Today, May 10th 2020 Mark’s the 4th Mother’s Day with KennyBug in Heaven. Our angel. The missing link in my everyday. A part of my heart, mind and soul is with Kenny today, like all days but today more so than others. I find the despair in my heart growing as the day progresses.
What I wouldnt give to hear his sweet voice say with so much love and legit happiness ” Happy Mother’s Day Momma” with a specially made card and some fresh beautiful flowers from my all my boys, that’s what I miss. Seeing all their faces, feeling each of their individual hugs, each so different, each my pride and joys. I miss those days so much. It’s what so many take for granted. You never imagine one day you’ll spend a Mother’s Day without all your children, never. Every other thought goes out in a prayer to your angel child, closing your eyes for a moment pushing all your love as far up to Heaven as you can to reach your child. To have them feel your love, to know they are always in your thoughts, especially today. For our child you will always be and celebrated on this day, grateful for the day God gave me you. Being a mother 4 times over I’ve been blessed.. and he blessed me with 17 years with Kenny by my side to celebrate this day. Now I have to learn each day, each month, each holiday to get through the best I can.
I will spend this Mothers Day doing the best I can. Loving each of my children. I pray they all know my love is forever. I pray that they always know there are no boundaries and that my heart beats for them.
My Mother’s Day prayer for all of us! Those of us who are missing our child I pray we can all find some peace today knowing that our Angel’s are always with us.. when we remember them, a moment in time, we keep them close and they will always be alive in our thoughts.
With Love, hugs and understanding Happy Mother’s Day, from one grieving parent to another.
In the still of the night I sit after a long shower, as hot as I could take it as if to wash all the sadness off of me, to ease the panic in my head and the pounding in my heart. The night hours are hardest for me.
I don’t sleep well at night. During the day I can sleep a little here and there but at night not often at all. The night brings out different emotions, thoughts and it is torture that has come to be like groundhog day. Over and over again I find myself up, alone, with to much on my mind. It’s the silence that allows me time to think. If I cry I dont have to hide it. I can look through pictures of Kenny and not worry about making anyone else sad. I can walk outside in the middle of the night and wish upon my sons named star ” Kennybugs” star and talk to him if I want to and not look insane. If I want to write, I can without distraction, night time is my friend and enemy. My family makes jokes about my room being my bat cave during the day.. kinda true. I dont “hide” there but it is my safe zone. It’s where I go when there is to much noise, to much staring back at me that needs to be done and where I go to recharge my thresh hold. Although I maintain some sort of normal on a daily bases. Clean on days that my body agrees, hang out on my porch when the weather is nice, take rides with my husband around the farm but mostly my bat cave is where you’ll find me. My children and husband all come in and surround the bed and we talk, catch up, do homework, laugh and tell jokes like any other family, just not around a dinner table, like most.
I dont have many friends but the ones I do have are great, supportive and always offer an ear, shoulder, and it means so much but I haven’t seen them in a long time. Months before Covid-19. I have met so many kind caring supporters through Kenny’s memorial FB page that I call friends and they are all such gifts in my life. I am so grateful. I am blessed with some amazing family, my inlaws are wonderful people/friends. We get together as often as we can but that hasn’t been possible for awhile. My circle is small but meaningful. I’m not a phone talk person, texting.. sometimes. I have become horribly great at not returning texts. Forgetful, avoidance, procrastination and selfishness keeps me bottled up to myself. And I’m quite a pro at it. But I appreciate each and every one of them whole heartedly.
I give out no false impressions that I handle my grief healthy or right. I dont pretend to be the best wife, mother or friend that I could be because I’m far from it. But what I do say is that I do try. I reach out to family and friends to just say Hi. I make a point to tell my youngest children several times a day that I love them so very much. My husband is so strong and takes on so much of a load to pick up my slack and to me he is irreplaceable… my rock and best friend… almost 22 years worth of living, growing up together, love, caring, raising 4 boys, struggling through life, coming so far from the two young kids we once were… we thought we had made our way through this world and there was nothing that could stand in our way. We had overcome so much. And then it all came to hault. Life as we knew it had ended. Our child died. It’s so hard to even write those words.
