Saturday, December 27, 2008

Here We Go

The following was written Dec 07..after our 3rd Christmas without Greg.

Here we go, another year. Just so you know, after I sent out the last newsletter, I did decorate my tree. Mainly because my 7 year old looked at it the day I put it up and said "Mom, what are we suppose to do with that?" So we decorated it.
Each of us are at a different place. Some are still in the rawness of it, some are beginning to live above it, and others are farther along on this journey and can inspire the rest of us that it will steadily get easier. I understood what I felt after reading the following from a mother who describes her feelings. She wrote the following, " I didn't realize a heart could physically hurt from mental and emotional pain. I would find myself standing, anywhere, when it would feel as if my heart was being squeezed and my breath was being taken away. It felt like my next heartbeat was going to be the last. But then it beat again and again. I am going to survive this. It felt like the pain would not let the next beat happen, but it did. After so many times, you begin learning to live with the pain. I am learning that my heart can withstand far more pain than I ever imagined." I love Greg as much in death as I loved him in life. He is my son and I will always be his mom. We just went through our 3rd holidays without Greg and yes, I have to say it was easier this year. Do I feel guilty for saying that, sure. But it was different, we are laughing and smiling at the memories now, where before they made us sad. We are moving on in this journey. Hard, oh yes. We wouldn't be this far, if we hadn't talked with others and listened to others. We are not alone, and you are not either.One of the best ways to help yourself, I believe, is to honor your child or loved one eveyday. How do we honor Greg. By getting up everyday and taking another breath. We laugh and cry with those who knew his laugh and smile. We talk about him and celebrate good times with him. I take chances, say what I feel. Greg was my light, my heart, my gift. Everyday I want to make a difference, share a smile, live, laugh and love in honor of Greg.
With this new year starting I am wishing you warm memories and many smiles of joy.
Lee Ann

Friday, December 19, 2008

Spongebob Rules

Tabor, Trent and Greg

Handling The Holidays 2007

You know I sit all evening last night and tried to find the best "Handling the Holidays" or "Surviving the Holidays" article, to share with you, to help you with some advice. I found so many, but none that said it all. I really don't know why, it was such a struggle for me. Maybe it was the fact that every single one had ideas to help that were so much easier said then done.
I so remember our first Thanksgiving, I was all the emotions we all talk about. I didn't even want to be around anyone.
All the written advice tells you to take care of yourself, think ahead, lower your expectations, change traditions, cry but also feel good, talk to others, memorialize your loved one, they go on and on.
My first year I wanted no part of trying to take care of myself, how in the world was I suppose to do that, also I didn't want to. Cry, well I did that just fine. I remember I rolled around in my pain, and everyone around me was in just as much hurt. I try to not show all the emotions, who wants to see that, but then what happens, I get grouchy. Well you can guess how Thanksgiving went. Bad.
December rolls in way to quickly. If it wasn't for my mom and my sister, basically taking me to town and telling me what to buy every single person, I would not have gotten anything done. I was numb, and I was okay with that. I remember walking into Toys R Us and seeing the Lego aisle 30 feet away and getting sick to my stomach and trying to breath my way through the store. Christmas came and went, remember much, I do not.
Thanksgiving number two rolls in and I avoided it completely and actually got the flu so it went by in a flash. December number 2 was worse then 1. Year 1, I was numb, year 2, I felt everything. I almost think numb was better. Christmas number 2 was also very emotional. All of November and December I was intent on making some changes in traditions. If anything was going to change, now is the perfect time for change, we have just had a life changing event and so changing a few things at Christmas should have been easy. I was wrong, I can't change things by myself. I was the only one willing to take chances on something different.
Toys R Us during the 2nd Christmas was easier. But still had to avoid the Lego aisle.
The first year, it felt like there was an elephant in the room. At first, I think it was because nobody knew what to do. But we are so fortunate that my family and friends speak of Greg all the time and that is the greatest gift I could have.
This year, as we shopped, we kept pointing out things that Greg would have had to have. We laughed. Toys R Us, Lego aisle, I spent time there, seeing all the Legos that we would have bought. I smiled and remembered. What fun we had putting all those Legos together.
I think I am slowly doing some healing. Funny how Toys R Us is my meter for healing. In time you will start using some of the advice given in those "Surviving The Holidays" idea papers. All of a sudden you will stop and realize you are doing it.
I do think ahead, I say NO, I have no expectations, I'm still working on trying to get support for new traditions, I cry and I also feel good sometimes, I talk to everyone, and more important, I memorialize Greg every second, he is in everything I do, from the lighting of a candle to standing in the Lego aisle.
I finally pulled my tree out of the basement last week and put it up in the corner of the room. What am I going to do with it, I don't know. If I don't put a light or ornament on it, who cares...
it's a start.
My wish for each of you this holiday season....A feeling of peace and hope. Light a candle. Remember. Always Laugh.
Lee Ann Hutson

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The following was published in the 2007 Spring Edition , Living With Loss

For years my husband never had to buy a card for birthdays or anniversaries. He wrote everything himself, words from the heart. After our son Greg 13 died of suicide, my husband could not write a sentence that made any sense.
I could never write. The day after Greg died, I picked up a pencil and started writing. It has taken a year, but my husband picked up a pencil and wrote this one night. I am so proud of him and the distance we have both already come. Now we are both writing and trying to help others in the journey of loss and their grief work.

Written by my husband one year after our son died.
“I wanted my life to return to normal. Then I realized what I wanted was for my life to return to what it once was.
A year ago I found hope one night when I heard my wife and my youngest son laughing in our bedroom. I thought my life was returning to normal.
A year later I played cards with our youngest son after supper, with much fun and laughter. After a few cartoons he and my wife were off to bed. It was then that I realized that my life was not returning to the normal that is was when Greg was alive, but changing to new normal.
I can not return to what I once was, because all of the parts are no longer there.
I have made the choice, consciously and subconsciously to carry on with my life, thus creating a new normal.
Hope lies in accepting what you now have, looking back with joy, not sorrow. Looking ahead with optimism not pessimism.”
Daryl Hutson
Crawfordsville IN 2006
November 21 2005
I love you. I miss you terribly. I keep thinking I should be looking at what to get you for Christmas. I see things and want to buy them so badly.
I feel like you are walking around here all the time. Yesterday I was in the kitchen and I heard you come in and I turned and said my usual “Hey Babe” I wanted to reach out and touch you, to feel you.

December 2005
All day long I listen for your step, your sigh, your smile.
I listen until the silence tightens around me and I don’t think I can take another breath.
Oh God you know I would give my life to hear your voice again, to feel you and hold your hand, to touch your face.
To just stand and watch you. I would give my life I say and yet how could I do that to your brother.