By Janice Bisset
Local columnist 

Opinion: Grieving different for each of us


Last updated 3/29/2022 at 4:32pm

Grieving the loss of a loved one looks different for each one of us.

When my son died I went in to a state of shock. I cried for months and I couldn’t drive past his apartment without gut-wrenching pain. I couldn’t go through and sort the boxes of his belongings. I couldn’t scatter his ashes because that would mean letting go and I was unable to do that.

I felt guilty because I couldn’t have a proper funeral for him but I couldn’t say goodbye.

I’m still not saying goodbye, but I am finally ready to create a memorial for him and honor his life.

My beloved son, Nicholas Paul Matz, was born July 5, 1981 and died in March 2018. Before Nick was born I dreamed I was in a delivery room and there was a newborn baby boy lying on my belly. (I had no idea I was pregnant at the time.)

In the dream this baby boy and I were deep in conversation. He was talking about all the things that he could help me learn while he was here and all the things he could learn from me.  We talked about how challenging our lives would be but agreed that it would be worth it in spite of all the hardships. The benefits outweighed the cost.

A week later I learned I was pregnant and 9 months later the same little baby boy was born.

The dream proved to be true in that our lives together  were scarred by trauma and heartache, but in spite of the chaos, Nicholas grew up to be a talented artist and musician with a tender and kind heart.

He had just finished the course work for a bachelor’s  degree in graphic arts when he died.

He’d written and published  two books. One was an autobiographical novel called The Black Sheep and the Mitsuki Mask and the other was a photography book called Caliche Road. He also recorded and produced three music discs.

His father and I both love and miss Nick more than words can say.

I believe with all my heart that Nick accomplished the things he came here to do and that he is in a better place now, free from the things that haunted him while he was alive. I believe that together we learned the lessons we’d agreed upon in the prenatal dream.

If I could dream about (and talk to him) before he was born, it is possible that he can hear me now, too. If so, I want him to know how proud of him I am and how much I wish we could still cook dinners together and watch standup comedy the way we did for the last three years of his life.

I want him to know what a treasure those years are to me. I also want him to know that I’m taking good care of Janie, a little gray dog who was his best friend in all the world. He called her Little Monster. She is a source of great comfort and joy to me as she was for Nick. 

I hope and pray for peace in all families and I offer condolences to anyone who is grieving the loss of a loved one. Take as long as you need to process the grief. The good will resurface and only love will remain before all is said and done.

Janice Bisset lives in Portales. Contact her:

[email protected]


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