He died. He died. He died. In the early morning hours on Dec 21st, 2016. I have a hard time with the words ” died, dead, deceased” I use words like ” angel, passed way, left this world” they dont sound as final to me. I have learned these little mind games with myself to lessen the pain.
But the painful truth is our child died. We have had to learn how to be us. The wife and husband, momma and daddy, friend and family. We balance each other in the way we always have but in a much deeper form. When one of us is down and out the stronger one stands taller and carries the other until we get through the troubled waters. Only now those waters won’t reced and give us a break from the waves. They just keep beating us up against the rocks and with little time to heal before the next crash. My husband takes on the brunt and carries me way more than I do him. It’s not a difference between man and woman, mother or father, stronger or weaker.. it comes down to my husband doing what he sees needs to be done. I admire that so much about him. He grieves our son so much but he can do it and still maintain normal life. I wish I could do that. Maybe one day I will. I worry somedays that he will resent my inability to function normally.. I pray ( I am a praying lady) for strength daily. Not only so I can help myself but for my family. I know they miss me. The me I was. The mom I was. I miss her too. I dont know how to be her anymore when I am so broken and lost without all of my children. A mother needs all of her children.
I write this to help myself but to also let those going through something similar, struggles the same as I do.. the feelings, thoughts and depression… feeling alone, sadness and despair… the one thing that you are not is alone. You are not alone! I suspect sadly that many many have felt the way I do right now. I have found that it helps tremendously when I read about a parent who describes their grief and I can relate.. I know then that I am not alone or defective. There is no wrong or right way for us to grieve our children. It’s a journey that we all must take unwillingly… kicking, screaming and crying our way through it and it helps to share. I hope in some small way I have helped you. The sun will rise, the birds will sing and the world will be consumed with what’s new while we stay somewhere in the past existing in today’s world. But we are here. I will continue to tell my sons story and lash out against bullying and violence, I will keep moving forward the best I can for my son. As you will do for you and yours.
Any given day, you could see me break down, bawl, get angry and hear my pleas with God.. atleast once, but noone sees. I hide my tears, fears that the days ahead seem to hard to face, and contempt with the fact that my son is gone. I hide it all. Why? No one seems to know what to do, what to say, how to act with me.. I dont blame them, I dont know what I would do in their shoes. I have noticed that my loss is not one that anyone else wants to think about or imagine, again I don’t blame them.. before I was an angel mom, I didnt want to either. We carry our children in womb, in our arms and through life never ever imagining that one day your job as their mother would end. All the dreams and hope’s that you had for your child would stay just that.. everything that comes with mothering is forever.. forever now is my remaining life without my son. Forever is the way it feels, sounds, is. Too long. It’s so unnatural, unfair and cruel.
To not get that Goodbye, the last words- I love you with all my heart- screaming the words as if to make sure he could hear me.. over and over and over, pleaing please dont go… my last memory with my son was devastating. And I’m mad. Life as I knew it, the mother of 4 healthy, rambunctious, fun loving boys was over. I am and will always be a proud mother of 4 boys but now I have to say “but my Kenny passed away”. Crushing.
I send hugs to every parent who has lost a child. From the second our childs heart beat stops ours stay broken forever. We are never the same but somehow life has to go on. I am still learning how that works. Sadly I have found that there are many many of us and a club noone gets invited to or wants to be a part of but we are in The Angel child Mommy /Daddy club. The club where time means nothing and words help ease our exile from the world.
I write to help myself and to help others know that you are not alone.
