8 Months since my life was altered
by Beverly Badgley
On September 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm there was an explosion at a refinery located on the edge of our small town. The explosion was a boiler that was being lit during the “turnaround” (a term used for the repair and updating of a refinery). A crew of employees that included my son was lighting the boiler. My son, Billy, was looking into the sight glass of a boiler built in 1959 with no safety mechanisms in place. It killed him instantly. He was 34 years old and left a one-year-old son, three step children (whom he was raising) and his wife of 4 years. It is nearly 8 months later, and although the pain is lessening, the hole is still there. I have one remaining son, who lives in the same small town. The population of this town is around 2000, there were almost 600 people at Billy’s funeral. This speaks of his character and how much he was respected. I am in a position of city government in the town, which puts me in contact with many people. Recovery from his death is slow and painful. I have read that when you lose an adult child, sometimes parents and siblings are over looked. I have found this to be true. Although I have been very fortunate to have so many people who loved Billy and our family, the widow and children are the focuses of much of the concern. (And rightly so) It still makes feel somewhat alone, in that I have driven myself to be strong so that I might help my daughter in law to be strong also. This does not mean that I don’t find myself crying suddenly. It often catches me off guard, as I will think I am handling it well. I frequently read what I can find on the “stages of grief”, trying to assure myself that this pain is going to lessen eventually, and that I will find joy again someday. At this moment in time, it is hard for me to imagine that my life will be anything but sad. I do not alow the sadness to show in my daily life, as the people in my town look to me for strength and guidance. I have 2 grandchildren and 9 step grand children get me through my daily life, one day at time, one step at a time. But, I still find myself thinking that our lives here on earth are very trivial, which leads me to wonder why I am here. I know this will get better; I wish I could speed up the recovery process for this debilitating grief. God left me here for a reason, and I am willing to fulfill his plan for me, although I constantly wonder what it is.