Trauma’s experience comes back to slap you in the face and knock you down when you least expect it while you grieve; this is PTSD. Sounds, visuals, and even the time of day can trigger the pain all over again. This is one such moment for me:
Stepping out into the night air
this late at night
when all is quiet and still,
a chill reverberates through my veins.
The moon is high
and the damp cool breeze
freezes the memory even as my breath exhales a cloud
into the starlit space.
Visceral memory awakens
and I shiver and shake
back to the side of the road
on the night of your accident;
my stomach knots into a square.
The lights flash yellow and orange and blue and blindingly white
as trucks and cars are askew and many
blocking the way for everyone except us, your dad and me;
only we were allowed in.
Fear like no fear I felt before
overwhelmed me more than my imaginings
Waiting was hard.
Seeing was hard.
Comprehending was hard
and the ground beneath me was hard
and consuming me in the farmers’ meadow
like fermenting dung, and it all stunk!
I breathed deep
because I think I just stopped
from the shock of it all.
Disbelief and amazement stunned me
when I realized how close to death you came.
as I step into this night months and months later
fear overtakes me
and I can feel the damp and see the lights and hear the confusion;
You were almost taken by the angel of death,
if it were not for the angel of life that carried you thru those juxtaposed poles
as you flew airbone
down into the belly of the farmers meadow.
Slapped across the face I feel the sting again, and again, and again;
PTSD for me
every time I step out into the night air
this late at night
when all is quiet and still …
and a chill reverberates through my veins.
You weren’t taken then,
but little did I know
time would only be yours for just so many months more…
and then you really would be gone.
Forever gone from my earthly-momma-grasp;
No more cool, moon-lit nights for you.
Deep, deep, deep it sits way down inside –
my fear was fully realized.
What I did not know,
was that night
was just a prelude to the worst night of my life.
I just can’t shake it; PTSD.
Fear like no fear I felt before remains within my bones.
One viscerally locked memory flows into the next…
I miss you so much.
So the question remains, “what do we do with the pain that re-occurs; how do we deal with this grief induced PTSD?”
I will tell you,
I just allow myself to feel it.
The pain and tears are what they are;
The hour passes and I am still me and I know
that God has been holding my hand
the whole time;
“For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13
As I approach my first Mother’s Day without my son, Caleb, I anticipate pain and sorrow to be heavily pressing upon my momma-heart even as I take joy in my other children both near and far. I will not fear because I know God will be helping me get through the day.
If you are a grieving momma, I say, put your hand in His and let Him be your help you too!