Something I’ve recently noticed is when I am able to laugh, the simple form of laughter, comes with tears. The saying ” I laughed until I cried” has become my normal. Seems strange, I mean it happens and have experienced it before but now it’s basically everytime. First few times I chalked it up to just being emotional and so did my husband!! But the other day at my husbands expense our son and I had so much laughter as he awoke a nap and his bed head was out of this world crazy.. I laughed so hard while crying, I mean tears running down my face. My son and husband were definitely giving me the look as if to ask ” what is wrong with you?” Haha! Since that moment of the most intense laughter I have experienced in such a long time I have wondered about the ” laughing till we cry” saying.
Besides the medical reasoning for such a response to something funny I think in some cases as my own its just a flood of the two emotions we’ve held in for far too long. Its difficult for me to laugh. To find things worthy. Laughing to me since losing my son has been far and in between. I haven’t been allowing myself the necessary cry that I need on a regular bases to let out my feelings.. trying to look ok all the time has taken it toll on me. At that moment of full on laughter my emotions just released at the same time.. making it a laugh to remember, haha! My point being is although we are consumed by grief, sadness and heartache by the loss of our children/loved ones we all still deserve the feeling of laughter.. to find humor and joy. It feels like a betrayal of some sorts but its really not. In that moment of the hysterical site of my husband… if Kenny were here with us he would of been laughing so loud with his wonderful laugh with his brother and I. I think that was why my emotions mixed. Joy and sadness at once. A moment, a simple moment, and I wanted our son here to share it with us. Our family have had our fair share of comedy and laughter filled our home. It was nice to witness again. Laughter can be missed and needed in our lives to thrive.
I’m just a grieving Mother who is learning daily while on the journey to live without my child. Tip 1. Laugh when you can.
The last few weeks I have been experiencing a new-diffrent kind of grief, pain, heartache. I am not sure why the shift in my journey. The desperation, need, urgency to see my child has been extreme. Maintaining any kind of functioning life has been a failure, depression has set in. Every year since Kenny’s passing from the peak of holiday season through January has been a struggle for me and I usually have set backs but this year has been different. So much has happened and changed for our family in the past 6 months, enough to break even the healthiest of minds but I’ve been able to put it behind me and still keep moving forward, even if it’s at a snail’s pace.
KennyBugs birthday hit me so hard this year. My son is 21 years old now. A milestone for all. One that he didnt get to experience. This birthday I had to make myself focus on all Kenny’s 17 birthdays, to remember him little. The way he sang ” Happy Party” instead of ” Happy Birthday”… we would all laugh, it was so cute. He would sing it with such dance and happiness in his eyes. It hurt not to beable to give him his Birthday hug like the 17 years I had. He didnt get to request his Birthday dinner, go out and celebrate with friends.. non of that. His future, all he would of done and missed these past 3 years, its all so painful and so unfair. When I sit and imagine what Kenny would be doing today… I have to stop myself, it hurts to much.
So I guess that is where this new grief is coming from. Up until this point I’ve been grieving the Kenny he was. Now I am grieving the Kenny he would become. Should have become.
I suspect I will have several points through my remaining life of these types of shift, change in my grief. Makes sense: The milestones a parent looks forward to for their child does not end with their death. Your wish for them to experience all those things doesn’t go away.
The whole family suffers, grieves, lives with PTSD, we experience our own individual nightmares everyday because each of us mentally have blocked out certain parts but vividly remember other moments. We as a family were once close, on the same page… My husband and I were so proud how close our 4 boys were. Protectors, buddy’s, teachers… they loved each other so much. Of course they had brother fights.. what family doesn’t? But they were back to buddy’s in no time. 🙂
Fast forward to almost 2 1/2 years later and Kenny’s 3 brothers can not get along. It breaks my heart. I wish I could fix their hearts and be able to make sure they feel happiness.. I want them to remember and care for each other like they did before. I feel like Kenny was the glue that held so many of us together, now were all lost.
When I say KennyBug was the glue that held us together, for an example: Kenny adored family time.. get togethers with family, he adored all of his family.. Grandparents, Aunts,Uncles, Cousins.. and you could always find him sitting with the adults 😉 He was such a joy!
