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[ Personal Narratives ]

To the Grief in Losing My Son

To the Grief that consumes me. You came upon me without warning. You finalized your presence within hours of the horror I faced that early morning. That early morning when I found my beautiful boy, lifeless in his bed.

In shock and disbelief, I refused to accept you. I refused to lose the boy who had become a man. The man who was finally at peace with himself, only to be replaced with you.

I refused to accept that my son would fall victim to the opiate epidemic and that I would be burying MY child. The child I have adored all his life. The child I never gave up on.

Grief, you have destroyed my life. I will never be the person I used to be. The life in my eyes has dimmed. My laughter has diminished and has been replaced with silent tears that go unnoticed. A constant ache in my soul that no one sees or hears.

Every day is a constant struggle. Struggling to survive a life I no longer want to be a part of. Feeling incomplete without “both” my children, but desperately needing to be complete for my daughter. My daughter who I love more than words, the one emotion you couldn’t take from me.

I want the whole package. I want what was, not what is. I don’t want you grief. I resent you on so many levels. You have taken so much from me beyond the loss of my only Son! You have taken who I was as a person. The person who loved life to its fullest. The person who never gave up and forever instilled that upon her children. The person who was not ready to bury her only boy at 19 years old.

Grief, you have turned me into a hypocrite. For the first time in my life, I feel like giving up because I have become immobilized. It takes everything I have left in me to get out of bed. Knowing when I get up that “YOU,” my grief will still be there.

You are constantly there to remind me of all the memories with my Son. You’re in my head taking snapshots at every turn. You bask in glory when a song, person, scent, or any other reminder of my Son brings you center stage in my mind and soul. It’s as if my pain brings you comfort knowing my pain is screaming your name. The name we call Grief.

Grief, you are manipulative to boot. When I find myself clawing my way out of what I call, the depths of hell, you find me. You are right there to drag me back down to the hell hole I fight everyday to climb out of and overcome. I resent you and hate everything you stand for. You are the closest emotion to being dead and I want no part of you.

Grief, you are a master at manipulating those around me as well. You have somehow instilled the ideology upon society that time heals all wounds, leaving me alone with you. You’re like a chess game, strategic in every move. You have made sure that loved ones and friends surrounded me at every turn when I first lost my Son, only to isolate me in the aftermath when I needed them most.

Grief, you have somehow found a way to invalidate my pain in accordance with your time schedule. You have mastered and finalized a time limit. Most people who have not been afflicted by you think “YOU” have no affect after a few months. This is yet another strategic plan to isolate me and people like me.

The worst part of you Grief, is that you have somehow conditioned people to have fear in bringing up the loss of a loved one. My Son existed! I don’t want him to be forgotten. I want to hear his name as many times as one is willing to raise it. Your installation of fear is yet another tactic used to manipulate people, furthering our bond. A bond I will move mountains to break.

Grief, you have taken so much from me, but the one thing you couldn’t take was my soul and my faith in God. Through prayer, I am slowly finding my purpose. My purpose is to help others like my Son.

Therefore Grief, on a positive note, you have taken my emotions to a higher level. My compassion and empathy for others has tripled since you entered my life. I refuse to let you ruin me. I refuse to let you absorb me.

I will wake up and feel the sunshine again. I will look forward to everyday, all day. I will remember my Son and smile, being grateful for the time I had with him.

Most importantly, you will no longer be able to manipulate me. I am severing myself from you. Grief, I am releasing you from your grip on me. I love my Son enough to know that this is not what he would want for me. My Son would know because the opiate epidemic took grip on him and never let go.

In memory of Dayne Brandano 6-28-96 – 7-25-15 Written by Shannon Brandano