Wednesday, March 28, 2012

You Even Smiled Through Your Beautiful Tears....

What is it like to attend a memorial service for a patient?

What is it like to attend your very first memorial service since Mckenna’s death?

How do you look at a broken hearted momma in the eyes for the first time after caring for their daughter?

It isn’t easy going to a patient’s memorial, especially a young girl who died so young. It is especially difficult when it is your first service since the death of your own daughter. I chose to go to the service held at PCH since I could not attend the funeral because I needed to hug her mom. It was all I could think about since I heard the news of her daughters death. I saw her open the door and my heart dropped; there she was broken hearted, with such sad eyes. I sat there holding my breath trying to hold my tears as I watched her sob in the arms of people who loved her daughter and loved her. I finally gave her a hug and whispered in her ear, I know you are overwhelmed, just take it one min at a time sometimes one second when that is all you can do. I sat back down and just watched her dad’s tears flow down his face. I saw the picture collage made with pictures from birth to teen, it was almost too much to bear.

I could feel my heart begin to race, the tears sitting there waiting to flow, but needed to keep them inside. That is until the pastor began to speak. He started talking about losing someone you love and the grief, I begin to take deep breaths, the room begins to spin and that is my sign I need to run. I got up and left walking like I was on a serious mission, head down so people could not see my tears. Walking as fast as I could without running, I made it to my car mad at myself for not staying. Still fighting the tears so I could drive to my safe place. I need a hug, I need comfort from someone I trust, someone I am safe with, someone who knows me. I run up the stairs so relieved my safe person was there. I have a moment to sit and wait. My feet hurt from my shoes. The moment she hugs me I don’t let go, I begin to tell her what happened and we sit. I have an out of body experience where I can’t see her, hear her, hear myself. I know I am talking but the words are not heard, I feel like I am beginning to hyperventilate when I suddenly feel her hand grab mine, looks me in the eyes and says, it was enough, it was enough, over and over. I come back to reality with tears flowing down my face, my heart slows down and I can breathe again. I talk things through with tears flowing easily. I am told tears are a beautiful thing and I am allowing myself to feel and allow them to flow. She said you even smiled through your beautiful tears. I left there laughing and joking. The tears and the guilt didn’t take over my whole day. They came and went and I wasn’t left feeling sad and discouraged. It didn’t defeat me, I defeat it.

Those who know me, know this is a big deal. Allowing the tears to flow, not being hard on myself, and giving myself permission to leave when it’s too much, I am growing, learning and becoming. It was a lot of firsts kind of day. “It was enough to be there, doesn’t matter how long you sat in the chair, it was enough” words from a beautiful soul.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Your Imagination, My Reality

(At least trying)

How has my voice become so silenced?

When did I let fear of judgment take over?

Why did I allow what others think of me control my thoughts and actions?

My life has been a roller coaster ride for many years now, and I am not sure how I let others influence me so much. Almost 3 ½ years ago my life was forever changed. I never thought I would never survive the death of Mckenna. But here I am and doing the best I can. I live on my own, I own my own car, I work full time, and go to school full time. Yes I have rough days, yes I cry, yes I am sad, but is that really a bad thing? Is 3 ½ years too long to “still” have really rough days? I think the answer to that question is NO!!! Many people have told me they couldn’t imagine losing a child. They would just die if one of their children died. What do you think that tells someone who’s child has died?? I often wonder what they would REALLY do if one of their children died. How would they be if they were in my shoes? I meet parents all the time who have lost a child or children to death and we all find ways to survive.

Can you tell me if your child died you would go back to “normal”?

Many people don’t know what it’s like to go from a wife and mother to nothing in a matter of 3 months. Many don’t know what it’s like to try and find your way alone. Many don’t know what it’s like to drown in such guilt and shame that it almost kills you. Many don’t know what it’s like to be the reason your daughter took her last breath. No one knows what it’s like to hold their lifeless daughter in their arms, telling her to breath for mommy as two tears roll down their child’s face, many don’t know what it’s like to hold their child while the Dr looks you in the eyes and tells you her heart has stopped beating. Many don’t know what it’s like to hold their dead child singing and rocking her knowing it was the last time they would ever hold her again. Many could NEVER even begin to imagine doing any of those things and yet I have. No amount of time will ever take away the pain of Mckenna dying; no pill will “cure” me from the longing and yearning I feel every day. In a moment it takes my breath away.  I think, is this really real? Did she really die? This is really my life? Yes EVEN after 3 ½ years I think these thoughts. I sleep with her pajamas every night, I still don’t have her pictures up in my apt, I STILL miss her every day.

Wouldn’t you??

Before you judge a bereaved parent try and take a moment to step inside their shoes. Try and just imagine waking up tomorrow without your child, what does that look like for you? Try and just imagine living the rest of your life without EVER seeing, touching, holding, watch grow, take their first steps, say their first words, go to school, go to prom, get married, have children of their own, and all the things in between………

Can you even imagine it???