If it is one question I’ve been asked time and time again it is how that drive home from up north was after I got the call Lydia was gone. If your abiding by the law the drive should be about 4 hours. We made it in under 3 1/2.
The answer I have is the same for everyone. It felt short. I honestly felt like I was in the car 30 minutes. And I don’t remember it much. I mentioned a few fleeting thoughts to my mom, my realtor called, I talked to Lydia’s special needs doctor about an autopsy, talked to my manager and a few other friends.
But, that ride, while it should have been gruelingly long…was not. I was in complete and utter shock. My mom who had caught me as I crumbled to the bathroom floor that day now was steadily speeding at 100 miles per hour, flashing her lights for people to move out of her way was steady as a rock.
I was never alone that day. Not once.
Fast forward. Year two. I’ve said it before – year two after a death is harder. It is one thing I didn’t realize…I thought by now someone with a loss would be moving forward (remember, not on..but forward) and life would be getting less painful.
But, that isn’t how it works.
I had no clue. Not a clue what a loss like this does to a heart. To your mind. To your ENTIRE being. I had seen it, felt it with other relatives so I thought I knew…but I didn’t. Clearly.
This past year has been full of more tears and more reality than the first. The realization that just like that life changes in an instant. Just like that my daughter who I gave birth to and spent her 7 years of her life helping is really gone.
I honestly started out this post a few days ago. And I was very sad. This journey is only one that you can understand if your in it. I’ve learned that I need to let those emotions flow in order to heal. And I do.
But, as I prepared this post for the day of her passing, I just couldn’t seem to get it done. Writing this blog is therapeutic,not forced and I wasn’t going to force a post. I was torn between letting my sadness flow onto this page OR trying to reflect on the good I have in my life.
Because I do have good. Lots of it. And I want to see that good and share it. But my sadness was too overwhelming so I didn’t do anything at all. The ‘ol adage, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say it at all. Well, that’s what I did.
I stopped. I listened to my heart and I tried to let sadness take its course but wait to see what good might come out as well. And I determined if the sad was still there a few days later, I’d share…but if not, I would share that as well.
And I woke up on the anniversary of her passing and I watched a video I had posted of her a year before she died. She was giggling fanatically and honestly, I remember that day like it was yesterday.
That video was taken on a Saturday morning. She had just gotten up and as I pulled the blanket to get her out of bed, she grabbed it back. Her giggles started as we play tug of war with it and I covered her face for hide and seek. She thought it was so funny. I grabbed my phone and recorded because I realized a long time ago simple moments were moments I wanted to remember. I’m glad I did.
Her giggle was infectious. So as I watched the video yesterday, I laid in my bed smiling. Then, I sobbed. My children and husband were getting ready for school and I listened to her laugh just shaking as I let the tears fall. I looked at the clock, it was almost approaching the exact time the first call came in where Tom was screaming that morning. I tried to dismiss that…not focus on it.
But, I’m so angry and sad and I hate it. I hate where grief has brought me lately.
In 2 years grief has morphed – it has changed.
And that person that made that drive home after her death is different as are her thoughts and feelings.
But then, but then the tears stopped and I opened up my messages to find A LOT of caring people already reaching out. I didn’t feel so alone.
My first text came in at 5:30 AM. “XOXO” said my friend as she said she was thinking about me. Messages via Facebook, emails, more texts., calls and more posts.
Posts of pink balloons being let off in the sky from all over the world. THE WORLD.
A visit from someone who was the first person to tell my boys where Lydia had gone. The person who remembers holding Tom while he wept that day was standing in my house with a smile and a hug.
The love was amazing. It HAS been amazing. I smiled and I found myself speechless for much of it yesterday. I kept thinking..SHE IS SO LOVED. WE ARE SO LOVED.
And yesterday as I took the day off to be with friends, lunch with my mom and then be alone in my thoughts, much of the sadness dissipated and I didn’t feel so alone.
Many have commented and wondered how I’m still standing. But I know I wouldn’t be standing if it wasn’t for the love I’ve been given not only for my family and I,but for my little girl who is no longer here.
I could dwell how much I’ve cried the last week, how awful this has felt…but I won’t because today, looking back even in the moments I was alone in my thoughts…I really wasn’t alone.
I asked you a day after her death to not forget her. I asked you to show up and you did. You have followed, listen to what I share, opened your hearts even today for what we are going through (and will continue).
Thank you for holding me up.
Holding US up.
Yesterday was hard but not as hard as if you hadn’t been there for our family.
You didn’t forget…and I am thankful.