Messed Up Inside

I was recently having a conversation with a guy that was buying an old ’66 Chevy truck from me and he had asked me if I had any children. There was a time I hated when people asked me that question because I wasn’t sure how to answer it. However, now I just answer it head on, “I have two children and both have passed away.” Some people quickly respond with “I’m sorry” and move on uncomfortably in the conversation. I am never sure what they mean by “I’m sorry.” Are they really sorry about my loss or are they sorry they asked the question and now have to deal with awkwardness of the conversation. Maybe they mean both. However, there are those who will actually stop and acknowledge what was said and sincerely say “I’m sorry” and not allow you to change the discussion until you understand that they really are sorry.

Well, the guy who was buying my truck fell into the later crowd. I could tell he was sincere and he wasn’t afraid of discussing it. After a few minutes of telling my story and about how the book came to be, he blurts out “that would mess me up inside.” Without pause I turned to him and said “it messes everyone up inside, it’s just part of the deal.” I then said “don’t let the smile and my ability to stand here and bullshit about the truck fool you, I am messed up inside, in fact it really fucked me up for a long time.” His response, “I can’t even imagine.”

I have learned, like many bereaved parents, to continue living and enjoying life the best I can, but that doesn’t mean something hasn’t changed inside. Not all of its bad and not all of its good, just messed up. I’ve become more compassionate towards others but also less tolerant of others. I don’t take people’s bullshit anymore (never really did, but it’s gotten worse) and I have become more direct with my comments. I generally get to the point and not dance around stuff like I once did.

I have also changed my approach of living, mainly out of necessity. A fellow co-worker mentioned to me that he and his new girlfriend have a saying “we need to start living the KFL.” He then told me that it stood for “Kelly Farley Lifestyle.” I had to remind him that that lifestyle is a result of burying two children and the realization that life is too short. Both have corporate jobs and allow the companies to work them 60-70 hours per week. They are also convinced that the company will fail if they don’t work those hours. I on the other hand work my 40 hours a week and go home. My wife is a teacher and was off all summer so I decided to take every Friday off with her and enjoy our time together to enjoy the summer.

I use to work non-stop, concerned I was letting the company down but I learned after the loss of my children that I had been letting myself down. Life is not meant to spend at the office working long hours and weekends. I have found a balance and when things are off balance it’s generally in my favor, not the other way around. I’ve learned it’s about spending time with yourself and family doing what you love to do. I also learned quickly that the more you give, the more they will take. If you give less, they will find someone else who will do more.

So to get back to the point of this posting; yes, I am messed up inside and see things from a different perspective than I use too, but that’s just the way this thing goes. I could write another book just on this topic and all of the other things messed up inside of me, but I would rather open it up to all of you.

What is messed up inside of you (good or bad)?

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User Comments ( 37 )

  • GaryK

    Sorry as well Kelly…but I’d rather look you in the eye when saying it from one father who lost a son to another…….it’s kind of like….”talk to someone who hasn’t had that pain and loss” they seem …no, they don’t understand…..but talk to the people who have and it as more meaning, more depth, that I can look at you and see more into your soul, your pain……”messed up inside”….. Sure we all have something, right…we wouldn’t be human if we said we don’t….but your comments fit mine as well in so many ways…..I too was a 60-70 hr a day committed employee and worker….but no more….there’s no value in that…real life value…..don’t want the big titles, big pay, it’s more like…”let me work and do my thing, but leave me alone”……’s been 2 years now since our sons passing…..and I know I function in a 85-90% world still….now that bugs the grap out of me as I want in my head to go back to who I was…..but I’m not sure if I ever will……and does it matter….I say many times, “if I could run away”…. But that’s not the answer either….you face it every day and make the best of your day….you know, let the light in!…… The times when the need to see, hear or feel him can be over whelming, but my way of curing those needs is to go where he would be….outdoors, fishing, or something….man I hate those moments…but they come with the love of a child…..anyway enough!. I have to get my “man-up” face back on, suck it up attitude ….wish everyone on Kelly’s page the very best in your journey and to know your not alone in it…..

