Hi everyone! Welcome to my first blog.
Umm… how does one start a blog? I am not sure. Maybe with my purpose for having a blog in the first place: I wanted a space to write about my experiences as a bereaved mother, who lost her son almost 3 months ago. I have two remaining children and a husband, who has also lost his only son. My girls are currently aged eight and eleven. Henry, my son, was in the middle. He was supposed to turn ten in April, but passed away late February. So that makes him nine. In fact, he will remain nine years old for eternity. I know that some people will continue to count up the years as they go by and add another one, but at this point, I think that maybe that is not right for me. Henry died when he was nine.
When Henry died, I was in my last semester of studying Early Childhood Education (ECE). In Ontario, I was going to graduate with a diploma in Early Childhood Education in April 2019. Stateside, it would be known as an associate degree in Early Childhood Education. I am happy to say that as of May 10, I officially graduated with Honours and received a diploma in Early Childhood Education. Convocation is not until June though. That makes me very happy. I could not have done it all on my own though, Henry’s death really took a toll on me and I needed to readjust myself in terms of school and work. My professors really helped me through my last semester; they gave me time, resources, and understanding which is what I needed to successfully complete my last semester. Which I did! Convocation is not until June 6, but MAN! I am so happy to be finished this chapter of my life.
Henry was one of the reasons I went back to school in the first place. He was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder sometime in the years of 2016-2017. A lot of those memories are muddled right now, which I think is due to how Henry died. I will get more into that a bit later.
My most proud moments are of those when I am mothering my children. Before I had children, I was on a dark path, but God saw me and helped me when I needed it. He selected a good man as a husband and I was chosen to have three beautiful, darling children. As any devout mother would do, when your child is diagnosed with something completely foreign to your understanding, you delve into that world and research the crap out of it. I borrowed many books from the library on those special needs topics to try and understand what it meant for my son to have this diagnosis as well as how I can best support him. It’s funny actually, Henry himself didn’t change with a diagnosis, but my world did. I am sure I will get more into this later too.
After researching his ‘condition(s)’, I realized how much I truly love children and especially the ones who are so misunderstood by many. With the gift of a second chance at a career, I chose that which I loved and knew I would succeed at: children. I have a very special place in my heart for those children who have exceptionalities, because they are so stigmatized and they, themselves are not blind to how different they appear to others. I want to help build up their self-esteem and show them how awesome they really are.
Now that I am finished ECE, I can move on to my next schooling project: Elementary Education with a focus on Learning Disabilities as well as Psychology. Before Henry died, I had talked about my schooling goals with my very supportive husband, and decided that teaching older children was really more in my interests. With his blessing, I decided on the career path I wanted to take. First it was ECE, then it was teacher training/learning disabilities/psychology with a bachelor’s degree in both teachers training and psychology (two degrees, not a combined major). Following my 4 year degrees, I wanted to get my Masters in Clinical Psychology.
When I was a young child, I was very interested in understanding people and why they do what they do, and what they are thinking at any given moment. I think psychology has always been my destiny. By along the way, I got quite lost. Even though I had a passion for psychology, I knew that I couldn’t help other people when I myself was so broken. So I discarded the idea of psychology and tried other paths until I figured out what I wanted to be. I also have an Esthetician diploma and a Certificate in Liberal Arts. It wasn’t until I met my (now) husband that stopped my quest in self-destruction and was gifted with expecting a surprise child when only knowing my husband for a mere 6 months. He and I have had our ups and downs, but I am happy to say that we are committed. This year will be our ten year wedding anniversary! Where does the time fly? Oh, I know: babies. Babies. More babies. Work. School. Etc. Life takes up a lot of time it seems.
Anyway, I knew from an early age that I was depressed and had anxiety issues. I also knew that I couldn’t possibly get help or get better when being so young, so I pushed those feelings deep down. It wasn’t until I became legal (18 in Canada, folks), that I understood how deep my depression and anxiety was. Being with my husband really opened my eyes to see that what was going on in my mental health was not normal. I have several mental health diagnoses now. They’re almost like badges of honour: mental health issue #1, mental health issue #2, etc. Should grief be added to my collection of issues? I am not sure. I am continually told by ‘qualified’ people that grief of my nature is quite normal. It doesn’t feel normal. I don’t know if I have ever felt normal in that way. This grief that I’ve experienced feels very much like mental instability/depression/anxiety attacks. But. I have been assured by several professionals that I am normal. Some of these professionals have been very helpful, while others have been far from it.
Another one of my blog goals is to share the resources that I have found to be very helpful, with you, audience. It may take a while, but I aim to continue this blog as a place to find ongoing books to help you on your own grief journey. I will also do my best to remain neutral for those books that do not help me, but may help others. And I promise to give you reasons for my opinions.
Lastly, I want this website to be a place where I can share updates on my own personal ‘Henry’ goals. Right from the moment I experienced Henry’s passing, I have known that God has had a plan for me. I hope that I am in the process of fulfilling it by writing to you in this way. And if not, I apologize to my Almighty, right here and now. I guess after Henry died, I had this profound sense that in the pursuit of my educational goals, that experiencing the death of my child was to be a part of my training. It’s not something I would have ever pursued if given the choice, even from a non-personal standpoint. I used to avoid sadness as if it were the plague. And of course, God knows this. But, here it is everyone: I am supposed to experience it. Clearly. Because it happened. My son died. 3 months ago. It honestly feels like it has been a lot longer than 3 months though. I think it feels more along the lines of 9 months in normal time (as opposed to grief time). Anyway, I have Henry goals. I will post updates on them in my latest section once everything is up and running. I have even completed some of my Henry goals before starting this blog, so I will include those too, because they are important milestones to share.
I think that perhaps that finishes my first blog post. If this is your first read on my website, then it was nice to have you meet me. Lol. Please introduce yourself in the comments below. I would really love to get to know a little about you too. Upward and onward!
Love you so much dear friend, I am so proud of you for starting this blog and I look forward to following along in this adventure with you! I’m always just a phone call away! Lots of love and prayers for you in this journey!
My name is Ruwani and I am a married mom of two gorgeous kiddos: Mason who is 2+ and Mackenzie who is 9 mths.
Jo-Ellen shared your latest blog on her Fb, so I am backtracking to the beginning of your blog.
Thank you so much for sharing your story!!
Thanks Allison! and it is so nice to meet you Ruwani. I am glad you have found my blog and hope it helps you in some small way. 🙂