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Monday, August 3, 2015

I Should/Would Have a Second Grader....

Mckenna's "school" picture (possibly, who knows, I don't know, maybe)



The first day of school pictures have started to fill my FB feed. I have been mostly avoiding FB and I was doing it naturally without even thinking about it. I know what I will see and I know how it will make me feel so I avoid looking when I can. I can feel her absence as she should be starting 2nd grade this year. No school shopping, no clothes shopping, no getting school supplies, no excitement to start a new year with her friends, I will  never do these things with Mckenna.

 I don't even know what it would be like to have a 7 year old let alone a child going to school. How is it that she would be starting second grade? How in the world is it possible that I would have a 7 1/2 year old little girl?? Seriously blows my mind. I am sure I would feel this way if she were here, but it's different when you've never got to experience each milestone.

When Mckenna was going to start kindergarten it was at the tail end of the summer my brother died, my mom died, I failed my internship, friendships changed, it was just a shitty summer. It didn't hit me as hard since I was going through hell. I must have put it out of my thoughts because I could not add anymore pain to my already shattered heart. Last year, 1st grade, I was getting ready to start a new chapter, move, start grad school that it didn't seem to bother me as much and frankly I have a hard time remembering that time in my life. Must have still been in a fog. Second grade seems to be hitting my heart. I ache to be 7 year old, second grader Mckenna's mom. I ached to be her 1 year old mom, 2,3,4,5,6 year old Mckenna's mom (wow so many years I missed already...sigh) and I am sure that will never change.

Several of my beautiful bereaved mama friends who are like me, no living children, have posted about this. Some may not even think about this as it is their "normal" for first days of school. Our "normal" is far from "normal". Please cherish this time with your children. Back to school is stressful I know and it's hard to see past the normal everyday life. Just give them an extra hug and kiss, always say you love them and listen to their days as we would give anything to have these moments with our children. Stress and all.

Not all children get to start school this year and their parents miss them.... It may seem silly to some, but it is our reality and some years it's just painful.

 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Longing.....




I often find myself longing for things I can't have. Not material things. I long for Mckenna, I long to mother Mckenna, I long to have my mom, I long to be mothered. Things I won't ever have again...

 Even before my mom died I longed to have my mom. My sober mom. I longed to have a mother daughter relationship.I actually had a glimpse of what this looked like for us when she was sober for a year and a half. When she started drinking again after that year and a half I was absolutely devastated. My heart shattered yet again and this time it would never be put back together. I would spend the next months and years of my mothers life angry, hurt, sad, distant, cold towards her. I wanted her to get sober and stay sober not just for me but for her.

In that year and a half I got to see my mom again. We laughed till we cried, she would be my mom and make me breakfast, dinner, lunches for when I stayed at her apt before work. I was able to be the daughter and what a wonderful feeling that was. I let her mother me, take care of me and I was slowly letting her into my world. The moment she drank again was the moment I lost her forever. It would never be the same and it never was the same. I was the mom again. I took care of her. I worried about her, I showered her, checked on her. I knew deep down that I would never get my mom back.

Now that my mom is dead I long for her so deeply it physically hurts. As painful as it was to be her daughter sometimes, she was alive, she was here. I long for my sober mom....

I have many mothers in my world who have daughters. Every now and then when I see them together, or hear about them I am hit with the realization that I won't ever have my mom, we will no longer get the chance to be mother and daughter again and it hurts my heart. I don't have my mom and it really sucks....

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

More Children? Probably Not....






To have more children or to not have more children has been the question that has been coming up for many weeks. Especially over the last few weeks. I've had dreams of me being pregnant or having a baby. People have asked me if I will have more children more than normal lately. This is a tough one for me because I haven't really had the baby itch since Mckenna died. It has come up a few times but not as much as I would have thought almost 7 years later.

In the beginning I couldn't think of having any more children because I didn't want more children, I wanted Mckenna. I wanted to raise Mckenna, only Mckenna. I have mostly been single for 6 years now and still have no desire to have more children. Sometimes I feel like there is something wrong with me because I don't want more children. I love children, I love babies, I love snuggles, and making them laugh, they seem to love me too, but that doesn't make me want more of my own. This could be because I have yet to meet someone or it could just be I know I won't have more children or want them.

I have been missing Mckenna very much lately. I was talking with a friend the other day about it and she asked me what I miss most right now in this moment. I miss everything was my answer. I miss baby Mckenna, not the 7 year old Mckenna because I never knew anything else than those 9 months. I still just want Mckenna, I want her back and to raise her, I want to be her mom no one else's. Which I know isn't fair or shouldn't be reason I don't want more children. Another friend and I talked about this very topic recently and it was an eye opening conversation because she spoke the words others have never said to me and it was how I felt. It was nice to hear another bereaved mom say the things I have felt. Different in some ways but the same in so many other ways.