    • Jeff

      Well said Gary!

  • Jeff

    Good afternoon, I lost my son Bryce August 28th 2014 to Drug addiction. I flew to California from Florida and put the funeral together and went back to work the next week. It now has been three weeks from his death and the momentum of the loss keeps gaining momentum. Bryce & I were very close and he was in & out of my house or houses through out my Career including 4 states and 5 cities.
    One of his friends put a memorial site on FB & the out cry of love has been very touching. I am just getting started with this state of mourning and grief but its overwhelming me at times. I have never felt so much sadness & heartache in my life and Yes I have a different out look on just about every thing in my life. I have always been a very happy go lucky guy but now life just seems so empty. I welcome any & all suggestions in these early stages.
    Bryce York I love & miss you so much and my life will never be the same.

    • Jeff

      I failed to mention that Bryce was 30 years old.

      • GaryK

        Jeff…sorry to hear about your loss of your son…’s been 2 years since our son passed and it’s getting better, but at times still painful….Mourning and grief will remain overwhelming for some type and will take you to your knees many times through your healing process….just remember everyone grieves differently …….in early stages of this process some but I don’t think many throw themselves into work to bury their pain and grieving…..and I guess that’s ok…but at some point or time you have to grieve….you may even feel your going crazy in doing so…’s ok…..”do not make any serious decisions” for the first year or year in a half….stick it out where you are at as one day you will see the other side….that’s were you start to get back to normal thoughts…..30 days after my son died I started to journal and I still do to this day… was my escape, my journey to continue to talk to my son, God, life and what I was experiencing and feeling……also if you have a wife…or friend…talk and talk…keep communicating as you need it to express yourself, your thoughts….it does help and yes it’s ok to cry and cry….it’s all about healing…..if things get to bad, it’s ok to seek out a good therapist to talk to. I did for about 2 months and it did help…….well it may become very secondary as it may seem the farthest from your mind….it will come back but it may take a long time….to feel like you once did……lastly will you ever get back to who you were….sorry but for me it’s still no….i hope someday to be back to 90-95% and as you stated ” happy go luck” guy, but it’s just no there…it does however come back once in a while and it makes me happy when it does……….losing our only son is so very hard. He was 23 so full of life and outgoing…and we had so many things planned to do still that will never happen. But now I can tell you I am so very thankful for those 23 years we did have with him…
        Wish you well Jeff on your journey, read books on the grieving process so you better understand what’s ahead of you as it does help….my thoughts are with you…

    • Ray

      Hi Jeff — My condolences on your loss. I suddenly lost my 26-year-old son Max a year ago April under somewhat shady circumstances related to his profession as a photojournalist. The blow of losing a son is indescribable, as you are realizing. In an effort to gain some perspective as I felt myself crumbling I actively sought out the life stories of men who had survived the loss of their sons and I found I am in illustrious company — J.S. Bach, Shakespeare, Lincoln, Robert Frost, Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton, Gregory Peck, Paul Newman, and many more. These men lost sons and went on to live passionately engaged, productive lives, informed by the pain of the loss that never leaves. Shakespeare, for example, turned to writing tragedies after losing his 11-year-old son, his only son. The depth and excellence of Julius Caesar, Macbeth and Hamlet are attributable, in my view, to Shakespeare’s loss. Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation in the immediate aftermath of the loss of his 11-year-old son Willie, transforming his Presidential grief into freedom for millions. In the 1930s Robert Frost spent one horrific night trying to talk his adult son, an aspiring poet, out of committing suicide. He failed; his son’s body was found the next morning. Frost went on to create a worthwhile body of work and lived to an old age. Some men have been broken by the loss of a son: baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson died about a year after the loss in a motor vehicle accident of his 23-year-old namesake Jackie Robinson Jr. I have made a conscious decision to emulate those men who have survived the loss of a son and subsequently lived long and fruitful lives, informed and enriched by their loss. Reading about such men has helped me a lot. As for the pain of losing your son, that doesn’t go away. I think of my son as my new guardian angel, dwelling in the Great Beyond with my deceased parents, with a direct line to God. The sadness, though, is your new best friend, Jeff. Cry as much as you need to and don’t expect too much from those around you in terms of understanding. Oh, one other famous “person” who lost a son: his name is God and he lost his son Jesus Christ, who was reportedly crucified. Whether you are a Christian or not, please realize that losing a son is so laden with significance in our Western culture that even our most widespread religious tradition attributes this experience to God himself. So losing our sons is something you and I share in common with God, Jeff. We are now more godlike, at least according to Christian tradition. You and I don’t know what we will achieve in the rest of our lives that will be directly influenced by having lost our sons. Other men have trod this path, however, and I take inspiration from them. Good luck!

