Approaching Second Year Anniversary of Accident

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It has been almost a year since I have written on my blog, Mother Of an Angel. It has been a very difficult year. Life isn’t any easier as more time has passed. I have become resigned to the fact that my pain is part of my existence, and it may not ever be any different. I have a glimmer of Hope that I may also be able to also allow more in my life to coincide with this pain.
Two days ago I found out that an acquaintance of mine has a son in the same intensive care unit as the one Alex died in. He was also in a car accident. He has severe brain injuries as well, but am not sure of the similarities other than that. Brain injuries are unique to each individual trauma. I learned that the hard way when Alex was in a coma. Friends with good intentions told us story after story of the people they heard about who woke up. What we didn’t know until almost the end was what each part of her brain was not only damaged, but gone, not coming back. I always thought the brain was miraculous and could heal itself. Yes, but not literally..brain cells do not rejuvenate or heal, but the brain tries to make new pathways to take over the job the dead brain cells cannot do any longer. What I didn’t understand was that Alex’s midbrain was completely disconnected due to the tearing and shearing of her brain during the accident. That was only one problem, but enough to make it impossible for her to ever live more than in a persistent vegetative state. I have had a lot of denial about this. I have wanted to believe and fantasize about the millions of possibilities that could have saved her. I have held myself completely responsible, and beat myself almost to death emotionally, on a daily basis for almost two years. This has been the natural course of action and my process. I wish it wasn’t, I wish people; therapists, friends, my other kids, my sponsor, my dad, strangers…telling me what a good mom I am, how strong I am, how hard I fought for and how she knows how much I love her..I wish all of that could have made these last almost two years different. Not even my other kids’ pain has been able to penetrate my shield of pain and self-hatred. This other mom facing this very real, very horrible unknown fate of her son has somehow been able to penetrate my shield enough to get me back here to write this. I pray her son has a different ending than Alex. I hope her fight is to help him rehabilitate and end at home someday.

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Sudden or Prolonged Death of Loved One

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A question was presented to me a few months ago…would it have been better for Alex and her family/friends to have lost her at the time of the accident or the way we did. I personally feel that I am glad we got two more months with her. I know that is probably selfish on my part. There many things that are more difficult about this. I still have flash backs of all she went through and how it felt to watch and feel so utterly helpless and powerless. I also remember the Hope we felt and the research I did and the writing, trying to find anything we could to save our girl. I was and am still so angry and disappointed that no amount of money or amount of prayer could fix her. And we had to make the decision to keep her alive in a vegetative state or let her go be with God. I Think either way it was spun, we were effed. This young girl who was killed in a car accident last night, almost a year after Alex and Landria’s accident, brought a lot of these questions back up for me..not that they ever been answered. I lost my mom suddenly, with no time to say good-bye and felt a huge shock that I still struggle with. I think about this girls’ parents, and how they did not have any warning or time to say good-bye. It makes me so mad! Why do so many people go through this. All I can say is make sure you hug your kids and tell them you love them. When times are hard, think of the parents who would take that hardship in a minute versus never having anything, good or bad, with their child again. Yes I realize there have been a lot of depressing posts from me about death and accidents, etc. since this all happened. I just hope if they bother anyone they will just delete me as a friend. Totally better than me wondering why you don’t talk to me anymore or give me a look of pity. This may make people feel more removed from this happening to them,, like it is contagious, but it won’t. I am just a mom with a broken heart trying to find a way to survive. FB is an unconventional place to do this, but it has worked to a certain point for me. I don’t know the answers, I just know I am sick and tired of the pain, my kids’ pain, and to know I can’t really help anyone who has lost a child. The only thing that will make it okay is to give their child back…

When Is It Time For Grief Therapy?

