The Searing Tears of Grief

On March 22, 2014, in grief, by Barbara Nixon

angelIt’s been almost two and a half years since I heard these horrific words from my husband.

“It’s about Kyle. He had a seizure. He didn’t make it.”

Even typing those words brings tears to my eyes. (It’s hard to type now.)

How on earth can a perfectly healthy 22-year-old graduating senior just collapse and die? (Medically speaking, we found out that he had acute heart failure, which basically tells us nothing.)

So many of my friends tell me that I am strong, or that they can’t imagine how to go on after something like this. Well, I go on because I must. I have a loving husband and three other children that mean the world to me.

But some days — actually, nights — I totally melt down. I had one of those nights this week. It started with seeing something adorable and (usually) innocuous: a photo of the toddler child of a friend of Kyle’s asleep on his dad on the sofa. I smiled at the sweet photo, and then . . .

One tear slipped down my cheek.

One turned to ten, then to thousands.

I posted a short update on Facebook.

Damn I Miss Kyle

Damn I Miss Kyle

Immediately, friends started supporting me. I can’t tell you how much this helps. It’s a ginormous amount. (Some have asked why I don’t call someone when I feel like this. Simple answer: When I cry, I cannot speak. At all.)

I escaped to my bedroom and didn’t even make it the whole way onto my bed. I looked like this angel statue.

Photo Credit: “Angel in Grief” by Kenneth Minyard

And this time, my tears weren’t silent. They were LOUD and searing on my cheeks. They felt like acid. I couldn’t stop them, and I really didn’t even want to. I emptied the rest of my tissue box and a whole travel pack of tissues. I have no idea how long I was in this state, but I guess it was as long as I needed to be. I slept hard that night, thank goodness.

The next morning? I had seriously puffy eyelids (I’ll spare you that picture), and I went on.




4 Responses to The Searing Tears of Grief

  1. I am so sorry for your loss i couldn’t even imagine how that must feel. I am 22 years old myself and it just makes me realize that I could be gone within a minute. I have lost a lot of important people in my life and I agree that ever now and then everyone just needs a good cry. I feel that is what you needed you just needed a good long cry. I hope things get easier for you that you are able to heal and be able to forgive. Thank you for your post it just makes me realize more and more to be happy with what I have and be thankful. I hope it gets easier for you everyday.

  2. Grace says:

    Yes…. I am at least one friend that CAN IMAGINE…. and it is a “CLUB” that I do not want to belong. I find it Ironic that we both have had these experiences within the week, On Friday, March 14 I woke up sobbing big snotty nose sobs…. I woke from a dream. I dreamed my Niles was a young boy who was “Taken” from me by “Them” that said he would be better off with “Them”…. I was there to visit…. where we both looked longingly and Lovingly into each others faces…. smiling…. hugging each other…. his arms around my neck and his legs wrapped around my waist…. we were so happy to be embracing to each other…. I missed him sooooo much and was trying to convince “THEM” that Niles really would be better off with his MOMMY…. I wanted him to come “Home” with me…. and as I was waking up he was being torn away from me….. and as I woke up…. Part of me wanted to stay in that dream…. and continue to take him “Home”…… yet I WAS AWAKE and the Reality of “He can’t come home with me” … I can’t ever HUG HIM again……. I did not want to be awake…but afraid to go back to sleep….. I woke up Dave with Big Sobs and snotty nose cries…… needless to say….. my whole Friday was a pitiful day…. and even more than a week later… the image stays with me…. and the RAW reality is fresh and new as if it just happened. Grief is like that… when you think you are ok it washes over you again to remind you that it is there…… for me it will be 5 years the end of May…..
    since this dream I have lost the maid of honor from our wedding at 49… and I can’t even tell her husband anything to console him….or her daughter….. or her parents…. we know what sea of grief they are embarking on …. and we know there is nothing on this journey that we can do to help….. Except to be quiet and listen as hearts break….. it is something that we are totally powerless to help fix…. “No body Else…. Can Walk it for you…. you got to walk it on your own….” familiar song? Also when Susan was losing her dad, I reminded her of Passover and that sometimes the only thing you can do for those who are dying…. is “Wash their feet”… We did this in one of my LOGOS classes….. and basically it is to demonstrate compassion even when we seem powerless over suffering….
    So Barb…. I offer you my story…. and hugs…. and maybe a foot bath…. Love Grace