      • Jeff

        Ray that is very good information and so sorry to hear about your son. Bryce was my only son but I am blessed with a step son that I have raised since he was 5 and his name is Devanny who is now 17. Having said that the emotion and love in my heart for Bryce is unmatched and it will never be forgotten.
        I do plan on using my career and a yearly golf tournament to bring additional attention to drug addiction as I know my story is of many and hopefully touch a few young men lifes that will be able to beat this horrible disease.
        I have lost my Father, Mother and Sister all to cancer but the pain of this death has been like none I have experienced so hopefully we can progress & make a difference and I can find some positive in all of this through the grace of God our Savior.
        Thank You Ray and I hope we can stay in touch.


      • Ray – Thank you for responding to Jeff and thank you for providing him and other dads on hear the hope of surviving this nightmare. Your words are encouraging and it helps others know that as difficult as it is today, you can survive it. Not easy but there is a lot of personal growth that I went through as part of my losses. Growth that I would have never gotten to before. Peace.

        Jeff – Thanks you for finding us and sharing you story. We all know its not easy to allow yourself to be vulnerable and transparent, but it is something one must do if they have hopes of surviving and again thriving. I know my book and the people I have reached as part of this project would not have happened if I didn’t allow myself to be vulnerable and ask for help.

        Peace to both of you!


      • Jeff

        Hello Gary, I never even mentioned you in my last reply but I am very sorry for you loss and you have some very good Advise. I am now 5 months or so into my sons death and I can tell you I don’t think I am any closer now than I was then. Such pain no parent should have to feel. However I do function just an overwhelming void that I live with and all of us I guess. I don’t ask why, I just hope and pray that their are some joyous moments for me in this life as we know it.

        • Ray

          Hi Jeff — When my son Max died April 28 2013 I figured out pretty within a few weeks that I was a complete wreck. Rather than telling myself to “snap out of it” or creating expectations for myself I gave myself two years to feel as bad as I wanted, whenever I wanted, wherever I wanted — and after that I would try to make a conscious effort to feel better. That two year anniversary is coming up pretty soon and I guess my approach worked for me because I feel strong enough that when the time comes I’ll be able to say, “OK, that’s enough. I spent two years feeling bad, now I’m going to make a real effort to feel good, at least most of the time.” My advice is to feel as bad as you want and expect to feel that way. That way you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you feel a little better. Maybe my two-year timeline would work for you. Stay in touch through this site and we’ll all keep encouraging each other. God bless.

          • Ray – This is excellent advice. I love the approach of allowing yourself to feel the pain for as long as you need. I fought every step of the way and looking back I know it was the wrong way because it was a constant struggle. I applaud you for acknowledging the long road of this journey and having the wisdom to accept it, to a point. Thanks for sharing. Kelly

          • Ray – This is excellent advice. I love the approach of allowing yourself to feel the pain for as long as you need. I fought every step of the way and looking back I know it was the wrong way because it was a constant struggle. I applaud you for acknowledging the long road of this journey and having the wisdom to accept it, to a point. Thanks for sharing. Kelly