Will I have more children, I don't know. Do I want more children, I don't know. I am now 31 years old and I am setting an age on if I do not have more children by then I will never have more children and I feel I will be content with that. Most in my life would love for me to get married, have more children, have a family and I truly feel that this may not happen. I may meet someone, I may get married, but I may not have more children. I am ok with that and truly it is my life and my choice to make. For me there are so many reasons I don't want more children and I think that needs to be ok.

I know that if any of my wishes came true I would want my baby girl, my Mckenna and I don't think that will ever change.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

WOW....


For several years I wanted to get Mckenna's age progression picture done. I needed, wanted to know what she would look like because my imagination would never form any other age than a 9 month old baby. I asked a friend about my need/want for this and was advised to wait, so I waited. Once the urge came on strongly again I decided to go through with it. It was expensive and I broke down and asked family and friends if they would be willing to help me raise the money and they sure did. I was able to go through with it with no regrets.

I opened the picture with a trusted safe friend in case I had a melt down. To say I was nervous is an understatement. As I was communicating with the women who did her portrait I would get a physical reaction just getting an email. I was so afraid I would see it and think it didn't look like her (how I would I really know though). I let my friend see it first and her reaction was "wow" no other words spoken, just wow. When she showed it to me tears as I turned away, overwhelmed. There she was, my beautiful, smart, happy, curious, full or life baby girl. It is so bittersweet. I was happy to see her but she is dead it shouldn't be this way. I wanted her here, I wanted this Mckenna, I wanted to get to know her as a 7.5 year old little girl. I went back and forth with tears of sadness and joy amazed that she was mine. I was staring into the eyes of my baby girl who I swear was looking right at me. I just stared at her, turned to my friend with tears in my eyes saying she's so beautiful.

As the day went on I was "fine." I could feel the tears under the surface. I felt like I was going to cry on and off all day. I just couldn't get over it. I had her image in my head all day trying to wrap my brain around it. The day turned into evening and I really could feel the pain, the heartache, the sadness and the tears were just waiting to be released. I did what I do best and I avoided it until I could no longer hold back my tears. I wanted my baby girl. All the things I lost the day she died. I lost her at every age. I never even got to hear her say mama more than one time. Yes it was one time but it was never again.....

I don't even know what kind of mother I would be to a 7 year old. I'm sure I would have been just like any other mother, learning as I go making mistakes, feeling like everything I was doing would screw her up. I would like to think I would have been a bad ass single mother who was able to support us, struggling but making it work.

I hung her picture up in my room where I can see her everyday (still avoiding looking at her, though it's getting easier).

I do not regret it however, if my bereaved friends wants to do this some day have therapeutic support because it really is a lot to process.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Knocks the Breath out of Me....

Author Unknown

I am often hit with flashbacks of the day Mckenna died. It varies on which moment catches me off guard. Sometimes it is me looking down seeing her under the television, sometimes it is me pulling her out from under the television lifeless, sometimes it is me holding her as her heart stopped, each and every time these images literally knock the breath out of me. Lately I have had an image that has come up more than once in a week which is a sign that I need to sit with this image. These memories are not easy to sit with. They are very, very hard to process, work through and remember. 

I asked a friend recently if I will ever look at Mckenna’s beautiful face and not see her face from the accident? She asked if I only see her face from the accident or do I see her beautiful face too, I said I see both. Right now I feel the reason I see her face from the accident when I look at her beautiful face is because that is the image that keeps popping into my head. The way she looked when I placed her on the ground as I called 911.

Her misshapen head, one eye swollen shut bruised, her other eye staying open, her tummy sunk in, not breathing....horrible, horrible, horrible memories 

In a matter of seconds my full of life baby girl lay lifeless dying on my living room floor. This image haunts me, why wouldn't it. No mother should ever have to process something so horrific. I caused this accident, I caused her death (on accident), nothing will ever change that or how I feel. This is the reason I will NEVER forgive myself and I'm OK with that. I'm ok with this because I am the one who has to live with this mistake and these images. I'm sure I am not the only mother who would not forgive herself. To expect otherwise is absurd to me. All I can do is process this image, sit with it and allow myself to feel what I feel without trying to "fix" it. The only way it would be "fixed" would be for me to go back in time and make a different decision that day which we all know it not possible.  

Just writing these words my chest is tight, I have a lump in my throat and my head is dizzy. Though one thing that is different is it has not taken over my life, where as a few years ago images like this would take me out for days. Growing, learning and like a dear friend says "becoming."


It is never ending. This journey is never ending….

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lonely Journey....


