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…

Another Step in the Grief Process

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Happy Spring! Not! I can’t believe the snow. Just packed up the rest of Alex’s clothes. Made me so sad. All the memories of her wearing them, and the thought process that goes with the that she doesn’t need them any longer. This makes her being gone feel so much more real. Seeing that a few of her favorite shirts are gone, like her Boston shirt that we got last time we went..makes me wonder where they are. It isn’t the clothes themselves..it is that they were Alexs’. I suppose I have bigger fish to fry than worrying about it. I plan on asking her two best friends to take what they want..she was so tiny that they won’t fit any of us here..Eli probably wouldn’t wear them either. 🙂 I know this is just part of the process, but it sure feels awful.
I got to babysit Rylan today while Hopee went to work. It was a pleasure. He is such an easy baby. He is sure looking around at everything now. He hates having his clothes or diaper changed..that is when he really cries..the rest of the time he just kind of squeaks. He is eating so much more than he was at first. He and Hopee are going to Seattle for a few days to see my stepdad and his wife, Tia. Jenny, Tia’s daughter is coming to get her tomorrow..hope the weather is okay for her to drive down here. I am very grateful to have all of them in our lives. They have been so supportive, loving and helpful through all of this.
Landria made it to Vegas..they rented a house, so I guess she is really moving there. I hope she likes it there. The house is about 15 miles outside of the city, so that makes me feel better about it.
My first counseling appointment since Alex died went okay. I hate going, as it is so painful. I have learned through other work I have done that only way to get to the other side of something is to walk through it. There are no shortcuts or diversions if I want to get through this time in a healthy manner. I am not saying I wouldn’t like either of those things..I would! It only prolongs the inevitable though. My therapist did say that I can only feel so much at one time though, so walking around like a zombie is okay as much as I need to. He also said that I am moving forward..so that made me feel like at least I am not stuck in this process.
Hope everyone drives safely out there. I am afraid to drive, more so because of what happened to the girls, as it was foggy and icy when it happened. I lived in Alaska for a year, so I know how to drive in it, but not a lot of people here seem very experienced with these conditions..rightly so, we don’t get this kind of weather very often. Be careful if you have to drive anywhere!
More later…

Weekend of grief, pain and friendship

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What a weekend…my friend Michelle stayed with me all weekend. We watched funny movies, talked until we were blue in the face, went out to lunch and cried as we talked about Alex. Oh, and we did a photo shoot with Landon. Hope was very generous with him, and let him hang out with us quite a bit. It was helpful to talk about all my thoughts and feeling about the accident, the hospitalization and how much I miss her, etc. I usually don’t talk very much about all of it, as it is so difficult to experience the pain that comes with doing that. I know it is an important part of healing, as it needs to come out, and not just stay stuffed inside. I am very grateful for the time we had this weekend. Thank you to her family for sharing, as I know they missed her this weekend.
Eli headed back to Philomath with his Dad, so it is just Hope, Landon and I.   I always miss him when he goes to his Dads.
On Mar. 24, I will have 21 years in recovery..it doesn’t seem to mean as much without Alex here. She always made my cake and was sure  there when I would get my chip. I raised her going to mtgs., and she was wise beyond her years partly because of this. All of my kids are…I will make  my cake, and I feel good about that. It doesn’t seem right to have anyone else make it, etc.
More later…

More Pain, Another Day…

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Time is of the essence…I know this is the only thing that will help us to adjust to life without Alex. Each day is so different..at times, it is overwhelming, and can’t escape the plaguing thoughts and feelings about our tremendous loss. I am feeling like all I do is say the same things over and over again. I don’t know if and when this will ever be something her Dad, brother and sisters and friends can ever accept..I doubt it. I know we are only a little over 7 weeks into this since she died, but it seems like an eternity. This is not the way life was supposed to be. I used to complain and feel sorry for myself because of the difficulties I have experienced from being a single parent for so long. I want to take all of that back. I wouldn’t trade any of those struggles for the world. Alex brought a lot of love and joy to my life from the time she was born. She took her time getting here, as she was two weeks overdue. Landria got chicken pox right around Alex’s due date, so it was a good thing that she was overdue. I had a hard time with postpartum depression after she was born, but it was never because of Alex. I loved her so much from the time she was born. When she would look up at me as I nursed her, she had so much love and light that poured out of her from her beautiful eyes. She slept with Rob and I until she was a toddler, as she wanted to be close..good thing Hope was the opposite and hated to be snuggled close after being fed. So funny how children can be so different when they come from the same parents. They each bring something different to the world, and that is part of why it is difficult to accept she is gone. She brought so much reason, love and spirit to our family. I miss her interactions with her friends and family. Watching her grow up into the young woman that she became was a true blessing. I do feel robbed of being able to watch her continue her journey into adult hood. She wanted to be a mom..although, she had a more realistic view of what this all entailed, so she wasn’t in any hurry. I know she would have done great things in her life if her life wouldn’t have been cut short. My hope is that she is still doing great things, even if it isn’t here on Earth. I want to believe that she an Angel, doing God’s work. I imagine that she visiting regularly with all our family who preceded her in death. I have some of the most wonderful memories with both sets of my grandparents, Great Aunts and Great Uncles and my mom. I pray that she is receiving that love from all of them, and comforting her if she needs it. I am sure that we are the ones who need comforting, as she most likely at peace and no longer suffering the way she did in her last couple of months here.
Thank you for being so patient with me as I process all of this on such public forum. I am starting to feel like perhaps I need to stop doing this..I know it has helped me tremendously throughout this journey, but I certainly do not want to continuously bum people out on a daily basis. I would completely understand if any of you would like to hide my stuff from your page. Not that you need me to tell you this..
Landon is not adjusting to formula at all. I feel bad for the little fellow. He is getting bigger..he has breast milk jaundice, so they wanted her to take him off for a couple of days.
Rylan is going to North Dakota for a month to be with his Dad. Landria is planning to move to Las Vegas. Life is ever changing.
Eli is not enjoying track..he keeps hurting himself, and I think it is harder on the body than swimming. I remember having shin splints every season.
I am having a difficult time going to work, as I am just so sad…I hate trying to act as if..it takes a lot of energy, but I am doing it anyway..at least to the best of my ability. I am getting caught up..will take a while, but I have been doing my job for almost 4 years, so it comes naturally. I hope everyone has a good blustery day. It is March, but it still seems like Winter.
One of my best friends is coming to stay the night this weekend. We went to beauty school together..we used to have so much fun together. We went to Mexico with my grandma and her friend…we drove them crazy. 🙂 She and I have reconnected through all of this, and it has helped, as she is a positive person, who I have a lot of history with. Thank you Michelle! I am also grateful for all my friends who have been here through thick and thin for the last several years. It has been quite a journey..one never knows what is around the corner.
More later…