Amy collapsed and died in our home, the home that she loved dearly. Often she would comment on how much she enjoyed living here and prior to Devastation Day (DD) so did I. But DD sucked the peace and joy right out of our home. This once upon a time house does not feel like a home since Amy died yet my wonderful husband will not consider moving (yet). He truly does everything he can to keep both inside and outside our home in good condition and he is still able to find comfort here. However, it feels to me as though my home should be draped in black.
We had discussed that I need to change everything around here in order to continue living here. We remodeled the bedroom but it now definitely has become a shrine to Amy. A bookcase complete with all of my personal Amy treasures along with thoughtful gifts given to me in honor of losing my youngest child. There are photos galore scattered all over the room; all which serve as a reminder that Amy died. Suddenly my pretty bedroom turned into a torture chamber for me.
My living room has little shrines all over the place. It has become impossible for me to sit and relax without this house screaming Amy died. I didn’t even realize how Amy’s death had overshadowed my peace here until last Friday which was Amy’s birthday. I was crying to my oldest wise beautiful daughter about how difficult it was to live here when she looked around and said: Is all of THIS helping? Without batting an eye, I responded NO. Suddenly I took inventory and noticed how overwhelming it was to have reminders of who is no longer here.
While I am not trying to pack my Amy stuff up as a means to end my heavy grief, living in an Amy Death Shrine is not helpful now. I need to surround myself with joyful reminders of Amy; not the sad pings that keep me in such deep despair.
My dear friend sent me the most lovely lifelike photo of Amy in a hummingbird frame. It comforts me to see her big beautiful smile and I find myself talking to that photo and kissing it. I keep that along with a beautiful candle and crystal hummingbird (also gifts from bereaved Moms) in my room. This is helpful. However, the sad death poems and death trinkets — some which contain Amy’s birthday and death date do not help me. While the intentions were beautiful, the reality is too much now. No one other than those of us who live with child loss will ever realize how complicated our lives are without a child.
Every day on the other side of my personal devastation day torments my mind and heart. Its important to stay aware of what is no longer helping. Support groups stopped helping my husband and I one year ago. As the newly bereaved join the groups, from where I am in my timeline of grief, I have nothing hopeful to say to reassure them. They have indeed landed into a living hell. It’s a life sentence and it will be many years until the grief releases them into a better functioning state. Or so I have heard. I wouldn’t know because that has not happened in my life yet.
Talking about how devastated I am in a therapy session just makes me sadder. What else can I say and how many times can I say it? I have worked hard through my grief in numerous ways and for now, releasing my feelings on my blog is all I am capable of doing. Many of my friends and family stopped reading my blog posts which at one time offended me but now allows me the freedom to write my heart without the fear of worrying or hurting someone else.
This has been the summer from hell. I hurt my back in mid-June and still in pain. Struggling to sleep has caught up with me and I am exhausted but mostly I am exhausted from living 3 years without my youngest child whom I miss from deepest part of my heart and soul.
Three years have not healed me. I am still grieving my Amy and as I attempt to take the death pings out of my home, I am always, always remembering Amy. I don’t need all of the memorial keepsakes to remind me who is no longer here. My broken heart reminds me each and every single day.