        • GaryK

          Hi Jeff and thank you for your comment on my son….. Five months is still shock I am afraid to tell you Jeff, but its all a part of the healing process even if you don’t feel like it is. Wish I could take that pain away as it is unbearable where you are at. Don’t give up, grieve as needed and you have to fight your way back. You will never be the same, but it does get better. For me it took about 2 years to feel some joy and to see my wife laugh made me cry……only we know and understand the pain, the loss, the time you need to heal…..get help if you need it, join a grieving class but know when your ready to do that, as I wasn’t for a year, but it helped….time alone can be good to really let it out Jeff and by that I mean let out, cry, the why’s, the how comes, why me… does help and talk to someone what your feeling, a wife, a friend, someone…..push yourself when your ready…..The things i loved to do, I lost them along the way, I tried them over and over to make my self do them, then I quit many times over as I didn’t have the desire, the want, the passion I once had………..but it came back very slowly and when they do, YOU WILL NOTICE THEM, FEEL THEM, SMILE ABOUT THEM AND YES CRY ABOUT THEM….something we took so simple in life became harder then you can imagine…..Email me anytime either through the website or here is my email;

          Wish you well and I am deeply sorry for your loss, Jeff.

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  • Pat B.

    Our oldest son, Graham, passed May 14, 2011 at 21. “Missing him” doesn’t say enough.

    We’re messedupscrewedupfuckeduptrippedup with an overdose of confusion…and we don’t think that will ever change. (though the intensity of it all HAS lessened somewhat).

    After 39 months/lotsa therapy/lotsa weed/lotsa looking inward….I find I am less angry and more calm/forgiving when it comes to the stupidity of others, but I have less tolerance overall for the triviality I see all around me and the “importance” that so many place on so little. I see a bigger picture than before and a much wider view around me now….but ironically, this wider view has isolated me more than I’ve ever been because I simply can’t relate to most folks anymore and the superficiality of their approaches to life (and death) in most instances. It’s like I’m stuck talking to everyone about the fucking weather because very few folks will go deeper into the reality of who we are/what we have been through. It’s weird at times because I often feel I am distracted…and outside myself, looking in on a conversation that is going on before me rather than being IN the conversation. My head is over HERE…racing…thinking about my son/his involvement with this person in the past and why they seems to want to avoid all of it…and the conversation before me is so shallow that it happens without even tapping the part of my head that is on overdrive…elsewhere.

    As a result, the only people I find I can truly relate to are folks like all of you who have also been dealt a losing hand of cards in this game. It’s a weird/unwanted “bond” that we all share that cuts through the political/social/economic/religious and places us all on common ground like nothing else could ever do. Whereas everyone else must speak to communicate…I’ve had conversations with a few people who have lost a child without saying a word/by merely looking into each others eyes.

    And while the circumstances surrounding the losses we all experienced were different, the outcome and the fallout nearly always seems to be the same for everyone. Relationships that had problems get worse, jobs that sucked suck more, the scenery around us doesn’t look the same, and in the end, nothing we do FEELS the same inside. We have found time and time again that many of the things we did as a family can simply never be done AS GOOD AGAIN as before and have lost their draw/meaning to us today. I haven’t touched my skis in 4 years and I live 2 miles from the chairlift. Just driving there unleashes the floodgates and negates it all. I WISH I could go up there and crank some hard/fast turns in his memory, but somehow it’s a far bigger mountain than it ever was before and even with the chairlift I’m held back because I know I’d have to climb much farther than the chair goes to make any of it work whatsoever in my head. Sadly, it isn’t just thinking about skiing that kicks my ass in such a way… it’s a multitude of things/damn near ALL I see/do. I’m sure many of you can relate in your own way.

    Depression is an ugly beast with many heads. We fight it constantly, but we’ve avoided the SSRI meds and have managed to stay above it all far enough/long enough that we are finally starting to trust our decisions and make decisions that are more inline with where we are now and where we think we wanna go. For us, a change in scenery/lifestyle has been inevitable. I knew from the get go that this would be a life changing event and that we had to let those changes happen as karma allowed them to happen.

