Crying So Hard

I know loss and death. I worked as a police officer for 18 years in the Air Force and in Minnesota. In 2012, I was diagnosed with PTSD. I had known death on what I thought was a personal level. Working nights with suicides, stabbings, shooting victims and old people. Dead children were the worst, but I thought I could handle it. I knew how to deal with it, tuck it away perhaps even make jokes on the bad ones to try and create a safe distance from the pain.

I once told a man he didn’t want to see his dead 16-month-old. I held him back and hugged him tight. I said, “you want to remember her bouncing on your knee and not what she looks like now in there.” I cried with him.

Nearly 10 years later, I am telling a deputy to hold my wife back, so she cannot see our son lying lifeless in the middle of our street.

I lost my 14-year-old son to a tragic ATV accident on October 1st. He fought so hard for two weeks, but his injuries were not survivable. Each day I have so many triggers that seem to know just where to find me. My son’s name was Kody.

As guys it is so hard not to tuck it all away. But I learned the hard way. I tried to tuck it all away until it came squirting out sideways and it was too late. You’re going to have so many emotions that you may have never allowed yourself to feel. It’s ok. We have to get stuff out.

So now, after over a year of missing my little buddy, I am trying to get stuff out. I am working on starting a blog and working on a book. You must find something, so you don’t end up like I did with a gun in my mouth. Suicide is NOT an option.

Below is a little something I wrote one night on my phone lying in bed. We all grieve differently is an understatement. My wife was sitting in bed looking at pictures on her computer. She was smiling and shoving them in my face. To her they were happy reminders, for me it was like my parents trying to force feed me broccoli.

I am crying so hard I can’t even breathe
Lord I even got down on my knees
My tears burn as the roll off my face
I only want more time with him
I don’t need any more space

My breath gets so short and fast
Please tell me this pain isn’t going to last
My face is flush red and I am burning up
I know that I can’t, but I want to give up
God give me the strength to just get through
I swear I’ll do whatever you want me to do

When will this stop, when will this end
It’s got to be a bad dream or only pretend
I want to hear his voice or touch his hand
God why did you ever take my young man?

Written by Kurt Roettjer



Photo Credit: Ruinenstaat Flickr via Compfight cc

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User Comments ( 3 )

  • Kirby White

    Such grit. Such pureness. Such Truth. I too am walking that walk.
    Thank for your words and blog.
    Hits me EVERY TIME.

  • John T. McCaffrey

    Your words are heartfelt. It’s good to express your feelings and let them out. It’s good to let let the tears out too. Some days they will be tears of pain and some days they will be tears of joy remembering the love you have for your son. The pain is intense because of the love. Your post brought me back to the day I had to identify my son at the coroners office after they found his body , after being in a canal near our home for 5 weeks. We still don’t know what happened to him. That was ten years ago. Your words brought me to tears. As I’ve told other parents that have suffered the same loss, it doesn’t get better, but it gets different. Somehow you will learn how to live with it and hopefully find some peace. This website is a good place to come to when you need to talk to people who understand.
    Love and peace,

  • Dana Moore

    May a loving god wrap his arms around you and guide you…That’s my wish for you, because you are a brother who has lost a child…Your strength will be monumental, but only you and your god will know.