We all sense his loss in our every day life, every day.. and every day makes it one more that we havent seen, heard or felt Kenny’s love… Kenny had a wonderful smile with his beautiful eyes.. a contagious laugh and he always made people feel good about themselves, loved.
Kenny was a treasure I wish the world would of gotten to know.. but with his story I feel like he is helping children speak out against bullying and we get some sense of peace knowing that.
Please in situations of loss, sudden or not, no matter what the manner… remember the siblings, they suffer their own kind of grief 😦
The saying ” Gone but never forgotten” is just something people say, they do forget. Another common one ” You find out who your true friends are in your darkest hour” unfortunately, this one I have found to be true. And I am heartbroken.
I keep trying to justify why or how those who knew and loved Kenny could now turn their back on any kind of justice we could receive for him. I am just numb… I understand self preservation, being fearful of retaliation, protecting your child from potential bullying themselves if you speak but if noone speaks… then nothing changes and the chances of your child enduring bullying remain the exact same because nothing will change.
I feel like – what’s the point? Why have I put our family through this fight to make a change in schools for ALL of our children, spreading Awareness and Prevention as much as I can? Why? My heart gets ripped out everytime I have helped a parent who has a child being bullied ( which I love helping any way I can), or the stories of the children who keep dieing due to the cruelty that has infected our schools, the parents that I’ve met who walk along side of me who also have Angel’s due to bullying and so so much more that I have experienced for almost 2 1/2 years. I’ve been to Florida to spread Kenny’s story, I’ve been to the Capitol in Mo. to support Kenny’s Law (SB791), spoken with Senators, reporters, news media, we participate in the Out Of The Darkness walks held in Columbia, Mo. all in the hope of bringing the spot light on bullying/bullycide/workplace violence… EVERYONE DESERVES A SAFE LEARNING AND WORK PLACE! Some days its draining, hard, and I struggle to keep going, to keep fighting for Justice, for change, for better… children should not be afraid to go to school. PERIOD!
But after all I do, we do as a family, Kenny’s support group… all of us, nothing has changed.. it’s still the same story after story every day. The ones who were willing to speak for Kenny’s Justice 2 1/2 years ago, today choose not to speak for him any longer.
How will change happen…how will our children be safer without those who can speak out but choose not to?
Yes, I feel betrayed. Yes, I feel like my son deserved better from those who were his “friends”. Yes, I think cowarding down now is the biggest smack in the face and lastly I feel like I should just throw in the towel ( so to speak)! I feel like with the time that has passed our son, baby, wonderful young man, caring, loving Kenny has been forgotten by the people who stood up for him and now back down out of fear. I understand fear.. I understand it all too well, we live it everyday… all you had to do was tell the truth. That’s all!
Our nightmare started 12-21-2016, the day Kenny left us …. the pain, shock, utter emptiness that followed is indescribable. Our family will never ever be the same. Ever.
Sincerely a broken mother, Angela Kenny’s Momma and voice.
The question “why, why why?” Is always, always on my mind. Why didn’t Kenny come to me like he had always done before, why did he hide his pain from all who loved him deeply, why? Kenny was my child who even as a young child said ” he would never leave me” but he did and my heart and mind want to know what took him from me, and I’ve needed answers so badly. I know the facts, the horrible treatment Kenny endured, the constant cruelness, bullying… I also know that there is not one thing that we wouldn’t have done to help our son. I wish with all my heart and soul that he could of shared his pain with me, I would of gladly carried that for him. I would of fought harder, I would of done anything.
I struggle with horrible anxiety/panic attacks and depression since we lost Kenny and I struggle daily. Grief is heavy, relentless and so lonely. In some ways I am doing better, in others I still fail miserably. Energy is something I struggle with.. I use sleep as my escape from the reality of not having my son. In sleep you can dream, I can hope to dream of Kenny and see my son. I’m sure it won’t make sense to most but it’s my way. Today 2/4/19 I took a nap like I usually do when I am alone. But instead of waking up just as lost as I was before I slept I woke up with my face and pillow soaked in tears. The instant I opened my eyes I knew in my heart and mind that my Kenny was trying to answer my nagging Why’s that eat at my soul.
