"Grieving the loss of a child is a process, it begins the day your child passes and ends the day the parent joins them."

Friday, July 23, 2010

July 23 and still unreal.

As we try to navigate our way through this new life that has been thrown at our feet, we often times feel as though we have a constant pit, deep down in our stomach. It still seems so unreal to us. Today, July 23 marks three months to the day of our loss of sweet Carly.

Sometimes I feel as if I'm having a nightmare and just can't seem to wake up. It just doesn't seem as if any of this has happened. At other times, it feels like it's been years and years. And then, at other times, it feels as if it were just yesterday.

Wherever we look, throughout our home and yard, we are reminded of what we no longer have. Just last night, I caught a glimpse of Carly's beloved coloring books. Of course I knew they were in their rightful stop, but I caught a glimpse of them. And it killed me. Carly would sit for hours coloring page after page. She took great pride in each page that she colored. Those books will forever be a treasure to me.

As we sit down to dinner each night. We find it so hard to choke down our food as Carly's spot at the table sits empty. Which reminds us, what seems so unreal, is very much REAL.

Every place we go and everything we do, we are reminded of our great loss. Carly was our side kick. She LOVED to be on the go. Although, when she'd had enough, "HOME" was where she asked to go. Home was her favorite place to be. With Mama, Paul, Sissy & Bubba.
Home, is where she should be today. But that's never to be again.

How does one start to live a new life that has been thrown at them so unexpectedly? A new life that they never wanted to have anything to do with. A new life that they would quickly trade in for their old life; that's the life we want. The life where everything made sense. The life we had with our carefree, loving, happy go lucky, beautiful little girl.

I've found myself having dreams quite often at night. Once in a while they are horrible nightmares about Carly. Most often, they are dreams that I just keep wanting to have over and over. Just the other night, I had been dreaming about her. It was such a wonderful dream. When I woke up in the morning, I kept trying to go back to sleep, just to fall back into that dream again.

The whole thing is still so very unreal to all of us. None of us saw this coming. Not even her cardiologist or her heart surgeon. They are just as shocked as we are. Just the other day I was talking to my brother on the phone. He still finds this very much unreal too. Likely because, on April 22, we were over at his house. He told me on the phone, he never saw any signs of trouble heading her way. Carly was being Carly on April 22. While we were visiting with my brother and sister in-law, Carly was playing and skipping around, riding on the Gator with grandpa, laughing and waving at all of us. We left there that night around 8:30. At 9pm, Carly was begging me to take her to "McDonald's". I told her, "we'll go tomorrow Carly, it's almost bed time now". (Had I only known...there would be no tomorrow for her, I would have taken her) 14 hrs later all hell broke loose in my living room.

Now here we are, on July 23, three months to the day. Still in shock. And still feeling as if this is all just so unreal.


Lori said...

You don't know me in person but I am friends with you through other friends on fb and have followed your family's story. There isn't anything I can say that can make you feel better but I wanted you to know that there are people like me and my family (whom you don't know even read this blog) who send you love and hugs every day. One more second, one minute, one hour, one day...just keep doing what you are doing. <3 From our family

Kristen said...

When my little Cayman experienced cardiac arrest but was successfully revived, when we returned home a week later with her, all of her toys seemed to stand out to me. I thought about what home would be like if we would have lost her. I would not have wanted to touch anything that I knew she touched last, wanting to preserve her life there.

I felt a different reality than I've ever know, even though it wasn't real for us. My heart breaks that you have to know that reality because it is real for you. I am so, so sorry for your loss. Your Carly was beautiful!


Cammie Heflin said...

I never know what to say to you Joany. I just want you to know that I think about you and Carly quite often and you are always in my prayers.

Debbie @ Three Weddings said...

There are no words of comfort I can begin to give. All I can tell you is you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. I know the pain will never completely go away and there will always be those times where you think it is just a dream, but I do hope one day, somehow, life will be a little easier for you and Paul and everyone else who was blessed to know Carly in real life.

Groves said...

It seems the most normal reaction of all that our minds and hearts recoil and cannot "take it in" when the worst happens.

When C.S. Lewis lost his wife he wrote, "No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in." (A Grief Observed)

He also wrote about the "cold, unsmiling face of Hell." Losing a child is certainly an experience of that cold, unsmiling face.

No matter how much we long for reality to yield, change, rewind - here it is.

I wish your Carly were with you now, right now. I am so sad that she isn't. No wonder your heart can't possibly take it in. Why would any parent's heart want to?

Thank you for putting your thoughts down. Your words are very valuable.

Cathy in Missouri

My name is Sarah said...

This is Joyce. Oh Joany, I had such a vivid image last evening of your Carly waiting for Kristen, taking her hand and the two of them skipping off into beautiful flowery fields. I can't imagine the loss you are feeling as each day goes by. You're never more than a thought away.

Anonymous said...

good, excellent, nice job!!............................................................

Anonymous said...


Tausha said...

My heart aches for you and your family. I wish there was something I could do or say to make the pain go away. Your in our prayers.

JennyH said...

It is unreal. I'm sorry you have to live this nightmare.

I'm glad she had a fun night on the 22nd. Happy memories for everyone to remember.

Sasha@ Blyssfulhealth said...

I am sure you are having a hard time. I can't even imagine. Everyone deals with grief differently. When my mom passed in Feb. I just consumed myself with other things. Not the best...but that's how I survived. I read about grief and watched the Olympics. I just let the time go by in a way until I could deal with it a little better. I say do whatever get's you through this. Ask for help,or join a group for support. I know you were such a dedicated and loving mother so this must be very hard for you.

Sending you a big hug right now. If you ever need anything or just want to chat..send me a post on my blog and I'll give you a call. Hugs.

Tina said...

Ofcourse this still feels unreal, it probably will for a really really long time, your loss is the greatest loss a mother can ever feel and no mother should have to feel this. I can't imagine how painful life must be without Carly, but I do know that whenever I think of Carly (and I do think of her beautiful face often) I get a sick feeling in my stomach, so that just means that it must be a living hell for you. I pray that somehow someday life gets a little easier to deal with and the pain is no longer like a dagger to your heart.
Hugs and prayers of strength being said.

Michelle said...

I can't believe 3 months have passed. I still remember reading, in shock, the news on FB about Carly. And know that doesn't compare to what you've gone through and are going through at all. I miss your stories about all the things Carly was up to and the progress she was making at school. Its just not fair at all.