I won’t lie I did something I haven’t done in a while and that’s I cried myself to sleep last night. You see I’m in that period of the dark times where Thanksgiving is upon us and my girl’s birthday, what would have been her 22nd birthday, follows shortly thereafter. And then there is Christmas.
I was feeling very sad last night as I lie in bed thinking to myself “why is life so damn hard” “why aren’t things falling into place” and “why am I hurting more than usual”. I could have answered those questions in so many ways, yet I just couldn’t seem to find the right one, that is until this morning. But first I must lay the foundation for what is going to happen next and why I think it’s important to move forward.
Just make sure it’s palpable for you to know what it’s like to be me I will try to put it into words for I’m not sure you really understand the gravity of my loss(s). Then I will explain what I intend to do about where I sit now, numb and finding life somewhat meaningless.
The day I said goodbye to my mother was extordinarly difficult. I was seven months pregnant with Brittany and as you could imagine very hormonal. But I was able to put it together and continue on. But underneath that calm exterior I was slowly dying. What I mean is my life as I knew it was no more. I just spent the next two months sitting in the rocker that was in the baby’s room and rocked. Asking God “why”? Then two short months later my sweet baby was born.
Five years later, my grandmother, to whom I was very close was about to die and I was called to her bedside to say goodbye. As I entered the room I called out “Red”, my nickname for her and I was the only one allowed to call her that. She was on a vent and unable to respond, however, I saw a tear stream out of her eye as she attempted to move her head in the direction of my voice. And then she passed.
The nurse there knew I was in nursing school and offered to me a chance to do something she felt would be “healing” for me. I helped prepare my grandmother’s body before she was taken to the funeral home. It was I guess in a strange stort of way a healing process, but still during that time, I found myself silently working and asking God “why”.
Over the next 12 years I found myself asking God “why” so often I was beginning to wonder if he had turned an ear to me. Taking care of my daughter who had suffered a great illness at the age of 11 months and the many side effects from that illness was often too much to watch. Though I asked God often “why” I never really got an answer. I just did what any other mother would do, I care for her, I debated with doctors for her, I fought for her and in the end I lost that fight.
When you watch three of the most dearest people you know and love uncondtionally die right before your eyes – it changes you.
I am not the person I was the day I watched my mother take her last breath as I whispered in her ear that it was ok to go that the baby and me we’d be ok. I’m sick with nausea just thinking about that moment now as I write this.
I am not the person I was the day I watched my grandmother die and helped prepare her body for the funeral home. Knowing that the second most important woman in my life was now gone from me. Now I’m left to be a mother, and a mother of a child with health problems and no mother figure to ask for help. No one to reach out to for help. I just suffered alone.
Then as I watched my daughter suffer from her illness, set back and success, it was all such a roller coaster of emotions. She suffered in school, subject to redicule and bullying so often it would make you want to scream at people and say “what kinda kids are you raising”. But most often I felt helpless and sometimes even hopeless.
Through it all she remained upbeat, optimistic and at times, I thought she’s a better person than I because I would have given up. But no she just got up every morning and with a smile faced a world that didn’t understand her much, or didn’t want her around until she met Carolyn and Andy. They truly understood her and knew what I knew all along – that she was a true gift from God and we were so very fortunate to have her in our lives.
Then that dreadful moment came when I watched helplessly as they tried to revive her for the fourth time in 12 hours. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, that is more gut-wrenching than to watch from a distance, yet knowing everything that is happening and understanding that nothing was going to work, but yet praying for a miracle. A miracle that never came.
So now as I sit her today facing another empty set of holidays I have to do something different. I have to get back to what I know works for me and that is reading about triumph over failure. Reading about faith and the grace that it can bring to a sorrowful filled person. I have to get back to what has kept me out of the trenches for the past four years.
What I have been doing is spending too much time trying to make other people happy. To be the “negotiator” of relationships. To appease those around me as if I have been chosen to do that. Because I have not. I’m not here to apologize for anything or anyone. I’m simply here to write out what I know to be true about grief. How it’s torn me from limb to limb and yet I’m still standing.
I have to get away from all the other noise that’s been consuming my life and take care of me. If I don’t – I know this for sure “I will not survive”. I will die of a broken-heart and I don’t believe that is what God has intended for me at this point in my life.
So I have chosen to blog about another book, for it is in this way I can show how and why I have made it from hell and back several times over. And hopefully help a few people along the way.
My next book topic is: “A Grace Disguised” by Jerry Sittser – How the soul grows through love. The reason I chose it is that his words really helped me see that I could keep going and keep believing in love even when it seemed as though I didn’t feel I had the capacity to have love again for the fear of losing it was too great.
until next time,