Monday, June 3, 2013
A blog for my grief
I am a 43 year old mama who lost her only son four days ago (5/18/13-it took me a bit to be able to finish this post), very unexpectedly. He was just 19 years old. There he is celebrating his birthday with us on March 19th of this year. I have a beautiful daughter who needs me now more than ever. Right now, grief envelops me, I think it's my entire identity. Rather than bombard my close friends with sorrowful texts and post every thought in my mind on FB, I figured this was a better alternative. If you're here on purpose, thank you for taking the time to listen to this mama's heart.
Warning here, I'm starting at the beginning, meaning when I found out about my baby and it's not emotional for emotions sake, but just to give me an outlet. It might be hard reading.
Saturday, May 18, I looked at my phone and saw a missed call from Snohomish County. HHHMM, I thought, as I showed my friend the phone, this must be about Brandon? To myself I thought, it's probably the jail. Well, that's ok, it means he's ok. I listened to the voice mail which said, "This is Courtney, with Snohomish County, regarding Brandon Kashef, please call me." For a brief second I allowed myself to think it was bad news and then quickly reassured myself, while also thinking it odd that the police would call me directly. I thought maybe they had some belongings of his or wouldn't let him make a phone call.
I walk outside to call. It rings. She answers, "Snohomish County Medical Examiner, this is Courtney." (right now I'm pausing to let my heartbeat regulate as I remember-it was horrific) I immediately questioned having reached the ME and told her my name. She asked me if I knew Brandon Kashef. I said, "NO! I KNOW Brandon Kashef," at which point she said she was sorry to tell me that my son had been found dead earlier that day, at his friend's house. I may have screamed no or what or something, I don't know, but I immediately hung up on her.
I ran back inside to look for my friend, in a complete panic, absolutely beside myself. Everyone looked at me, it was like the entire place froze, and I screamed something like my son is dead and lost it. People were immediately at my side, one person who is also a mama, was sobbing with me, hugging me, saying she was so sorry. I am not someone who cries around other people, even my own family, much less in a room full of people, and I think I probably seemed hysterical. Well, of course I was hysterical, it was all so surreal, but having someone standing there sobbing with me and for me, hearing her heart break for me, will always mean a lot to me. Initially I thought I'd just state as matter of fact what was wrong and wait for my friend to lean on, but the grief just owns you in that moment.
Sometime, not long after I broke down, my husband called. I wasn't sure if he knew because we'd been squabbling a bit over the previous few days, trying to work things out for the boy. Why I thought he might be calling for ANY other reason at that precise time, I'm not sure, but I risked it and answered the phone with a sobbing hello. On the other end, gut wrenching, soul searing wailing. I hung up. He called back several more times, I could not answer.
At some point in my hysterics, another friend insisted on driving me home. I really thought I could drive, I am thankful I wasn't allowed. On the way, I had to call my daughter home. I was crying into the phone, but didn't tell her what was wrong because I didn't want her driving upset.