Normally I am not a screamer.
But on this day, I screamed. And I didn’t stop for a long time.
It was several months after my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty. I remember sitting, staring off into the distance with my mind swirling with pain and grief and anger and confusion. I don’t know how long I sat there but I remember gradually realizing that I had been sitting there a significant amount of time. And I didn’t feel like what I was doing was helping me deal with my shattered life and my broken heart.
I remembered an article on grief that I had wanted to read and I eventually found it in a pile. I am usually an organized person but those few several months after Davey died were the most unorganized months of my life. Nothing seemed to fit anywhere anymore so everything went into a pile.
I’m sorry I can’t tell you the title of this article or the author or where I found it. This just shows you how well my brain was functioning back then.
One of the suggestions in the article for dealing with extreme grief was to try screaming. After surviving a tragedy, we often have a lot of emotions that we keep all bottled up inside of us because everyone around us is also hurting and we don’t want to add to their struggle.
So we keep it inside where it tears us apart, roars in our ears and keeps us awake at night.
The article suggested that screaming might help me get out my emotions and feel better. I was ready to try just about anything.
They mentioned finding a time when I was alone – for obvious reasons. I also needed to find a place where I could scream and not end up with the neighbors calling the cops.
Wow- I definitely needed to avoid that scenario.
I went in my closet but it was too small. Don’t ask my why but I wanted to lay face down somewhere and scream into the floor.
I laid face down on the living room rug, closed my eyes and started screaming. And I kept screaming. I had the biggest pity party of my life – screaming my head of as I went through every negative and painful thought and feeling that was rolling around in my head.
I screamed a long time. When I finally stopped I was exhausted and I had a sore throat.
And I felt lighter. It felt good.
I got up on the couch and decided that this needed to be a turning point for me. From then on, I was going to focus on life, not death. From then on, I was going to be grateful for all I had while Davey was alive and all I still had. My life was not going to be about what I had lost.
Davey was gone but, for some reason, I was still here. So I needed to figure out what purpose God still had for me here and do it.
I have cried a million tears between then and now but no more screaming. The swirling in my head gradually stopped, the piles in my house found their place and I am gradually getting used to living with the hole – some days are harder than others.
I am so extremely grateful for the 34 years we had Davey.
Miss you, Davey.