What losing your child to murder leaves in its wake.

Fear, insecurity, anxiety, trepidation, nervousness etc…

Yesterday I had the good fortune to have a day for myself. My mother wanted to have Grace (3) for a special day with “grandma” which meant after I dropped her off, I was free and clear for about 6 hours.

My parents live in close proximity to a well known spa in this area, St. Anne’s, so I took advantage and spent a good portion of the day there in wonderful silence and tranquility.

Sounds perfect right?Well, it was except that I had to convince myself that everyone would be okay without me for the time I was “out of contact”.

The only time I can totally relax is when all of us are together, generally driving somewhere. Everyone is in one place where they are all contained. Very little risk!

(I do realize that the number one killer of children is automobile accidents, but that never seems to enter into the equation).

Ian was at high school, Eric and Patrick at their school, Elena at our family run daycare, Grace at my parents and James at work. As I was driving along the highway, I had to fight back the panic that something could happen to any one of them and I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. Moreover what if something happened to me? Would James be able to find everything, would the kids be okay, who would keep the household together??

My mind starts inventing all sort of scenarios, some terribly graphic and fatalistic, and some too ugly to admit my mind can invent. As soon as I let myself start to think that way, my heart starts to miss a beat (literally), my chest aches, I can’t breathe right and I start to panic. I have to talk myself down, and force myself to stop thinking about such things. I imagine the injuries Stefanie sustained being inflicted on the other kids or on James at work and I have a mini-freak-out. Worst thing is that it’s totally involuntary and I have to work at it to go away.

The good news is that I can now, after all this time, settle myself down. It’s not automatic, but I can refocus my thoughts enough to where I find relief.  I suspect that it would be the same with someone who has lost a child to a car accident –  always worried about vehicles. Or someone whose child died to cancer or another disease –  always panicked about any sniffle their remaining children might have.

Let’s face it, it’s trauma.

In our daily lives, sometimes we fixate on problems and they seems to grow in our minds until they’re a monster we can’t tame.  But it is possible and healthy to try and not give them much energy so that they don’t grow but rather work themselves out – as most things do in life.

I have an opportunity to spend a few days away, ALONE, and I’m not sure yet if I’m going to be able to get past my fears and just go.

Think I’ll buy my ticket today and then I’ll have no choice  (maybe).

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