My mom was basically an alcoholic my entire life. It wasn't until I got older that I realized she had a drinking problem. I was 13 when it became clear, more obvious. I grew up very quickly at 13. My father was diagnosed with brain cancer, initially given a month to live, dying 10 months later, my mom started drinking more heavily, her boyfriend became her focus, choosing him over us on many occasions, she got a DUI, the cops brought her home, life was getting more challenging. The older I got the worse it became.  I begged my mom to stop drinking. I wrote her letters, gave her cards, encouraged her, supported her, loved her and it wasn't enough. It couldn't be enough because she was the one who needed to believe in herself, I couldn't save her from herself. But at 13 how was I supposed to know that? At 13 you want to be the reason they get sober. I felt I could save her back then, back before I knew the darkness she carried. The darkness that possibly

There was time when she got clean and sober. Stayed clean and sober for a year and a half. It was in that year and a half that I got to see what life was like with a mom. I didn't need to be the mom, I could be the daughter…I could be the daughter. Besides Mckenna’s 9 short months of life, that year and a half of my mom sober was the best time in my life. Life was still hard, life was still a struggle, but my mom was sober. She would make me dinner, we would watch movies, we would laugh so hard we cried, I would call her on my way home from work to stay awake, she made me lunches, she was my mom again and what a wonderful feeling it was.

I knew my mom very well. It was easy for me to know if she had been drinking the moment I heard her voice. I knew when she started drinking again. What a devastating moment that was. Many times I cried when I got off the phone, at a loss, angry, sad. I loved her, I wanted my mom back. Despite my love, my brother’s love it became clear that there was no coming back from her darkness. My mom reached a place in her soul that haunted her so deeply that there was nothing anyone could do to save her. I wish the system saw her as a human being, as a person who desperately wanted to get sober and stay sober. Not given her medication to "fix" the pain, the loss, the grief, the darkness. I wish she got the care she deserved. If she had someone to be with her in her pain, let her tell her story, sit with her in the darkness she might still be here today.  

It is not easy to watch your mom slowly kill herself. I sat across from her about a week before her death. Her eyes filled with desperation, she was nervous, shaking, holding her hands together, had not showered in days, her feet were not taken care of (which was out of character for her), I left that day truly heartbroken, worried, I just didn't know what to do. I knew in my heart I was going to lose her.
Our last words spoken to each other were I love you. I called to check on her because she was not answering her phone. She answered, she was sober. I could tell she was not doing well. I asked if she needed me to come over, she said no. She said I have been meaning to call you and let you know I was alive and well. When I knew that she was not well. We said I love you and hung up. I cried. She was sober and did not want me to worry about her. 2 days later I found her dead.

The day I found her I remember so clearly just wanting her back. Truly nothing else mattered, I wanted my mom. I needed my mom.


The second anniversary of my mother’s death is approaching. I can feel it in my body. It is hard to believe that she will be gone 2 years. I miss her more now than ever. Losing my mother has been the second hardest thing I have had to work through in my life. It has become the loneliest journey. How do you express the pain you feel at the loss of your mother, especially when you have lost a child? Do I have the right to say that her death is hard very, very hard? When you lose your parents, you lose the people who love you unconditionally, you lose your home, you lose a piece of you, your connection. I wish it was easier to describe this pain. My heart hurts, I feel lost the majority of the time, my purpose in life is questioned many days, I never knew losing her would hurt so much. Since  Mckenna’s death life has just been challenging . I have joy, I laugh, I enjoy many things I never thought I would again, but some days I hurt so much missing them I just don’t know what to do with my pain. 

Some may not understand, some may judge my journey. This is not guilt talking, this is just the pain of missing my mom. One day it won't be this heavy. One day it will shift, but right now I'm hurting at these memories. Right now I am just hurting..

I miss my mom, I miss Mckenna, I miss the family I once had.  This time of year is hard for so many reasons. …A lonely journey it is.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

I Would Have a 7 Year old...Sigh




I would have a 7 year old, a 7 year old!! Sometimes that thought fills my heart with sadness. How could she be dead? How could my baby girl be dead? I watched a short video of her last night and it’s hard to believe that she was mine. It’s hard to believe that I gave birth to this amazing, beautiful, curious, old soul. I have often said I can’t imagine my life without Mckenna. I live everyday without her. I still cannot visualize never having her, never knowing her, never holding her, kissing her, loving her, as my life would not be the same without her ever existing. I may not have made the best decision staying with my ex husband back when I knew he cheated, however, if I had left him then I would have never had her. That is not a thought I can even begin to imagine. I would make the same choice if I had to live it again because she was worth the pain I went through all those years. 

I miss my daughter, I miss being her mom, I miss my life as a her mom, she was my partner in crime, my joy, my everything.

I often try and imagine what she would be like as a 7 year old. I look at other 7 year olds and think, would she be like that, would her hair be like that, would she act like that and these questions I will never know. The baby girl I knew was very curious about her surroundings, quiet and shy around strangers, a deep thinker (yes even for a baby), very smart, happy, loved life, fun, knew what she wanted, did not need entertaining, was just an overall amazing baby. I am sure she would mostly be the same in her personality, sadly,I will just never know her as any other age than a 9 month old baby.

If you knew Mckenna or only know her through me, would you be willing tell me what you feel she would be like, what she would be into, and how she would act? I would love to hear how you envision her. Just curious…


Missing her will never change, I will always wonder, and I will forever and always love her.