    In the end, the flood of emotion that we feel the same house/town that we raised the kids in…has gotten to be too much. We bought a new place in a new area that is a 180 degree turn from the resort area we live in now/have lived in for the last 30 years, and we are going to ditch the houses/jobs/etc and simply start over. No, it won’t take the pain away, but it will allow us to bring it all in CLOSER to us when we want to feel it rather than what we experience now, which are uncontrolled triggers and a constant bombardment of memories in all the little things others do WITHOUT breaking down like go to the grocery store or the Post Office or drive by the high School cus that’s the only road in town and you HAVE TO see it/relive it cus you can’t avoid it.

    However…the move isn’t painless and doesn’t come without it’s own bondage/ties to it all…ecause we realized early on in our search for something different that NONE OF IT would be happening if Graham hadn’t passed. All of this has enforced the realization inside me that, at best, all we will ever be able to do with these emotions are to try to balance them as best we can and do whatever we can to stay ahead of the cloud.

    Thanks once again for the place to share, kelly. You are a much welcome island in a Sea of Pain and a constant beacon for those who are so, so lost in all of this. You have my utmost respect.


  • Ray

    I lost my 25-year-old son 16 months ago. The police said it was suicide but the circumstances were suspicious. It hardly matters — I would feel the loss had he died from any cause. I have been in a post-traumatic state ever since, drifting in and out of the past and the present without willing it. It’s like some door to my unconscious was blown off by his unexpected death, leaving me permanently “messed up” inside my head. It has made me a better parent to my three remaining sons, however, as I take my responsibility to them very seriously. They are still entitled to a Dad. I also searched out the stories of great men who survived the loss of a son and it is a long and distinguished list that includes Shakespeare, Bach, Lincoln, Robert Frost, Gregory Peck, Paul Newman, musicians Eric Clapton and Willie Nelson and many others. Some men have not survived the loss — baseball great Jackie Robinson among them, who outlived his 23-year-old son by barely more than a year. I am determined to be one of the “survivor Dads.” I have taken up new interests, work hard at my online job, for which I am grateful, and decided that joining the vast number of people in the world who are “messed up inside” from losing a child is in some ways an honor. Nothing taught me as much about the meaning of life as the loss of my son and I am determined that these hard lessons will not be wasted. Ask me in five years how I’m doing, though. I am definitely a work in progress — a “messed up” work in progress.

    • Ray – Thanks for sharing your story. I am sorry for your loss and you are right, the circumstances hardly matter, you would feel the pain regardless.

      I applaud you approach to this by seeking out others that have survived this, it provides a level of hope that it is survivable. I can assure you it is, I am one of them. We are all a “messed up” work in progress.



  • Bill Wright

    ‘More compassionate/ less tolerant of others’, absolutely since I lost my daughter 19 months ago, bang on the money

  • My son (my first and only child at the time) died 3 years ago (April 1, 2011) after a 13 month fight with STUPID cancer. He was only 21 months old. Before he got sick I was working as a nurse with mostly older adults. I have gone back to work on and off (but have also since had 2 babies), but really, I just have no desire to be a nurse any more. I liked the work – and I liked the people, but I just can’t deal with being in a hospital or nursing home setting anymore. Even though it is adults, it is just too much PTSD for me (which sucks, because the money was good, and any other job I think about pays less than half of what I could make as a nurse!)
    I am also just not as happy as I was before he died. It is as if Nothing matters to me any more. Even with my two girls now, I find it hard to be happy. I use to love Christmas – decorating, wrapping presents. But our son’s second Christmas was spent in the hospital (he was there from the week before Thanksgiving until New Years eve!) And the next year he was gone.
    Yup – very messed up inside! I hide it very well though (well, most of the time!)

    • John O'Malley

      Cookiegal, I know what you mean. My house used to be a Christmas wonderland. I decorated everything. Now I do it for some sense of normalcy for my other two kids ( both adults) but there is no joy in it anymore. It’s like something I have to do, not something I look forward to doing. I’m sorry for your loss, and hope you will one day find peace. I’m still looking.

