Hello, my name is Dee, devastated mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend who lost a child. I may resemble the family member or friend you were acquainted with prior to August 4, 2013, but look closer, if you dare, into my eyes.
As I look back at older photos, there was a twinkle in my green expressive eyes. Or maybe that was a semblance of peace peeking out. Now my tired eyes appear lifeless and my face wears a pained indifferent gaze when captured in an unexpected photo. For whatever reason, I continue to put on make up and do my hair only because it is just what I do. I make a special effort whenever I am seeing my children even though I know I am not fooling them.
Who am I almost three years later? I do not know. There is a deep seeded loneliness inside of me as I continue to miss Amy more and more. Amy just knew how to love me well. She accepted me at face value. I miss her adoration and the purpose she added to my life. How do you just happily roll along after losing someone who was so significant in your life? I admit I do not know how.
Quitting my job because I could no longer handle the pressure was the worst and best thing I did. Since I am not old enough to collect social security benefits, I am now sort of in the role of a “kept woman” which would have made me chuckle before Devastation Day, but now makes me feel rather sad and depressed. Grateful to my husband for supporting us and blessed that he covers me under his health insurance which made it possible for me to say uncle and quit my job of almost 30 years.
I admit that I miss getting up in the morning with that work purpose and also miss so many of the good friends whom I worked with. Unfortunately, out of sight — out of mind — that’s just the way the cookie crumbles, I guess. Initially, it was hurtful as I fell off of their radar but quite frankly I have done little to feed many of those relationships. However, when I needed their support the most, my work family supported me in a way I will never ever forget. And to the co-workers whom evolved to my life friends, I know I am not the Dee you signed up for and for that I am sorry. Your patience and compassion never goes unnoticed. There is a lovely group of women who are folding cranes again this year for Amy’s birthday. Bless each and every one of you!
Time has not healed my wounds or helped me to wave my magic wand and forgive everyone who has hurt me along the way since my world as I knew it came to a screeching halt. What I have learned is that not everyone who hurt me did it intentionally and even this broken Dee realizes that now.
I am exhausted and disenchanted that I have to be the woman among my family and friends who has to live without one of their children. I resent this cruel twist of fate that has rendered me in a state of mind so different from those who knew me before Devastation Day. I wish I didn’t feel the overwhelming contrast in our worlds and I also wish I knew how to bridge the gap which out of order death has created. No one wants to live feeling inferior among others. That is my problem, not theirs, that I still cannot participate in social events without my heart weeping about who is missing.
Living without Amy is an identity changer. I despise my new identity. I am unrecognizable even to myself so I totally understand why others wonder what happened to me.
It will take time before I am able to reinvent myself again as mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend. Until then, please be patient and kind to a woman who has lost her way. It takes more than three years to find yourself after losing a vital piece of your heart and life.
Always remembering Amy.