Wednesday, May 20, 2015
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
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….