For two weeks now I have been trying to move past the response I got when I posted that short video of Sloan from less than two days before he passed. Being told by so many that it was “too difficult” for them to watch, that it made them “too sad” was so damaging for me.
What happened to my son, happened, and I am not obligated to soften or omit parts of his life or death in order to maintain the comfort of others. As hard as it is for you to read or see, imagine how hard it was to live it, and continue living it every day that I walk the earth without my child.
Perhaps in the constant of sharing my grief and trauma, others have become slightly desensitized and when they suddenly see a video of him living, it is a blunt reminder of how normal things can be until they aren’t. How alive a child is until they aren’t. My sons life mattered, just as much as his death. Your discomfort surrounding either of these realities, is not my concern.
It’s a difficult process of thoughts, realizing that there are people who expect me to censor my own story to appease their inability to cope with mortality. What’s even more difficult is realizing that I far too often DO find myself trying to word things in a more gentle way, glossing over just how traumatic, messy, terrifying, and devastating it was and still can be.
I cannot change the narrative of my story. Sloan was healthy, happy, and full of life, until he wasn’t. He was smiling, laughing, pouting, crying, playing, mere hours before he fell asleep forever. Maybe that is too hard for some people to accept, but that isn’t my problem. I can’t make a difference by being quiet or sugar coating my reality. I read a quote recently (I can’t remember who from) that said “I have not survived what I have survived just to make minimal impact in the spaces I occupy.”
Death is real. I will not shrink my pain to make it easier for you.