Sharing my mourning journey as my family learns to live a new normal after the death of my 19 y.o. son in an auto accident on 10/12/08.

Mind Over Matter

I’m downstairs, listening to my daughters who are upstairs simultaneously practicing flute and clarinet. They’re in separate rooms but I have no idea how they can practice without messing up the other’s timing. Tomorrow is a snow day! It is the first my daughters have ever had since being in school. They are beyond excited. Merrick found out his high school is closed tomorrow as well, the first time since the mid 1970’s. Before he could fully relax he asked me, “Mom, they really said school is closed. You’re sure?” So we’re all hunkered down for the storm. Mark is home and aside from the howling winds our house feels safe.

I’m working to bring safety back to my spirit. When I emailed Edward to ask about the accident I did so without letting anyone know. Mark wishes I’d stop, not wanting me to hurt anymore than I do now. He thinks we know enough and that any additional details will only hurt me more. He may be right. The mother in me, Jordan’s mother, can’t rest without understanding the whole of the truth of that night. Mark’s afraid I’ll be haunted by what I find out. I’m afraid I’ll be haunted if I don’t. I check my email as usual everyday, not expecting to see a response from Edward but bracing myself just in case there is one. So far he has not responded or acknowledged my query of him. There may never be a response.

I did fantasize when I saw the mailman across the street today that perhaps Edward was writing a real letter and that was why I hadn’t heard from him yet. I know I’ve asked a lot of him. What I’m learning from my own experience about trauma and PTSD are that the things the mind does to protect the heart are astounding. Edward may be in full protection mode and unable to even go back to that night.

Mark reminded me when I told him about finally realizing that Edward put his t-shirt to the back of Jordan’s head not to his forehead, that I’d know that all along. So gently he said to me, “Remember, the coroner and James (a family friend who is an ER doc) told us that he couldn’t survive an impact like that to the back of the head.”

I remember that Mark talked to the coroner in MA by phone and James was also on the line. He told me afterwards what they said. What I remember from that conversation is him saying, “Jordan was asleep. He didn’t feel any pain.” That’s what my mind took in and that’s what my heart could handle. Almost 2 1/2 years later the shock and blur of Jordan’s accident are not as constant and I can’t explain to anyone why I crave details now.

I read a short story a while ago entitled, “The Girlfriend.” It is in a book by Maile Meloy called,Both Ways Is The Only Way I Want It. In the story a father seeks out the girlfriend of the man who murdered his daughter after the trial where the man is found guilty. He wants to know every detail of that night that he can find. What the father ultimately finds out makes him feel worse, almost a party to the crime instead of somehow more settled. I’ve thought about that story  a lot wondering if I’ll end up like the father having too much information that will have to somehow keep house with my pain not ease it. I just don’t know.

I found an entry in one of my journals from 11/10. The entry is entitled, “Why Do This.” Meaning why write a blog, why am I writing a book? I had a long list of reasons some of which are:

  1. To feel closer to Jordan
  2. To stop being afraid of being happy
  3. To accept that my boy is gone
  4. To figure out how to diffuse some of this pain

The last item on my list was:

5.To ask all the questions that I want answers to, even if there aren’t any answers.


Comments on: "Mind Over Matter" (6)

  1. Big hugs, Jackie. Stay cuddled up in the safe house with the snow-day family. You will do what your heart needs you to do. I hope you find some peace.
    Thinking of you tonight, no less than the day I first encountered your blog.
    Your “virtual” friend,

    • alwaysmomof4 said:

      Thanks for the kind words Claire. Believe me you are more than a virtual friend.
      Hugs to you too.

  2. Happy Snow Day! Knowing that you are wrestling with those painful details is heart-wrenching to read and think about. This sounds like a wonderful opportunity for practicing mindfulness. I am intrigued by your title today….Mind over Matter. If you mind, it matters. But I wonder — where else could you place your attention? Somewhere it wouldn’t bring you so much pain. Your mind, if left uncontrolled, will no doubt continuously try to unravel the tragic details of your immense loss. I would love to fill it instead with all that you have and the beautiful woman you are becoming and the love that surrounds you now. Wishing you peace in the midst of this storm.

  3. Jackie…a few years after our daughter died in the ICU at Rush-Pres-St. Luke’s my wife and I travelled back there. We wanted to be there again. At the very site of our daughter’s death. To reconcile our memories with the reality of the place; and that time. Was it easy? No. Were we glad we did it? Absolutely. We felt somehow empowered walking away from the ICU a second time, hand-in-hand. I say ~ continue to ask until you no longer have a need to ask. Hope, peace, love.

  4. My sense is that when Edward’s reply comes, it will be at precisely the right time. That doesn’t make it easier to wait, I’m sure.

    I, for one, am so pleased to be privy to your musings and search for peace. Take care.

  5. Reading random blogs & came across this one. Big hug to you. I’ve never lost a child. A month ago, I nearly lost my 19 year old son in a car accident. He flipped his vehicle 6 times on wet roads (not wearing a seat belt either). He had a broken nose (had surgery) & back injuries. Your blog has helped me truly understand what could have been. My heart goes out to you & your family. You are in our prayers.

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