October 13th

Well it is again that time of year when I am brought to my knees with vivid memories of that horrific day back in 2006 when I said goodbye to my world. My daughter Brittany died after suffering a seizure at our home. While she was no stranger to seizures, she had been doing well on medication with the exception of the last 12 months of her life. Being a nurse I think either prepared me for what I knew clinically would happen over that long 12 hour night. Understanding the story the monitors where telling me. That she was struggling to stay alive. Her body was not responding to the medications and she was entering multi-system shutdown.

As her heart failed, mine began to break. I will never be able to remove that moment at 6:55 am when one of her nurses was on top of her in the bed performing CPR. The fourth and final round of CPR while other medical personnel surrounded her bed providing all the necessary means to revive her one last time. The previous three attempts had been successful but not without taking a toll on her body. This time seemed different. The monitors did not lie. We all knew it was too late – her body was telling us it had nothing left. The nurse and my eyes met and instinctively I knew it was futile. It was time to call it off – to stop the assault that was happening to her and let her go.

I try not to go back to this dark place very often. It’s one of the darkest places I can be and it takes my breath aware every time I do. It’s painful beyond words to speak it. To this day I can only write about it. And I don’t write about every detail because it is just too much to acknowledge. But trust me when I say I would not wish this experience on any one. Watching the life of your only child being taken from you is beyond comprehension. The agony of it all is too much even today to linger on.

In seven years I have come far in my journey to recover from the loss of my daughter Brittany. It’s a process that will take my lifetime to heal. I’ll never be over her death – just so we set the record straight here. You never get over a death – you just continue to heal. I think we all have a choice to move forward and make something good happen out of the horrible loss, but understand it is not easy and takes the strength of many to support and love when there are times when it doesn’t seem possible to take another breath or to go on one more day. I am blessed beyond measure to have a strong support group that are my closest friends. They know when I need to have some time alone, when I need prayer, when I need them to hug me and make me laugh. God truly blessed me with such great friends.

As October 13th approaches please take a moment and look up to the sky and thank God for your loved ones – whether they have crossed over or still living. We are all better people for having our loved ones and I know for sure my daughter would be very proud of who I am today.

Until next time,

M

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6 thoughts on “October 13th

  1. I just discovered your blog today and I’ve been reading back through it. I’m so sorry that your very beautiful Brittany is gone. My 23 year old son was killed almost 17 months ago and I understand the unimaginable grief that you describe so well.
    I have added your blog to a website that I have been curating in memory of my son. The site is a collection of blogs by bereaved parents, articles, videos and anything that I think might be helpful to people who have suffered the worst tragedy of all. http://www.scoop.it/t/grief-and-loss

  2. Thank you so much. I’m so very sorry for the tragic loss of your son Graham. I plan to look over your site and link it to my blog and Facebook page.

  3. Thank you.
    FYI – There is a blog by a mother whose son died from an epilepsy-related syndrome called SUDEP–Sudden Unexplained Death by Epilepsy. Her blog is on the 3rd page of my site (when viewed on a computer) and the name of the blog is From Paradise to Plan B.
    I read all the blogs on my site and that is the only other one in which epilepsy was a factor in a child’s death. ( I just thought you might want to know.)
    Of course, in the end, the only thing that matters is that these children, who were the center of our lives, are now gone. My son didn’t die because of epilepsy, but your description of your feelings and experiences still touches me very deeply and seems to describe my own suffering. I guess that my way of coping is to find companionship (even if it is virtual) on this lonely journey.

  4. Three years this month. Three years since my son Josh died from SUDEP. I’ve been following your journey for the last two years and just now realized how you lost your sweet Brittany. I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your journey. Blogging – both reading and writing is so helpful. Sending you HUGS. Sherri http://thenewmans.blogspot.com/

  5. Thank you Sherri. I am honored when I hear from my readers. I’m sorry for your loss. I find blogging does help put some perspective on grief that enables me to see how my journey impacts how my life is lived out. And I hope it helps others too.

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