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I went back to grief counseling. It helped me understand why it has been so difficult for me to engage in therapy or a grief group up until now. Surviving these last months has been very difficult, and I have done fairly well on that level. It is so overwhelming to engage in therapy or a group at this point. I don’t know if this can be understood unless you have lost a loved one. Everyone is different though, so I am not presuming to know what works for everyone. The chaplain at the hospital did tell us we should probably wait for six months before trying any of these things. Now I understand why. Being in a fog of denial has been a type of protection from a reality that is too much to handle 24/7. I have moments of time throughout the day that this lifts, which is when the pain becomes unbearable. If anyone who is reading this, I hope my post can reassure you somehow to be gentle with yourself, and not let people, who may have good intentions, tell you how you should be grieving. I think our loved ones- friends and family feel afraid for us when we appear, and may be spiraling downward. Possibly, just checking in with a grief therapist at times is a good idea in the beginning to ensure a person is not in danger of suicide or self harm. My writing, reading, finding jokes, pictures of Alex, Grieving mother posts, reading novels, grief books and my grandchildren and other kids have been what has helped me through. Friends have helped as well, but this a journey that I have found is not for the weary, and most people want to resume their own lives and not be brought down by watching up front and in person. Not that I have been totally cooperative with this either. I mostly stay at home in my little cocoon, as I feel it takes the least amount of mental and emotional energy. I told one of daughters that I am just exhausted all the time. She asked me why. I have read other mothers talk about how this is what they experience as well.
I did some reading on what psychological trauma does to the brain. It truly does have an impact on our brain chemistry. I won’t go into all the details, as it long and drawn out. I also read about how siblings are impacted when losing a brother or sister. They loose part of their identity, as their sibling was someone they knew since birth, and learned a lot about who they were from their sibling. Often, they spent a lot their time playing, sharing secrets, fighting; learing how to ressolve conflict, the list goes on. The lit. spoke about how sibling grief is often the most overlooked type of grief. This made me really think about my other children. There is nothing I can say to take their pain away. I hug them, tell them I understand, how sorry I am they lost their sister. I think the biggest thing I can do for them, is to keep trying to my best to move forward on this path of grief and continue to ensure they have all the basic needs met. My therapy session helped me to realize that is huge for where I am with my grief. I beat myself for wishing I could be better than I am, but that isn’t any different than before the accident. I am on a roll, but I think I will close for now.
More later…

I Miss My Daughter

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My life reminds me of how I experienced being in labor with the kids, and changing my mind..such a powerless feeling, as there was no going back!. I knew then that only way through to the other side of the pain was to do my best and focus to get through it. At least there was a baby at the end of it to meet for the first time to love and adore. This kind of pain doesn’t have that kind of incentive, as Alex will not be coming back. I try to look at the positive aspects of trudging through this. Spiritual enlightenment, finding a way to honor Alex that she deserves, watching my other kids grow up and become the people God intends them to be, watching my Grandkids do the same, always do my best to support all of them when they need me, and become the human being that God intended for me to be so when I do meet up Alex again, I will have something for her and not just misery from her death. I worry so much about her new existence and whether she is okay or if she really is in a new dimension and not just gone. My Faith has never been so tested in my life, and it has never been so important for me to have Faith..kind of paradox of some sort. Wishing things were not this way is not working. No matter how much I pray or wish Alex was still here, she just isn’t and isn’t going to be. When my kids cry because they have the same feelings and struggles with missing her, all I can do is hug them and say I am so sorry. I know there is nothing anyone can do to take this pain or loss from us. Listening and being there is enough. Many people have a hard time hanging in there for this journey we are on.  Going to work has been a blessing, as it motivates me to do my girly thing, and try to be useful for other people. My coworkers are a great bunch of people, and I am so fortunate to work where I work.

I haven’t been writing as must, as I just get weary of worrying about whether my posts are too depressing or too open. I have tried the Blog thing, but it is so much more comfortable to me to do it this way. I don’t really know what I am doing with the blog, so not a lot of people read it anyway.

My stepdad responded to post I wrote in the Rememer Alex Malcomb page, and I hope he doesn’t mind that I include it in this post.

