Last night I kept having flashbacks of ordinary times with Amy. How excited we would both be for a long holiday weekend or how we would plan on going out to breakfast at least one morning during the three day weekend.
Yesterday, while I was house sitting for my older daughter, I decided I would surprise her with new curtains for her dining room. As I washed windows, shopped for new curtains and finally completed the project, I must have had 10 grief ambushes. During my shopping trip, I made various stops at other stores too. At a stop at Staples, I asked a young man if he could help me to find an inexpensive wall charger for my iPhone and iPad. That question prompted him to go into a sales pitch about how he could save me $5 if I would allow him to check and see if I was eligible for a new phone or any upgrades? Sure, why not? As he seemed so eager to possibly get a sweet commission if he could convince me to upgrade my phone. When he discovered I was indeed eligible, he launched into another pitch. I let him finish and then quietly said that I was not emotionally able to part with my current phone because last summer my youngest daughter died suddenly and I was not ready to go through the 1200 photos on my phone. In hindsight, I guess I could have thought of something else to say, but that was the raw reason. He immediately became quiet and handed me my $5 coupon.
That was the first time I looked a stranger in the eyes, without crying, and shared my sad truth that affects ever part of my existence now. While I spoke low, it felt different to share my reality without the tears.
While people celebrate Independence Day, today marks 11 months since the world as I knew it changed and I lost Amy. The 11 month marker of pain and disbelief. I remember when Amy was 11 months old and how I wondered if she would ever walk because she had 4 adoring fans who waited on her and eagerly addressed her every need. She has always been so loved by her family.
It does not seem possible that it’s been 11 months. While the excruciating pain is memorable, so much of the other parts of my life during these past 11 months are a blur. So foggy — did anything else significant happen? I honestly can’t answer that question.
Do I spend this month remembering last July when Amy was still with us here on earth and cemetery visits, signs, bereavement groups, new normals, stages, journeys, grief ambushes were not in my vocabulary. And what about the big day coming up? Angelversary – ugh! Anniversary bothers me too. Devastation Day just fits.
I am forever changed. Counting my blessings is happening but as I count I beg that He/the universe/whomever wants to take credit for shattering my life, leaves me and my family alone and does not add any more pain to our life. I know, life doesn’t flow that way. 11 months later, I am still crying every day, miss Amy so much that I ache, treasure every second I had her in my life, search for signs, visit the cemetery, rebel against new normal, feel broken, yet I function. Actually I function well … Just with a tormented mind and a heavy heart. That’s my reality at 11 months. But I was able to calmly tell a kind young man that my daughter died without crying? Is that progress in the freaking world of new normal? Is that acceptance? Oh how I long to do a system restoration to a date when I could erase these past 11 months. Other than the quick auto weed of my garden of family and friends which has shown me the true goodness in some and the lack of depth in others, I would prefer to be clueless and have Amy.
Yes, I am sad. Who wouldn’t be sad if they suddenly lost their child? Don’t worry about me or make predictions of what will happen to me if I remain sad that my kid died. I have an internal gauge which only allows me to go so far with this grief because there are others watching who need to be reassured that I am ok. They need me. There are also others around me who are still waiting for the old Dee to return. Don’t waste your time as she is gone. There are those who want me to be ok so they can return to their normal lives. Feel free to scurry on back.
Gone is the bitter resentment of those who hurt me along the way because I could not rise above my pain and bounce back. Sorry to disappoint you. Well, actually, I don’t care. Oh wait, my shrink said that’s being apathetic. Is that a stage of grief?
Happy Independence Day! Land of the free because of the brave…thanks to the brave men and women who served/serve their country. Many lost their lives and there are many grieving families who know this unimaginable pain. I am so sorry. God Bless America.
Always remembering Amy.