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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Fundraising Memorial in Honor of Alex

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I appreciate all the hard work people put into the fundraising event in memory of Alex. There was a lot of time, energy and money contributed this by many people. It was difficult for me to be there, only because it was one more way of making this hit home…this was going on to raise money for a scholarship in memory of my daughter, who is Heaven now, and she will not graduate with her class, or go to college or have a family of her own. So many things run through my mind in an instant when the grief hits. It is amazing how a person can have so many emotions and thoughts at the same time. 
I felt the love during this event..love for Alex..people really care about what happened to her, and were honoring her in a way that can hopefully live on. Thank you to all of you! Even though it was difficult for her family to attend or participate, it means a lot to us that this group of people were willing to work so hard to honor Alex. She certainly deserved it. I thank the people in the community, and the individual people, who contributed raffle prizes and donations for the event as well. I have never met such an incredible young woman, and the world is a lesser place because of her death
Making progress with not blaming God..still haven’t reconciled what I believe, versus the beliefs I had prior to this happening. It is a process, and a time of searching and seeking, which is okay to some degree, as it gives me a type of direction, instead of just being so engulfed in the pain that comes with this type of loss. Some days it is more difficult than others to focus on this part of the journey..I just take it as it comes. I try to pick up my book and study it so I learn, even if I can only manage to find one morsel of new information to try to piece together a new belief system and understanding of how the world works on a Spiritual basis…I accept that. 
I really enjoyed spending time with some of my closest friends at the event. We sat in the basement discussing some of what I have been learning, and some of what they have experienced. I have to be careful not to try to push what I am learning on to other people. Discussing what I am finding helps me to process, and figure out whether I can really adapt any of it into my new belief system or not…
Eli got to get up on stage and sing/scream with one of the bands. I know he really enjoyed it, even though he can’t hear very well today. Hope was able to attend, as we traded off, and I brought Landon home. Rob was there for a bit, and Landria is on her way back from Vegas, so she was not there. Thank you again to everyone. 
More later… Continue reading

The Life of a Grieving Mother

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It has been awhile since I posted anything. I have been trying to enjoy my time with the baby and kids. Today it has been ten weeks since Alex passed away. It feels like I am standing on the shoreline, and Alex is sailing away in a ship..never to see one another again. It is really too much to fathom this idea, yet it enters my mind and heart all the time. I finally ordered the Book, Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People? So far, the concept that sometimes bad things happen..not because God is trying punish us or teach us something..and it isn’t God’s fault. When well intended people try to offer soothing explanations by saying things happen for a greater purpose, it really doesn’t soothe the person’s broken heart at all. The author validates this, as he lost his son at 14 from the disease that accelerates the aging process ( can’t remember the name of it). He also uses several examples of other individual’s tragedies, and the consensus was that there really isn’t an explanation that helps, except that God didn’t cause it, but He helps us with the survival of the tragedy. This is a concept that I can buy in to. I think it is Human Nature to want to place the blame on someone or something when tragedy strikes..anything to make sense of it. I believe it is part of the process. I have glimpses of moving past the point of needing to pin the blame on anyone. Last week, I made the mistake of viewing the video of the car after the accident, as ABC was there immediately after the accident. I saw that Alex’s airbag didn’t deploy, and my heart dropped. This car had a reconstructed title, so there is no way to blame Honda for this malfunction. It put a whole different spin on the cause, etc. on what happened, which is something I have to try to not envision. When I drive to Philomath, this seems to involuntarily fill my head with what the girls and Rylan must have experienced. I have had many questions, and when we realized what Alex’s condition really was, Rob and I both questioned if she was gone at the scene of the accident. So many questions that may never have a definitive answer. I still talk to her every morning and before I go to bed. This is very painful, as it really hits home that she is gone, and I won’t talk to her face to face..maybe ever.
You see, I have taken a break from writing because it is so deep and possibly depressing that I just couldn’t bring myself to pour all this out. It has helped so much, so here I am back at the keyboard.
I am having a difficult time not feeling abandoned by some people in my life. I have to remember that people have their own lives and issues they are facing. Perhaps I am being allowed to grieve more in a private fashion. I hope that if someone I am close ( or anyone that I cross paths with) to ever experiences the loss of their child that I can pass my experience on to them.
Eli has a track meet tomorrow, so I am going to watch him..I hope he enjoys the experience.
Hope and baby are doing well. I talked to Landria, and she is doing well in Vegas..seems to like the climate their better than Oregon..who can blame her? Rylan is still in North Dakota..he fell down and now has a black eye. Poor baby! I know he enjoys playing with his little friends out on the playground, but I hate to think of him getting hurt.
I will continue reading to unscramble my thoughts and gain some sort of peace with this unacceptable loss. I miss Alex so much…
More later…

