Page 15 - 2017 Spring-Summer Issue
P. 15

I have forgotten he was gone. It didn’t make the pain in my There are no easy answers after we lose our child. There
heart hurt any less. It didn’t make me not miss him any less. are no simple directions to follow. You do not go through
What it did mean is that I was still alive and that I could      the “stages of grief ” after you lose a child and miraculously
miss him, be heartbroken and in pain, but still experience wake up after the last one and say, “Hooray, I made it; I am
joy. Brian had a mother who was full of life. Who was ditzy, healed”. This will last a lifetime.
funny and who didn’t take life or herself too seriously.
What kind of mother would I be if he was looking down            What I can tell you is that I have made it 28 months without
from heaven watching me deteriorate? Brian hated when            Brian because I had no other choice. I made a choice to
he saw me upset. I know he would not want me to live the         rise. I made a choice to take the tragedy of his death and
remainder of my life in sorrow, every single day. I had to       not have it mean everything. His death shakes me to the
accept joy and happiness again, just like I had to accept the    core. But his life--his life--brings me so much joy and
sadness and pain. I had                                          smiles. Seventeen years of being his mom is the greatest gift
to accept that while I
was sad and crying that                                                                                    I was ever given. The
                                                                                                           joy he brought to me,
It took time to accept and trulyat the same time it was                                                    the laughs, and the fun
                                                                                                           memories; the tears, the
okay for me to laugh and                                                                                   chats, just everything.
                                                                                                           There are so many
understand that for me, in my life now,enjoy life. Not an easy                                             moments that could
that sadness and happiness go hand intask to do hand in hand.                                              never be taken away
                                                                                                           from me; they are what I
It literally is like being                                                                                 try to focus on daily.  
                                                                                                           I have shed tears each
hand with each other and that’s okay.on a roller coaster, which  day for 28 months. In the midst of my pain, I have learned to
                                                                 laugh again. I have learned to accept joy, in spite of the pain. I
is funny because I hate                                          am continuously learning how to navigate through this world
roller coasters. Brian, for                                      without my son. I fall…a lot. But I always get back up.
years, tried to get me on
one, but that’s what this journey is like. One minute I can
be laughing having a good time and a couple hours later be
on the couch crying because I miss my son so much. It took
time to accept and truly understand that for me, in my life
now, that sadness and happiness go hand in hand with each If someone would have told me that I would still be here 28
other and that’s okay. It was okay for me to cry, but it was     months later after losing Brian in that car accident I would
also okay for me to laugh. I wasn’t betraying my son or his have told them they were crazy. But I am here. I am living;
memory by still enjoying life. Because of the relationship       not just going through the motions each day. 
I have with my son the opposite would be true. I would be
dishonoring him, our relationship, the bond and love we          My dad was right, I would find a new purpose. My purpose
have, if I chose to crawl into a ball, hide in a dark room, and  was Brian when he was alive.  My purpose now, funny
let what is the remainder of my life pass me by. Our love        enough, is still Brian. The greatest lesson that I learned was
is too deep for me to allow that to happen. The first day I      that I may not be a mom in the typical sense as I was before
laughed after Brian’s passing was the day I realized there       when Brian was here, but I definitely have not stopped
was HOPE.                                                        mothering Brian in the spiritual sense. Death could not
                                                                 change that. Through me, he lives on…through all that I do
I have learned so much about myself, about death and             for Brian in his name, memory and honor. This makes me a
about love. Prior to that horrible day, I had thought I knew mom. It makes me Brian’s mom.  
all I needed to know about life, love, relationships and
heartbreak. I was wrong. The funny thing about death is          Because I am Brian’s mom I choose to embrace the
that it really does not tear two people apart. It never wins.    laughing, the smiles and the joy.
Here I am, 28 months later, living this life without Brian       Today, like every day, I choose to #doitforbrian.

physically here with me. For 28 months I have taken deep         Lisa Heath is a resident of Fayetteville, North Carolina. She is a mom

breathes holding onto the strength he left behind for me.        to Brian who resides in heaven after losing his life in a car accident. She

When people ask me how have I made it this long, how             continues to bring teen awareness of distracted driving to her community
have I been able to still be moving forward without Brian,       as well as keeping Brian’s memory alive through scholarships in Brian’s
my answer is simple…...I don’t know. I know that isn’t the       name, volunteer work, her writing and through her leadership of Finding
answer they want to hear, but it is the most honest one.         Light through Darkness which is a group she created that helps other
                                                                 grieving parents.

                                                                                                  We Need Not Walk Alone|1 5
   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20