When you lose a child everything changes. You become very forgetful and walk around in a constant fog. There is no name for a parent who lost a child. Not widowed. Not orphaned. The magnitude of the pain is too large. As parents are not supposed to outlive their children.
Every aspect of our life has a memory. Every hockey rink, ride in the car, rooms in your house, and songs being played on the radio. You find yourself secretly wishing all the holidays would go away. You sing happy birthday with cake and candles. But the birthday boy is not there to blow out the candles. You continue to hang his stocking every Christmas only to find the handmade snowflake his little sister put in there the first Christmas he was not there. Only to pull it out every year yourself. Half your heart is gone and can never be whole again.
You search for answers you just can’t get. You save his clothing. You walk into a room and smell your child and know that scent can’t possibly be there. But you smile anyway and talk out loud. You talk. You talk to the dead. You go to church and find yourself staring at the space where his casket was. Fighting back tears, knowing that was the last place you were together. You focus on your religion because you have to believe that there is a better place. A place where angels play hockey and there is no more struggling and pain.
People talk about what’s new with their children. You get to repeat the same old stories because that’s all you have. You want to talk about your child. You need to talk about your child. You want people to mention your child’s name more than ever.
It means so much to hear anything, anything at all about Nick. It tells us, you remember…
You listen to people complain about their kids driving them crazy or how hard it is when they go away. You want to scream out loud. What you wouldn’t give for your child to just be away. You go to the grocery store, walk by his favorite snack, tears begin to well up. Meanwhile everybody else has no idea that somebody so important is missing. So, you buy the damn snack anyway.
Losing a child to addiction means you didn’t get to say goodbye. You look for where you went wrong. You look back over the years looking for clues, questioning every decision and everything you said and didn’t say. You ask all the what ifs. You blame yourself. You find other mothers just like yourself.
We read life after death and near death experiences. Trying to find any information available to make sense out of what has happened. You try to educate others to try to save the life of others. You may smile and stand straight but you will feel drained and crooked for the rest of your life.
This is for my beloved angel Nick. May you rest in paradise my beautiful angel.
Mommy loves you!
Sue Kruczek, forever Nick Kruczek’s mom