     “..I’m pretty sure in her dimension (I like that), she has been blessed                              without any needs, but gifts to those who loved her most. As you, she is there is there to take care of you & Rob & everyone that loved & cared for her. In my opinion she is the conduit to  your higher power.  She has more insight to needs.  Of course u know she would what the people that brought her to earth for a very important reason. Maybe it’s tough to see clearly what the larger message of her purpose. Maybe her blessing is to look over                              u, allow & want ur happiness. Individually & the compounded affect of your happiness will snowball to others. You think that  would be a gift that would keep on giving? Warm Alex’s heart? I think in her heavenly space, she is anxious to share the gifts with her loved ones, that she has been blessed with. Sometimes when ur feeling your worse, just may be a message, that you haven’t been able to grasp. I think it’s turn to be the caregiver for you. As in her place she no longer needs anything from loves ones. She wants you to be fulfilled with her spirit she has been blessed with to give to u the greatest gift that she can give, that would warm her the most. Grieving is important. While doing so, as grieving is all consuming, maybe u can let her get a word in about what she would want for her…”

 I love what he wrote. I have a hard time tapping into anything like this these days, so it really helps me when people give me this kind of spiritual perspective or food, so to speak.  He went through similar things when my mom died, and that kind of bond is rare to have..I am so grateful for him in my life.

As the holidays and anniversary of the accident draw near, I cringe and want to hide under my bed for a very long time. I wish we could just go to Mexico or somewhere completely different. I always planned on taking Alex to Mexico.. 😥  See, how all thoughts and ideas bring me right back to her. I have read that this typical of a grieving parent.

More later…

June 22, 2012

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Life is marching forward without Alex, or so it seems. I have her love and memories with me as I continue to get up each day to face what may come, which is always full of unpredictable flashes of pain from the reality that she is really gone. I listen to music in my car, which really triggers memories of her. The memories are a blessing, but I have to say, they also bring a certain amount of sadness with them. I still experience shock when I snap back into the realization of what has happened to her. I see a lot of youth that are not making very good choices in their lives, and I wonder, why Alex? Not that I would ever wish an early or tragic death on anyone. I just wish it wouldn’t have been Alexandra. To realize that life is not a sure thing, and that “random” bad things do happen to good people. It isn’t something I can explain by saying that “God has plan”..I don’t buy that concept anymore.. not when it comes to rationalizing tragedy.  I am still re-establishing trust and understanding of God. Whether I intellectually recognize that Although, He did not cause Alex’s accident or death,  the distrust I have toward Him is still there. This loss has left a big hole in  my life after  relying on  God for the last 21 years. I have Hope that this is just part of the process,  and I am redefining my spiritual beliefs with how this all fits in my life. To think that I will just be lost for the rest of my life is awful. For whatever reason, God has created me as a survivor..I have always had a type of strength that I am grateful for. I just wish it wasn’t necessary to always be so strong. To  relax and not worry about what is around the corner would be nice.  Maybe most people feel this way. I know everyone has things to overcome and come to terms with in life. That is part of the human condition. We are all works in progress until we die. I don’t know if the purpose of life on Earth is training to develop into higher spiritual beings, but it sure isn’t easy. It would be nice to believe that it has a purpose, other than just to struggle. I know some people have very strong religious convictions..I just don’t buy into the idea that it is all so black and white. The saying, “Spirituality is for people who been to Hell, and Religion is for people who afraid of going to Hell”…I think there is some truth to this. People have to find their own truths in life, and I am not in a position to shove any of my beliefs down someones’ throat. I am just trying to figure it out, which is how I have always been. I may never achieve this, but it keeps me going to seek my truth and understanding of life. Alex did not get a chance to grow into her own beliefs and understanding spiritually. I so looked forward to watching her bloom into the woman I know she would have grown to be. I will miss her babies, her wedding, her college graduation, etc. When the realization of this hits, which it does on a regular basis, I really feel she got ripped off. I watch what her friends are experiencing right now, and it isn’t fair! She should have gotten to enjoy these times as well. She worked hard for this. Self pity? Pity for her? Maybe..but, it is part of the process to feel angry and jealous of what could have been for her. I think many people believe that this isn’t healthy, but a person cannot choose which part of the process they want and discard the rest. It is all important to walk through. I only dealt with anger and self- pity when my mom died. I ended up drinking and doing other self-destructive behaviors to deal with my unresolved grief. My grief was waiting patiently until I was ready to deal with it. There is no way around it! Recovery in a 12 Step program has enabled me to grow spiritually and somehow prepare me to survive this loss. I hate that…but, maybe it is true.

More later…