I remember happy. Tomorrow is my 38th wedding anniversary and my husband and I never in our wildest dreams imagined we would lose one of our children. This photo was taken when we were still a happy and a blessed family of five.
Let’s face it. Happy is having all of my children physically here and not carrying around the memories of Amy’s death or the relentless pain of her absence. There are no words, only tears, which describe how much I miss Amy. Yeah, maybe happy moments will grace my life again, but true complete happiness … I am not buying that will ever be available to me in the rest of this lifetime.
Happy is sitting at a table, any table, with my family of five. The first time I had to set the table or order a table for a party of four I felt physically ill.
Fridays were my happy days. Yabba dabba doo! While I liked my job, it never defined me. I was born with a mother’s heart and always so excited to say goodbye to the work week and start my weekend with my family. I never cooked on Fridays — pizza, chinese food, Philly steak sandwiches … It didn’t matter to me what we ate. Fridays and weekends just made me happy because it meant more family time.
Climbing into bed after a long day when all of my children were here — peace. Now … I dread going to bed at night. The pillowcases with my liar “waterproof” mascara stains still tell my story. Waking up in the middle of the night to make a bathroom trip and within seconds realizing Amy died is my never ending waking nightmare. Oh how can one sleep peacefully ever again with that knowledge in their head and heart. Yet people still wonder how I could possibly still be mourning Amy? I refuse to waste one more minute on trying to convince anyone of the scars I carry in my soul.
Contentment is defined as a “state of happiness”. Its been almost three years since I have experienced contentment.
When my older two children went off to college, I cried, but I was excited to see them spread their wings and fly and I knew they would fly back home because my husband and I created a warm and welcoming home base. Amy never went away to school; instead she commuted from home. She never left the nest until Devastation Day. I saw her almost every day of her life with the exception of a few weeks…
My husband and I did not have much of a social life outside of our family when our children were young. We rarely looked for a babysitter on the weekend. We were content to spend the weekends with our kids or as they grew older, driving our kids and their friends around. Our children were the nucleus of our life. They still remain our highest priority. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing about that.
When people insist I should try to be happy now, I know their suggestion is coming from a place of concern but I cannot relate to happy without the contentment of having all of my children here. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my two older children and I am beyond grateful to have them in my life but our family feels the void since Amy leaped ahead of us. We remain close and united and … fractured. Bless us for trying so hard to love around this life shattering tragedy. My two earth children are wonderful young adults and it breaks my heart that they lost their sister which I know changed everything, especially their mother. I am trying hard to rally back because as my husband reminds me, we are still a family. He is right, of course.
Sometimes I listen to others just talk and I wonder if they know how lucky they are to be able to speak so casually about every day topics without a voice screaming in the back of their heads — Oh My God, Amy died. I am always distracted by that fact. Many times I coach myself to ask about their complete families even though many never ever utter Amy’s name. Guess they are afraid if they mention her name, I may remember she died.
I admit I envy the families whom are blessed to have their complete families yet I don’t want their children or their family — I want MY three kids, my family of five.
As time goes by, I wonder who truly wants to be friends with a woman who lost a child? I know its not easy. Do others just tolerate me now? Am I a charity friend? The don’t call us, we’ll call you sign is not in my paranoid imagination. Maybe I do exist in my own dimension.
Yet as sad as I am about many who have left us behind, there is sincere gratitude for the handful of friends who genuinely want to spend time with me and my family. Last week I met a friend for brunch who made me feel less like an alien. It felt good to sit across the table from someone who was not evaluating me and who willingly spoke of Amy, the ramifications of my loss and shared her life with me too. I am grateful to have this woman as my friend.
Recently I had an early morning wake-up call from a dear friend who wanted to share her Amy moment with me. Made my day. However, I can’t help but wonder when people will totally forget my dear sweet child was here… There are no guarantees in life but something tells me these two women will never forget Amy.
Life did not turn out the way I envisioned. I miss happy and feeling content, but I sure do remember those feelings. I still cry every day but I do not cry all day long.
As another August approaches, I am going to try so hard not to allow that day and Amy’s birthday which follows 8 days later to have the same powerful impact as last year. In all honesty, I never did completely rally back from last August and without a doubt, these past 6.5 months have sucked me to a new low. My health became an issue and I feel as though I have aged 100 years.
I have become sick and tired of writing about how sad I feel, but today I just needed to write and release some of the crap recycling in my head.
No one can comfort me because this is my unfixable life. They can promise some day it won’t always hurt this badly but I admit I do not believe them.
So woest me … as I am always remembering Amy and grateful for my husband who continues to be an amazing father to my children on both sides of the veil.