during these difficult times in life we may lose sight of who we really are inside. At my core, I'm not an individual that is mean spirited. I was once the sweet, kind person that ran to help everyone.

I desperately needed balance of these two extremes of my character. I later fought my grief away until I could smile, laugh, and sing. I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free. I sang so much that it literally annoys everyone in my household. My singing became my pathway to finding moments of joy and release from the pain. I would worship God with all my heart and I felt my relationship with him was closer as a result of the pains. I didn’t have an individual, a therapist, or a friend that could actively listen to the memoirs of my life’s struggles. I would find solace and peace in prayer. I didn’t know how I would make it through but God held me so close and guided all my steps.

Losing loved ones is never a walk in the park, it’s during these moments the essence of your existence is tried the most. Life doesn’t always come with happy days. Depending on who you are, there may be many nights of deep sorrow. I want to uplift you with words, that you can make it to the other side. I’m happy to report, my son is 9 years old and a gifted drummer. My daughter has graduated college with her degree in Neuroscience. If you’re a single mother struggling to be “Wonder Woman”, give yourself some accolades for all of your little successes. Don’t forget to take some time for yourself to heal, be at peace and find moments of happiness. Lastly, be encouraged and remember to take one day at a time.

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