I attended Eli’s track meet this afternoon. He did well for not having any experience or much practice. I have to say that it was difficult being at Eli and Alex’s school. One thing that gave me comfort, there was a huge double rainbow as we looked out from the stands. I am not sure if I can attend what would have been Alex’s graduation, but it isn’t until June, so I will not project what I may or may not be ready for at that point. I am learning to accept what I am ready for..I keep wanting to get on with things and trudge through everything..I am going to slow down..there is enough time for letting go of more of her things and showing up at the school where it is one more reminder that she is no longer here. How difficult this must be for her brother, friends and step-sisters; my heart goes out to all of you..Alex loved you and I am sure wants you to enjoy the rest of your Senior year. My heart also goes out to her sisters..I know their journeys through their grief is individual and unique, but still valid and deserves compassion and understanding. I lack this at times with my own grief and issues with what has happened. Rylan is so young that I don’t believe it has affected him like it would have if he were older. I have many friends who were like family to Alex, and I know it is painful for them as well. I am grateful for some of my cousins who have reached out to me through all of this..and last but NOT least, Gramps..he had such a special relationship with Alex, as did Rob. Still missing her..

Forgiveness and Faith

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Our first Easter was an emotional day. We managed to make a nice meal. I even made homemade apple pies. If it weren’t for Hope, that is the extent of what we would have had. I Spent most of the day watching Hallmark movies that seemed to have a common theme. Forgiveness and having Faith in God after losing either a child or a spouse. Of course they made me cry and feel more than I wanted to. The messages were hopeful, and even though they were just movies, I needed to hear the messages. Anger is a part of grief, but unforgiveness only shuts me off from healing. I have to believe that God didn’t do this, and he didn’t choose to not heal Alex in the way we wanted..the book I am reading talks about how life can have random things happen. People want to put tragic things that happen in a package that includes either a lesson we need to learn or a larger plan. The Rabbi, who is the author of When Bad Things Happen to Bad People, speaks to how insulting this is to the bereaved..he doesn’t believe God allows tragedy to occur to teach us a lesson. This would mean he is vengeful God, and that if we have made mistakes or lacking in something that he allows this to happen for us to learn something. This makes the non-beareaved feel better about the world..that it isn’t just random. People talk about Random Acts of Kindness….well, according to this author, tragedy can occur like this too. I am not stating that I believe this is truth, just exploring and processing the ideas that I read about. I don’t believe that any of us do something that justifies our loved ones to suffer for the sake of a lesson taught or a higher plan. I did believe some of this prior to the accident. Now I have to reconstruct my believes and truth based on my new reality. I know for a fact that Alex did not deserve to suffer or have her life cut short. I truly hope she is at peace now..it is the rest of us who are left behind to experience our loss of our beautiful, loving Alex.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter.

Reconciling the Decision We Made

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Today it has been 9 weeks since Alex passed away. It feels like it just happened. I continue to put one foot in front of the other, as what choice do I have? I don’t even know what to post anymore, and this is sad because it has been such a useful tool for me to cope with the grief. I try to remember all the happy times with her, and post as many pictures that I can find to remember her…I feel I need to do more than this, as it not sustaining me anymore. To feel a disconnection with God is very difficult, as I have relied so heavily on this relationship for such a long time. I do not blame God for what happened to the girls, but I guess it is hard for me to trust Him now. We prayed and prayed for a Miracle..the Miracle we wanted and this didn’t happen. I knew this was a possibility, yet I was so desperate, I was willing to take this chance. I am sure I just need to work this out with God, and trust that He knew what he was doing. Or, maybe it wasn’t Him at all, after all, we made the decision to take her off life support..this creates problems for me, as I have a lot of guilt..like I gave up on her. The entire team of doctors told us we made the right decision, but I will forever wish she was here..selfish? Probably, as now she is free, without having to suffer.
Off to work to pretend all is okay in the world.
More later…