Devastation Day on the calendar arrived. I couldn’t call it an Anniversary — nope. Anniversary is a day on the calendar which marks that I am still married. Or how many years I have been at my job. An accomplishment of some sort.
Angelversary. Ugh! Forgive me if anyone uses that term. However, if it gives another grieving parent comfort, then I respect that, but please do not refer to the date when my world blew up as my daughter’s angelversary.
Sundays are my designated day of sadness. It was a Sunday — that horrible day back on August 4, 2013 and Sundays will never be the same. On the one year mark of Devastation Day, we ran away to the beach. To a beach town where we have never stayed before and nothing was familiar. The house we rented was spacious, close to the beach and rather disgusting. My sisters thought staying in this house was a good distraction as I was obsessing about the condition of the home. How does one charge a rental fee for a house which while old, could have been maintained lovingly.
As we went to buy the balloons the morning of Devastation Day, I was still searching for carpet stain remover, room fresheners and other cleaning items. I have spent the first 3 days trying to make this neglected beach home tolerable. Rumor has it, this place is being torn down at the end of the season.
In another year and maybe during another time of my life, I would have refused to stay in a house in this condition. But I am here in August, although I typically vacation in June, because I am running away from home to get through a Devastation Day. Under different circumstances, I would have checked the place out in advance before paying for it a month in advance of our arrival. However, these are truly different times.
My sisters were wonderful and came down and braved the stench in order to provide us with some extra support. They cooked us dinner and kept us company. They drew Amy’s name in the sand, found heart shaped rocks, feathers, and after writing personal messages on balloons, we released the balloons on the beach together and watched them eventually cluster together, heading high towards the heavens. We all stood there reverently as we watched them climb together out of sight. It was one of the most beautiful moments I have been in since Devastation Day.
On one side of one of my balloons, I wrote every child’s name whose parent has comforted me during the course of this first year and I asked Amy to give them each a hug from their Mom and/or Dad. Julia, Evan, Melinda, Eric, Krissy, Philip, Vic, Chris, Brandon, Benny, Alyssa, Jake, Lisa, Richie, Jimmy, Lisa, Danny, Thomas, Brittany, Zachery, … just to name a few, but there were more. In my grief fog, I remember you and your children and regardless when we disconnect along the way, I will be grateful for the connection during the worst year of my life.
Many people reached out to me and my family to offer support on D-Day. I could feel the prayers they sent our way. I read the postings on Facebook because I was grateful to those who took the time to mention Amy on Facebook despite rarely sharing my life on it now.
There is an internal push which pulsates along with the horrible ache in my heart which is telling me to make changes. Since I am not comfortable with the life lessons theory, I would chalk it up as the change being necessary in order for me to live in a world without Amy. I do plan on making some major changes when my energy permits this year. Same ole, same ole no longer works and I have never been a creature of habit anyway.
I have mourned other loved ones, but never spent one year in this unimagineable pain and despair. I noticed when I start to break down, that some people try to change the subject because my mourning makes them uncomfortable. I am making a conscious choice now to allow myself to grieve and worry less about others reaction or timeline for my grief. With the exception of my husband and my dog, Bailey, no one in my life knows what this last year has been like for me. There are no words to describe what it’s like to live without your kid unless you have experienced it. No one knows how fragile you become and how their words hit you. Many retreat from the world. I have considered doing that many times.
On day 2, of year 2 without my Amy…I wish I could say I feel better, but I don’t. Maybe because this time last year I was planning a funeral and getting ready to bury my youngest child.
No surprise, on day 2 of year 2, I am still mourning Amy Marie and remembering her each and every moment of every day.