The Emotional ICU known as grief

From Anne Moss. Logan suffered from anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation and an eating disorder and died in a truck crash.

By Tamara Rollinson

Logan Neale died in an accidental truck crash in July 2016 at 19. He suffered from mental illness and was very open about his struggles

Grief hits you on many levels. Loss of a job. Loss of a marriage. Death of your parents, friends and loved ones. Death is final. No turning back.

Done. Forever in this life time.

There is absolutely no comparison to the death of your child. The death of a spouse, sibling or parent, while earth shattering and sad, does not come close.

As much as I loved my Mom, her death pales in comparison to my son Logan who died at age 19 in a truck crash nearly six months ago. Mom lived a long life. She died before me as it should be. She lived her purpose.

Do I miss her? Yes.

Do I long for her unconditional love? Yes.

But I have fully accepted she has moved on.

Logan’s father Ron died by suicide when Logan was nine-years-old. Ron’s death was much more painful and profound than my mother’s. But his death did not define me and I was able to thrive and begin a new life.

Logan’s death is altogether different. I struggle to find the words to describe how I feel. Even though Logan is not here in our physical world, I still have a son. His physical form is dust. His spirit, love and energy are somewhere.

All I have left is the soul-crushing grief. The grief will be with me until I die. The more I deny it the harder it comes back at me.

I can bury the grief, pretend it is not there, distract myself with work, traveling, a social life, religion, but no matter what I do, the grief seeps through. I find myself rushing down a rocky river getting my head bashed around. No control. It is painful. Gut wrenching.

But grief is the only thing I have left of Logan. So I am learning to live with grief.

There is no healing, moving on, getting over it.

Can I survive grief? Yes.

Can I transform or grow from it? Yes.

But it takes a long time.

I am in emotional ICU, hanging on the best I can. My capacity to deal with stress is limited, as if I was expected to run a marathon after breaking both my legs.

My greatest fear is Logan will fade away like the smell of his running shoes from the thousands of miles he ran. He will be forgotten. His name not mentioned by family. His life story reduced to words like – he will be remembered fondly.

It’s up to me to live Logan’s purpose, to work his energy, to complete his job here on earth. Logan went too soon. God had nothing to do with the timing.

People call me strong, resilient and think everything is OK since I am “normal” and not screaming in tears. I can tell you I am not fine. I am not happy. I am alive. I am OK. I am able to put the grief to the side to be with family, care for for loved ones, care for myself, take care of business and go to work.

There is no solving grief or putting me in a get-over-it box. Grief is not a problem to be solved. It is my relationship with Logan. Grief is carried.

I think of the afterlife constantly. That is where Logan is. I want to know he is OK. I want to be with him so badly that the only relief I can get is knowing this life will end. I am not afraid of death. One foot is here with the living and the other in the next life.

My hope is I will find some purpose and reason from all of this. This is my journey– one I am traveling alone with the faith I have in God. All I ask of loved ones is to be there. Listen to me with compassion. Don’t abandon me.

Ask me about Logan. Share stories about him.

Understand that I am not the same and never will be.

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Evil E.D. held my son hostage


13 thoughts on “The Emotional ICU known as grief”

  1. Tamara-
    I think of your son almost every day. Logan was on XC & Track with my son at Cosby. We had moved to VA when Jacob started 8th grade and we didn’t know many families when he moved to Cosby in 9th grade. Logan was the first kid who went out of his way to talk to me and tell me how great Jacob was doing with his running. We spoke at every XC and Track meet when he was there and he even came to Jacob’s 16th Bday celebration when he was back from Colorado. I have a lovely photo I could send you if you are interested. He was such a lovely boy and I’m glad I had the opportunity to get to know him.

  2. “Grief is not a problem to be solved. It is my relationship with Logan. Grief is carried.”

    Your words always touch us Anne Moss. This week is Garrett’s 4th Angelversary. The buildup began last Tuesday. The words above pulled from your blog really stuck with me. As I read them over and over and over. Grief is the relationship I now have with my son. Bittersweet. <3 <3 <3 <3

    1. I have to give Tamara credit for this article. And yes that is a good line. It is a relationship. And we will always live with it and we have to learn to incorporate it as part of our lives

  3. Tamara,
    Thank you for sharing about your beautiful boy, Logan, and “allowing” yourself to feel what you feel , AND to speak your truth. Your words were my words. I have never read another Mother’s belief’s, that mirrored my own. My son, Curt took his life 4 years ago, Feb 10th, 2013. But I also feel he lives in me, and Curt will be the first person who holds my hand when I cross over. For now, I help those whenever, wherever I can , because that is who Curt was, and I believe still is. Hugs and Blessings ❤

  4. Thank you for sharing ..indescribable pain losing a spouse but a child on top of that..partner with Anne..she is raising awareness to identify our children before they get to this point where they believe life is no longer worth living..she is moving in to the prevention/early identification mode..may your HP help u to understand God’s will for u and the power to carry it out..hugs. ..another warrior Mom

    1. Anne Moss is the best and she understands. The pain can be intolerable. I don’t know what to do but write. I hope I can express what others feel and make they realize they are not alone. Much love, Tamara.

  5. So sorry for your loss–I walk in your shoes to some extent–lost my dad at 16–mom left alone w/12 children–but she just shut down–mom dies when I’m 36– my life continues–just keep busy so I don’t think of my losses –then my son at the age of 38 take
    his life–never experience such a loss–I know my parents would die before but my son –my friend–the pain was unbearable–but I found that if I celebrated his life it would ease my pain it has to some extent–but I believe this is out of my hand –it was gods plan–I feel your pain but my son had bi-polar disease so I braced myself for yrs..waiting for that dreaded phone call–& 18 yrs. of worry ect. the call came–in your situation it’s more tragic–it was a shock–no preparation–I had time to brace myself sort to speak–but you didn’t– my ❤️ goes out to you–please allow yourself to heal–& take all the time you need–just know your not alone–keep yourself surrounded by loved ones–just walk slowly through your grief–remember the good times–and embrace them-let time be on your side—Just know that Logan is your angel now & he will be by your side forever–& will walk w/ you always–I pray you get through this difficult time and one day you will find peace & joy again–just remember Logan would want you to find happiness again–but take your time–many blessings to you !!!

    1. You response helped me through a difficult weekend. Logan’s dad had bi polar and Logan had borderline personality disorder, an eating disorder and self harmed. Tough all around.

  6. I am so sorry for your loss. The photo of Logan and his dog is precious. Thank you for helping us understand the agony you and others are going through. What you have written is so touching, I’m left without words. I wish so badly you, Anne Moss, and all other parents never had to live with such pain. May God continue to help you through each day.

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