This week as I sat in my grief counselor’s office, I confessed I no longer trust life. In less than one week, I will have existed for two years without my beloved daughter. For anyone still checking their calendar who has not lost a child, you have no idea how difficult it is to trust life after such a tragic loss.
Dr. Ken Druck says: “Anniversaries are invitations to be re-traumatized or to celebrate.” The trauma of Devastation Day still haunts me and as that date etched in stone resurfaces, oh yes I am re-traumatized. I have seen my child dead. My child was sent to a morgue. I have been asked to go to my child’s funeral and now my lively beautiful child’s body is buried in the ground even though I know with absolute certainty that her beautiful soul soared the minute her heart stopped. Have you ever stood in a hospital emergency room with your husband and other children and watched a team try to shock your daughter back to life for 45 minutes. Most of the people in my life have no idea what I have seen and the memories I hold. No pill, life lesson or counting my blessings will ever erase what we have witnessed. Even though I am honored and grateful to always be Amy’s Mom, it will take more than two years before I am able to honestly celebrate Amy’s life on those two days. I do try, but I am so darn sad.
At random times, the triggers continue to hit me and these horrendous memories come to life in my mind. Trust time to heal? What a joke! I wish that every grief book would address all the horrendous details of those first years instead of racing to the happy ending. Yet, I know we need to hope that there is life worth living with a broken heart and how important it is to trust that the world can be good again. After all it’s my job to remind the world my daughter was here.
Is it really possible to totally retrust those who have let us down in the middle of your nightmare? I am not convinced I can ever trust those whose absence has created secondary losses in my life. The universe is sure asking a lot of me to assume we can just pick up where we left off. And I am not a fan of forgive, forgive, forgive. People should be accountable. Unfortunately, I do get it that not everyone is equipped to support me now. All I can say is Thank God for those that do.
Every week someone surfaces who reminds me I am not alone. There has not been one week in almost two years that I have not received a card or gift. My most recent gift was a “Calm” Coloring Book complete with Crayola crayons and colored pencils along with a basket filled with origami leopard cranes. Leopard is the theme of Amy’s bedroom. She also delivered hundreds of hand folded origami cranes which many of my compassionate friends folded and strung for me to place at Amy’s grave on her birthday. Not all people use their busy life excuse to get out of our lives now. We are blessed in that regard. Yet, I wish I could say that I am confident that these lovely ones will not grow weary of me and where my derailment in life has taken me .. Sadly, I do not trust life.
One of my children has landed an exciting opportunity which will take him to another coast. Wish I could say that this will all work out for the best but I do not trust life. Was this an answer to my prayers? I definitely do not trust the power of prayers even though I keep trying. My life is so complicated. No one sees the ripple effect of one day.
I have not given up on life or the world but it will take a long time to rebuild my trust.
Dr. Druck writes in The Real Rules of Life: “Jenna’s death ended my life as I knew it. Up to that point, I had been functioning under the assumption that I’de worked out a deal with life — if I was a good man and lived a good life, my daughters would somehow be protected. And suddenly I was seeing pictures of my daughter’s body lying on a dirt road on the front of India Today … . Real Rule #3 hit hard: There Are No Deals. We don’t get to make deals with life.”
Dr. Druck goes on to say:
…We are not in control of much that happens in our lives. Our dreams don’t always come true. In fact, sometimes the dreams we cherish the most evaporate before our very eyes.”
Amen to that, Dr. Druck. I hear you loud and clear. My deepest sympathy. Thank you for your permission to quote from your book, The Real Rules of Life.
Always remembering Amy with so much love.