  • Easton's dad

    I, like you, used to give all of me to my job as a teacher, coach and now principal. I loved my wife and kids, but was driven by my job. Easton’s 24 hour seizure, 18 month illness and death taught me that health and time are not guaranteed to anyone. I still love my job and work hard, but I leave it earlier to get home to my wife and 3 kids that I can still play ball with. I took my baseball fanatic son on a 5 day, 2300 mile baseball trip to the hall of fame, minor league games in buffalo and Ft. Wayne and a cubs/cards game in Chicago. That trip would never have happened before Easton’s illness and death.
    How am I “messed up”? I feel empathy for those who suffer loss now, but I can’t feel the shock or sadness that others feel – I have experienced the unthinkable, and it broke part of me. I feel bad when an adult experiences the loss of a parent or sibling. A parent with a sick child gets little sympathy unless the illness is terminal – even cancer is survivable.
    I can’t enjoy a young child anymore. I have always loved to play with children – that’s part of the reason I am an educator. But, playing with any child younger than 5 brings pain and longing. The child may not know it. The parents may be fooled by my smile. But the tears will come later.
    I have no patience for spoiled kids. I can’t handle a child who is “stressed” or “upset” because they don’t get a treat or toy. I have had too many conversations with my now 10, 9 and 7 year olds about why their little brother had to die. I have had to answer the question “wasn’t I a good enough big sister?” And I have had to listen to each of them sob as they remember Easton and when they just don’t understand why he was taken from them. I have had to watch them carry the teddy bear (known as “beastie bear”) on family vacations and even in family pictures. I don’t care much about the “suffering” of your kids.

    • Having read your statement with respect I do not understand or share your sentiments on how you see other children’s sufferings now in your life especially being a teacher of such.

      • Easton's dad

        Bill, I apologize if this is a repeat post. I thought I replied to you over the weekend, but don’t see it now. My experience as Easton’s dad has made me a better principal. I am so much more empathetic and compassionate to my students (and their parents) who are truly suffering. I know what it feels like to “do nothing wrong”, but still get beat up by life. These children who have terrible home lives, who fight disabilities, who experience loss of parent (through death or divorce) are suffering and they did nothing to deserve it.

        I had a “perfectly healthy child for 11 months before that changed literally overnight. Then, I had a disabled child for 19 months and my wife and I went through the OT/PT meetings where we had to answer the questions – continually saying “No, he can’t do that”. We were getting ready to start our career as advocates for Easton’s education when we took him to the hospital for the last time. Those experiences gave me a whole new perspective on the IEP meetings we conduct in my building. I know where the parents are coming from.

        I have no tolerance for any child making negative comments to or about any disability.

        I have little patience for the students and parents who think they are “suffering” because the child didn’t get exactly what s/he “deserved” in a given situation.

    • i understand what you are saying. I am of course sad for friends when a parent died, but yet, I am not as their parent was old and lived a life (my son was only 21 months old – and BTW – childhood cancer is not always survivable – in fact, it has a very high death rate) I did once see the wife of a friend post “It was every parents worse night mare” and “it was the worst day of our lives” regarding her 2 year old son falling and getting THREE stitches in the ER. Yeah, if that is your worst day, then be grateful. My (1st) worst nightmare was sitting in an ER an having a doctor tell me they found a mass in my 8 month olds son’s abdomen. If I ever see a spoiled kid, I may have to control myself to not smack them or their parents upside the head!

      • I apologize for that comment. It was not meant to be flippant or minimize the nightmare that is cancer. That was two thoughts that got shoved into 1 really poorly stated sentence. I realize that childhood cancer is not always survivable, and I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Bill Wright

      I get you. We’re on holiday with another family. Their son is the same age as my son (3), whose twin sister died last year, she will always be the greatest love of my life.
      This kid, non stop whining, spoilt, tedious little brat. My wife and I are glad to be going home in a few hours, no time for kids like this.

      I also know what you mean by the empathy, but no massive shock or sadness for others who suffer loss. I’m too busy fighting my own war. If a sniper takes someone else down, I feel bad for you, but I gotta keep moving.

