As I ponder my next blog topic I felt the need to write. As some of you may realize I am entering the “dark times” as I’ve so fondly called it. The dark times I have come to know oh so well are the months from September through December. Every August I get the since that the dark times are almost here.
I begin to notice subtle changes in my mood. I become more withdrawn, less social because I don’t want to see all the reminders of what I have lost. When I see a woman out in public having dinner or shopping and she is with her mother – I am reminded that my mother is no longer here with me. When I see a woman out in public having dinner or shopping and she is with her daughter – I am reminded that my daughter is no longer here with me. And when I see women together out in public with young children, I am reminded that I have lost so much.
I keep a picture of my mother on my dresser. It’s one of my favorites. It is from a family picnic from long ago. It is a four-generation picture of my great grandmother Lovina, my grandmother Martha, my mother Judie and me. I treasure it for it reminds me of the great women I have had in my life that are now gone. The sorrow of their absence in my life overwhelms me.
I also keep pictures of my sweet girl Brittany. I have them at work, and pretty much in every room in my home. I had once entertained the thought of removing them because seeing them brought such pain, more pain than joy. But I have now come to a place that I can see them and smile. But this time of year it’s more difficult to hide the pain. More difficult to smile. Because the emptiness is so very present.
I have saved some very special treasures that I keep in a cloth covered storage box that is about 3 feet long by 2 feet wide. It contains some great memories of my daughter. I have her American Girl doll from our trip to Chicago that we made one summer with another mom and her two daughters. It was a fun time. The doll she picked was the one where they designed it to look like her. So yeah it reminds me of her. I placed Brittany’s christening dress on the doll and laid her upon Brittany’s baby blanket which my mom began to crochet before her death. The one I found sitting behind her chair after her funeral. I finished it just in time to bring Brittany home again.
Some of the other things in the box are Brittany’s favorite blanket, her stuffed bear from Andy, her boyfriend at the time of her death and several photos. But the most difficult thing that box for me to see or hold are her glasses. Shortly after her death I picked them up and felt such a feeling of sorrow – it was unexplainable. All I knew is that I could somehow feel what she saw before she had her seizure. It was as if I could feel her pain or her aura before the seizure took her away from me. To this day I cannot pick them up without experiencing that horrible feeling.
I keep that box out of my sight for it brings more pain than joy – but on October 13th I open that box and let the sorrow take over – it is my way of letting the whole year of missing her flow out of me. I feel so alone during this time as I cannnot share it with anyone. No one can possibly understand this type of pain unless you’ve lived it. Yeah I can move on, I can work, I can laugh and enjoy life, but this small part of me – it’s never leaving. It’s always there and it’s always haunting me.
I have the most precious memory book I created that helped me throughout the first two years after her death. Don’t get me wrong it was so very painful to sit and look at pictures of her during such happy times. Knowing I’d never see her again. But I am so glad I took the time and created such a book. I can now look at it and share it with others in hopes that we don’t forget her. To my dying day I will not let her life be forgotten. Her life was my purpose. In forgetting her I begin to lose myself.
So my dear friends, the dark time is about to arrive and I ask you to pray for me, to love me and to understand that this to shall pass come January 1, 2011.
Until next time