My husband was at work and about an hour away from leaving to come home. I was alone with the children and starting to wind them down to get ready for bed. I was in total bliss to finally be at home in my own surroundings and was indifferent to the workload that caring for the house and children entailed. I was ecstatic to be a family again. Things were going to get better now. The tough times were behind us.
At that moment my romantic thoughts were interrupted. The phone rings and it is my cousin calling me from the US. I instantly greet him gregariously as I was feeling on top of the world for having survived the ¨worst of the worst.¨ He barely greets me and says in a shaky and strange voice that he is going to now pass me to my aunt. She gets on the phone and asks me if I am sitting down. I tell her no, but I will. At this point, I assume she is going to tell me the inevitable; that my grandmother, may she rest in peace, who was already in her early 90´s and declining rapidly, had passed away. But, that is not what she said.
Suddenly, the unthinkable was being told to me and I was too astonished to really comprehend the news. ¨Your little brother_____ , shot and killed himself today.¨ Instantly, my mind was blocked and I was unable to understand English and all I heard was jumbled noise on the other end of the line. The inner voice inside my head instantly rejected this information. I was in sheer disbelief and obviously this absurd news was a colossal mistake. They got the wrong guy. He never would have done such a heinous thing; he was not depressed or suicidal, (at least to my knowledge.)
She waited patiently as I slowly proceeded to regurgitate it all word by word. I asked her to please repeat herself, thus re-confirming it over and over again. Finally, by the fourth or fifth time, it penetrated through my thick skull. At a flash, I went ballistic and started hyperventilating. The children were very frightened to see me this way and my husband was called to rush home immediately.
He was in shock and tried to tell me not to get so frantic as I had a fresh wound in my head, an unborn baby who had already gone through enough trauma, and very young vulnerable children who were panicking upon witnessing their mother literally fall to the ground and fall apart. Again, my spirit was trapped inside this ridiculously fragile body with no outlet for strong emotions!
To make a very long and sad story short, the next day we were again, on the plane back to Miami and leaving our innocent questioning children behind. I was briefed by my OB-GYN to take small occasional doses of a calming medication (at my insistence) in order to get through the funeral proceedings and subsequent days of grief. I no longer had the fight inside of me to do it again unaided. My neurosurgeon emphatically reiterated the need to stay as calm and composed as possible considering the depth of this tragedy. (It was almost impossible for my intellect to convince my emotions that this was the doctor’s orders.)
From the instant we landed and the mourning family and friends started appearing one by one, I tried to emotionally disconnect from my physical body in a Buddhist-like meditational kind of way. The inner voice inside my brain kept telling me to be the strong one for my mother, for my other brothers, for my family, for everyone. I thought, ¨Why now, at this time after such a delicate surgery and in a state of pregnancy, must I be the stoic one? When will I have my chance to react to all the calamities and vent?¨ If I don´t find an outlet for my natural reactions, eventually it is going to surface and manifest within me as some bizarre tick or abnormal behavior one day. This was a frightening proposition for me as the caretaker of so many dependent naive children...
To Be Continued...
The future of My Mama Mojo - I have been quiet..very very quiet. I am a true introvert and tend to hibernate when I'm upset, going through major life changes or contemplating an imp...
4 years ago