Thursday, April 23, 2015

Insight to feeling nothing...

Today is eight months after the tragic loss of my son, my daughter in law and my two year old grandson to what we were told was a murder/suicide.

Today I found a post on a blog that I follow - What's Your Grief? an absolutely wonderful resource that I wish I had found months ago. There was a great article on “emotional numbness” after a tragic loss. I was totally unaware prior to my own personal experience, that this was even possible.  I just remember being seriously concerned because I seemed to be handling the tragic triple loss of my family -so well.  What a joke.

All of my life I would have assumed the loss of any one of my children would have just spontaneously killed me and yet here I was not only still living, breathing, walking and talking but what was more concerning was what I was not doing.  I was not fainting, screaming, crying or wailing hysterically.  As a matter of fact I wasn’t feeling anything at all.  Not grief, not pain, not sadness --not anything.

I was completely numb.  I could not cry.  I could not taste.  I couldn’t even feel physical pain.

I sat completely unemotional through the service.  All through the week following their deaths everyone kept making comments about how well I was taking this and how together I had it.  What!!? I knew that wasn’t true but I could not explain nor did I even understand myself what was happening. I wanted to die.  I knew I was crushed beyond words but even I remember worrying that I was a soul less creature that had no feelings because I literally had no feelings.  As a matter of fact, I was in a numb stupor for weeks literally at times staring blankly into space with very little facial expression.  I felt nothing most of the time like I was completely dead inside.  The world had no color. I saw nothing as if I were looking right through people and things.  I heard no sounds except garbled background noise.  Food tasted like paper.  What was wrong with me?  Did I not even have a heart?  I knew I loved them.  And that baby was the light and joy of my life.  I wanted to die every single moment and I knew how broken I was but I had literally no reaction to any of it.  It was bazaar and unnerving and was the source of added anguish for many weeks.

Several weeks later maybe three or more I began to feel and cry a little at a time in short bursts.  Then the dam broke and I began to feel EVERYTHING and almost lost my mind – I would sob for hours --deep racking sobs that felt as if my heart were literally going to burst.  I physically ached inside so bad until it felt like I was being crushed.  Then I got angry.  I mean ANGRY; screaming, cussing, throwing things, raging --angry. As if all of the emotion of everything that had happened, their deaths, the crappy investigation, the way we were treated by the coroner and lied to by the investigators, the way the news reporters stole pictures from my daughter in law's Facebook account and plastered my children's picture all over the news before we could even notify family members, the fact that we never got to see any of them, the legacy this left for my son; one of the best dad's I've ever known, the cruel things that people have said, the way my friends have turned away, the way that strangers were staring and whispering about us everywhere we went, the extreme waste of such beautiful lives, the insecurities I now felt about law enforcement, prayers and friendships, my sister's leukemia and the timing of the treatment...all of it - all of it hit me at once and I had anger beyond anything I could even imagine.  

Then I began to seriously wonder if it were ever going to let up.  It was then I realized the benefit of that numbness.  Clearly it was a safety mechanism to keep tragic shock and resulting aftermath from completely washing over you like a tsunami.  It is there so that you don't feel it all at one time but instead it allows the sadness and anger and devastation to seep in a little at a time as you can stand it.

And the article I found was dead on it when they said that although you would think numbness would be so much better than pain it really is not so much - it is a pain in and of itself.  You really are aware that the pain and devastation is actually there - somewhere deep - you just cannot feel it.

So very weird.  Like drowning in a bowl of beige jello.  Blank, bland, nothingness - like you are the walking dead.  You feel dead but you know you are not.  You know there is sadness; a deep terrifying sadness but it seems so far away until you can't quite touch it.

The article really resonated with me and brought back all of those first weeks and I know absolutely that it will be helpful to so many that felt as I did and don't understand it.  As I said, I so wish I had found it months ago.  (


  1. My son died almost 8 months ago. His wife said it was attempted murder suicide. The investigation was a joke. The autopsy took 16 weeks because it was redone due to a computer glitch. His wife fought us in court, refusing to let us see our now 13 month old granddaughter and is fighting us and my son's firstborn daughter, who is six, refusing to allow her her rightful share of her daddy's estate. There was no will. He was 28. He didn't plan to die. He was and amazing daddy, a loving son, and had lots of plans and dreams. His widow ended up with a 300K life insurance payout, a new house and car, and 3000 and month social security for her, her daughter, age 3, and their daughter, now 13 months old. They were married only 13 months and only together 15 months total. My other children have all bonded together with her against me because I blame her for his death, in fact I believe she killed him. I truly appreciate you telling your story. My world is forever shattered as well. God bless.

    1. Oh my gosh, I am so sorry for your loss. That is awful. Certainly does sound suspicious. I have learned that investigations on TV look nothing like the real thing. Scary to know that. Email me at
      If you ever want someone to talk to. May you find peace.