Reconstructing a Broken Life: . . . After Unspeakable Loss

The phone rings. The door slams. Suddenly, a tragedy that happens to “other people” happened to me. One minute of time – sixty seconds that I will play over and over in my mind for the rest of my life – one minute.

The kaleidoscope of my life, which spun in beautiful tempo to cereal bowls, toy trucks, soccer balls, and practice schedules began spinning way too fast. Doors slamming and lights from emergency vehicles flashing.

Why can’t I breathe? I’m the mom; I can fix anything. Why can’t mommy fix this?

I want my life back.

I don’t want to hear that Bobby is in a “better place.” I don’t want to hear that time will heal me.

I don’t want my kitchen counters covered with casseroles. I don’t want to smile at the endless line of people awkwardly walking toward me saying phrases printed on sympathy cards, although I appreciate their support.

I was a stranger in my own life. I was simply breathing in and out to the rhythm of what others needed from me.

When I was unable to clear the fog that became my reality, my FAITH carried me. I decided that although my son was gone from this world, he would not be gone in spirit. Slowly, I noticed a new version of myself starting to appear.

It was then that I decided to reconstruct my life after unspeakable loss.

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About the Author:

Jill Osterhout, M.A., is an elementary teacher, and the founder of Bobby’s Playground and the REO IV Random Acts of Kindness initiative. She helps feed the homeless in Philadelphia, provides coats to the needy, and works in local soup kitchens. Bobby’s spirit continues to guide her.