What Shall We Tell Them?

Author: Deborah Robinson

A letter to my family and friends

Dear Ones,

As I reflect on the eight months, six days, and fifteen hours since my son Brian’s death, it is confusing to figure out where I stand in this grief trip that I hate. “Hate” is not a nice or feel-good word, but it is how I see this loss and feel it in the pit in my stomach. It would seem that at least this empty stomach pit would reflect a thinner me, but I think that as I try to remedy this hurt, I try filling it with chips. See, some of the old Deb is still lingering in my under layers.

Deborah Robinson

This kind of moodiness should be reserved for adolescence, but the closeness of Brian’s and my very souls couldn’t help but be shaken by the separation.

My purpose for this letter is to try and tell my loving family and friends that I’m still in here and appreciate you trying to stay with me. I hate that I’m not the silly, goofy, and life-loving woman I was before. That person does find her way out sometimes, but there seems to be a maze of confusing feelings that I have to wander through to find her. 

If at any time you are fearful of upsetting me by bringing up Brian’s name, rest assured it is like a beautiful melody to hear, “Brian David Robinson, Bri, Burr-Head, or Soldier Boy.” Thank you for allowing me to talk about him, laugh as I retell a story (he was so funny), recall the details of his illness and even the uncomfortable subject of his death. I still am not always able to realize that my “sunshine” is not going to call, text, e-mail or show up at my door.

Thank you for continuing to invite me to get-togethers, for understanding when I decline (even at the last minute), and for not taking this personally. It is confusing for me to figure out how much quiet time is enough or too much. What is even harder for me to figure out is how busy is too busy or not busy enough. Well, okay, this has always been a challenge for me.

I feel sad when I don’t want to do things that I’ve always loved, but I’m hopeful that with time and grief work it’ll get better. I’m not sure when.

I get so tired but have a few things that I’ve chosen not to get too tired for. One is school, another is speaking of veterans’ awareness, and a third one is spending time with Brian’s daughter. I feel closer to Brian when I’m focusing on these things. He was proud of me going to school, and I even caught him bragging about me one time. I am going to earn my degree. It may look like I’m ready to drop sometimes, but I promise to stay safe!

I love you, my Dear Ones. I will be back to you some day completely—well never completely, but I should get better than I am today.


Deborah Robinson, mom of Army Specialist Brian David Robinson
P.S. Please keep praying for me.