In my dream, which felt like I lived in forever, I was me, the adult me and I was being criticized, laughed at, misunderstood, called names, yelled at and I didn’t know why….. Some people I knew some I didn’t, I was going through scenario after painful scenario trying to ask all these people why? What did I do? Please stop? I finally, overwhelmed sit down up against a wall and with my head in my hands all I could do was cry. It was suddenly quiet, I looked up and I was alone, every one had vanished, my tears dried up and I found my way out of the unknown to me building I was in. When I walked outside it was bright and beautiful and all I saw were smiles, happy people of all ages, I had a feeling of peace. Like somehow these people made the cruel people go away. As the crowd of people started to part all the while looking back as if to make a path for someone, I could see the outline of my son but it was so so very bright, I was struggling to keep my eyes on him ( like starring at the sun) but as he got closer and closer and my heart was about to implode from pure joy I WOKE UP!
I sat in a daze for quite some time trying to remember every detail of my dream when I finally realized the learning experience that I needed so badly was to feel all those terrifying feelings that Kenny had had for me to understand that my son did not leave me, his Momma, what he left behind was the pain that wouldn’t stop because of the cruelty that exists in this world. The bullying that would never stop, the judgement that those people placed on him due to his disabilities, the not understanding what he did to deserve it, all of that was gone once he found his way to the light. Our sweet Kenny found peace and joy his own way. For a split second I got to feel what that felt like and I now have some peace within myself for my son is not a lone.
Dreams are just that dreams, meant to tell us something, or about our fears, they manifest what we need to see when we need it.. my opinion anyways; I believe in my heart I was ready to understand my son in those last moments of his life.
A beautiful soul who reached the end of his job here on earth, to show those of us who love him deeply and unconditionally, what pure kindness should be (even when very little was bestowed upon him) and to make kindness spread.
We love and miss you KennyBug so very much every single day.. your story will never end, you will always be in the hearts of many and we will spread your kindness, always!
With grief comes guilt, survivors guilt. Before losing my son I wasn’t sure what that meant.. it means every time I smile I feel guilt, every time I feel a bit of happiness I have emmense guilt.. to have family moments without Kenny, we have guilt. It’s just not fair that he is not here with us like he should be, like we wish with all our might that he was here with us to share new moments with… Instead we have to learn to be a family minus 1. And it sucks!
Nothing in this world will ever make our family whole again, nothing. We are forever a family just doing our best to live day by day without a piece of us. Our hearts and minds may never heal. Our hearts are broken and our minds are tortured by memories of the night we lost our 6th piece of our family, Kenny! The loss of your child, your brother, in this manner is beyond comprehension. There are no answers, only questions and unsolved stories. We are forever left with ????????? Why were people so mean to him, why? Why? Why? With noone to step forward to explain it to us. It hardens the heart, anger is always near and can take hold very easily. It’s a constant fight to let time and patience deliver the Justice Kenny so deeply deserves.
See our Kenny was always a survivor, always happy, always willing to go the extra mile for someone else…. But he was too strong for everyone else and not for himself. As his Mother I would gladly, in a heartbeat take his place, my best friend, my miracle baby, just so he could do all the wonderful things in this world that I know he would have.. but I can’t. I wasn’t given a chance. His pain was to much to bare and my precious baby wouldn’t let me help him carry that pain.
For those mean spirited people who say ” he took the easy way out” cause me so much pain and anger. My son was in turmoil till the very end and easy it was not. He had to choose between living a life of torture verses being with family and for once in his young life he chose himself. To be at peace. And I am bawling while I type these words because God help me I wish I could of stopped it and saved my son. That’s all I wish.