I thought I would begin my very first blog entry by sharing the bare bones of my vulnerability in its present state. On July 30, 2016, my beautiful son Ivan Roberto died in an automobile accident. My lovely boy was funny, handsome, an athlete and oh so clever. He had been my most trusted companion, someone who I could always count on, since the moment I gave birth to him at the young age of eighteen. I have always been a “problem solver”. Once I am presented with a challenge I immediately go into “I can handle this” mode and move forward. The loss of my son has shown me, that I am not as resourceful as I once thought myself to be. Some things cannot be “fixed”. There is no “handling” here, there isn’t even any “healing” –there is only “dealing”.
As I realize that I am in the very early stages of this immense grief I thought it would help myself and others, to share this journey with you as it presently exists. Everything changes and I expect that this (and I) will continue to change as well. In the United States there is this current rush to line up and “get back to work”. Punch in, punch out, eat dinner, go to soccer practice, plan mini-family vacation, jump back “in line” and repeat. I have presently been de-railed. My train car has jumped off the line and I am observing the other trains moving forward and backwards and my train is too heavy to place back on the train line. I am an observer now.
When my son was born I was conscious and I watched as they pulled him out of my womb and he took his first breath of life and I looked at him and said adoringly “Hey, remember me?” referring to the nine months we had shared together while he grew within my belly. Then I had to face the ultimate nightmare. I watched as they lowered my son’s body in his white rose covered casket six feet into the ground, deep into the Earth where they would burry my baby and where the person I once was had died with him, and would be buried as well.
Here I am. Suddenly dead and an observer of a strange new place. I can see where I have wasted time. Where I gave too much attention to the trivial things such as “relationship issues”, “work issues”, “financial” etc.. I can review my previous life and suffer over all of my regrets. If only I could have a “do-over”, alas, do-overs” are not possible. I have no choice, I cannot “heal” from this, I can only learn to deal with living in this new world without my son. A world which is foreign to me and to which I find it difficult to belong in the same manner I had belonged before. Those of us grieving for our loved ones know this all too well. It’s difficult to watch everyone engage in life as we had known it when the world as “we” knew it -has come to an end.
I have enrolled myself in a self-help group for parents whom have lost their children along with my ex-husband and I have also enrolled our fourteen year-old daughter in a self help group for kids her age. I feel we are all shattered pieces now and every single offering of support which helps us to adapt in our new world and new state of existence -must be embraced.
Not even a week after my son passed away I reflected upon our death. I observed it in the following manner on August 4, 2016:
“This message is for all those suffering and mourning for the loss of my young son Ivan Roberto -and for all those who never knew my baby but because you love me, you are mourning for my loss. Lift your hearts up! The Japanese have a custom called Kintsukuroi. Within this custom, when beautiful fragile objects are broken instead of discarding the object as useless, they are repaired with gold increasing the objects value. “Not only is there no attempt to hide the damage, but the repair is literally illuminated, a kind of physical expression of the spirit.” My incredible friend Ron Hudson reminded me of this and added that at this moment when I am completely shattered that I have actually been bathed entirely in gold. This is so true. Although it must be said that right now.. Underneath this gold …I am deeply feeling the fresh edges of my new shattered and broken reality and I definitely do not yet feel “golden”. What I feel is like I was buried with my son yesterday. But know this truth, I also feel like a NEWBORN today. My heart is filling me with strength so I can prepare to learn to live all over again, even shattered underneath. One of my son’s wishes for himself was to be a better version of himself. I will fulfill his wish and be a better version of myself. I want all of you dear hearts with cracks in your lives to fill them with gold, to be stronger and more beautiful than ever …To be reborn with me -to be golden.”
The end of the world happen for me on July 30, 2016, when my loving and sweet twenty-two year old son, Ivan Roberto suddenly died. I have now found myself navigating within a foreign planet. I am gathering my strength with each day that passes and learning how to breathe again; to walk, talk and live in this new reality without him. Wherever my boy is now, I know he would want me to do my best. What now? Do my best.