    • Andrew Gill

      I completely agree about the kids. I am always impressed and sadened how well my living kids handle death. Our other daughter Katherine is always included and considered by them even though they are only 4 and 6 themsleves. Everynight my 4 year old daughter says good night to kate and it makes me so proud but also breaks my heart. All this also leads to my complete lack of empathy spoilt brats that think thier world is over if they dont get a lolly at the shops. Our living kids know what’s important more than they or thier parents ever will.

    • thank you for your reply – I do kind of understand what you mean. When Alexander was first diagonsed, my husband had a friend whose child had severe food allergies. My husband said “wow, that sucks. Alexander will get better, but food allergies are for life”.

      It all just sucks if you ask me!

  • John O'Malley

    Kelly, you describe it perfectly. Messed up inside ! We lost our son almost 6 years ago to a heroin overdose. After it happened, we both drifted apart, changed forever. The term brokenness is so acurate. We have never been together in the same way since he passed. After 35 years of marriage, we are getting divorced. It will be final this Monday. Fortunately we remain best friends, we just aren’t the same. My whole life has been turned upside down as a result of Ryan’s passing. Living alone ( something I never did in my life), having to work two jobs now because I can’t find a full time job that will pay enough to live on, dealing with the constant guilt of my failed marriage and my sons death, the pain my other two children are dealing with, the list goes on and on. Some days I’m ok, most days I’m not. I wish I could just run away somewhere and hide on the world, but I know all the pain will just run right along side me. It won’t leave me alone. We all fight a daily battle with the messed upnesswe all feel. I only hope one day I can find some kind of piece. Thank you for your words which sometimes we all feel, but can’t quite express.

  • Kirby white

    Yes, my MESSED UP means that I have been looking at life since Nov. 15 ,2007, thru a cracked window pane. I am CONSTANTLY LOKING TO REPLACE THE GLASS,but not sure how to do it.

  • Kelly, I agree with Rob, in that you hit the nail right on the head here. I also take a lot less bullshit now. Things that mattered to me before, don’t matter anymore. It’s been just about 7 months since my daughter went home and I feel messed up on certain days but not others. Some days I just feel so lost and messed up that I can’t interact with anyone – at work, family, etc. And other days I’m an open book and won’t shut up. Still trying to learn how to live with this internal struggle of emotions each day and not let it affect my in a negative way. One thing I learned that helps me a bit is each morning I talk to my daughter and I tell her that I’m going to live the day in her honor and do something to make her proud of me. I know she hears me.

  • Bob Albro

    I’m messed up too; I lost my 17 year old middle son to a car wreck 2.5 years ago tomorrow. I’ve felt as if I’m re-building a new person (while grieving)who is missing a few parts and pieces, it’s so messed up. Work has become less important and if it’s not a matter of life and death I’ll only work forty hours a week and spend more time with my surviving children and wife. It’s a comfort to hear that I’m not the only one that has these feelings of being messed up. The only lesson that my son’s death taught me, and I think I can see it in your writings is “we are born into this world with a relationship with our parents, and all we take with us when we die is the relationships we made while we were alive”. Nothing else matters.

  • William Fielding.

    Yes we Dads and Mothers are all messed up and that will never change how can it? everyday is a struggle for me also Kelly and if you remember you took time out when my daughter was dying to help me and I will never forget you and other Dads on these pages that we are as far as I am concerned marching along the road of sorrow together as brothers. Bill.

  • Melissa

    My son died by suicide on Christmas day and everything about me is messed up inside and out right now. I hope one day I can “sort through” the mess and find some kind of joy in living. Thank you for sharing these words and making me feel less alone in my mess.

    • Melissa,

      Sorry for the loss of your son. I get your statement “everything is messed up inside and out right now.” It will be that way for a long time and there will be a lot of downs as you continue to sort through your loss, emotions and general mess of what has happened to your son and you. You are certainly not alone.



  • Rob Kooser

    You hit the nail on the head my friend! I too have found myself to be compassionate to some and less tolerant to others. Messed up inside is so accurate. It’s exhausting, both physically & emotionally, dealing with this internal mess. Thank you for putting into words how I feel daily…..

    • You are welcome. I find it helpful when people say things like “that would mess me up inside” because it confirms our struggles. Peace. Kelly