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

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Early morning update.

6:24 am and I'm up. Been up for about an hour actually. Which isn't bad if you go to bed at a decent time of night. But, for me, sleep doesn't come very easily. Most nights I'm up until the wee hours. As in 3 am! Last night I was able to fall to sleep around 1 am. WooHoo!!

My brain will not shut off at night. When I lay down, the only thing that runs through my head, is Carly. Morning, noon and night she is on my mind. In fact, I told Paul just the other day that I was going to have to get to the doctor. I feel myself wearing down. Literally, dragging. My head feels like it weighs a ton. My arms and legs are weak. And the biggest issue at hand, my brain just will NOT shut off. I've even upped my Xanax at night. Which I don't like to do because I depend on my Xanax to get me through my anxiety attacks. My fear is, they will stop working for anxiety issues if I'm taking so many to get me to relax in order to sleep at night. Although, some nights, not even Xanax can help me to fall asleep.

Another problem that I'm having.....DREAMING. I'm dreaming a lot about our girl. They aren't good dreams either. They are very disturbing. The night before last, my dream woke me and I have not been able to shake it from my mind. We were inpatient, well, Carly was. She had had heart surgery, again. The doctors told us they were done working with her. She was on her own. I begged and pleaded. Screaming and crying for them to save her. This dream was so very real to me. Much like that horrifying day on April 23.

Other dreams have been even worse..well, not really sure that any dreams are good dreams, when you dream of the death of your child. But one dream really was a bad one. I dreamt that an acquaintance from high school, kidnapped Carly. And she killed her. In a very brutal way. Which I'm not even going to get into. And why I would I dream that an acquaintance from high school kidnapped Carly? I can't for the life of me figure that out.

Sometimes, my dreams have been more like we've lost Carly. As in, a missing child type dream. I dream quite often that I put her on the school bus in the morning. Watch it drive away, while she waves her little hand and blows me kisses...just like she did every morning...but then, she never comes home. The school has no idea where she is. The bus driver claims he/she never saw her. I can't get anyone to listen to me, that my child is missing. It's a very frantic dream. And I would bet, I dream that dream a few times a week.

Last week, I had a completely different dream. I dreamt that I could see Carly walking ahead of me. I kept calling out her name, but she never turned around. She never acknowledged me. She just kept walking further and further away. And no matter how fast I walked, I could not catch up to her. And then, she just disappeared.

I just wish, one night, I could dream a happy dream about Carly. Carly was such a happy go lucky little girl. Such a lover of life. I'm very envious of my cousin Cyndi, who told me that she had a wonderful dream of Carly. A dream that Carly was swinging (which she LOVED to do) and laughing. A very nice dream. Just once, I'd like to dream something nice about our girl.

My counselor has pointed out the obvious to me. She says that the reason I'm dreaming such horrible dreams about Carly is because of the way we lost her. Suddenly. Unexpectedly. Out of the clear blue. And, with no answers as to why. Well, no answers to some of our questions. Like, why the EMT's couldn't do more to save her? Why the ER doc's couldn't do more to save her? Why the EMT's couldn't get Carly to The University of Michigan? Where we all know her odds would have been much better for survival. And, according to the counselor, the dreams come out of shock. The shock that I'm still in. Yes, I'm still in shock over Carly's death. The big question is,,,when will these awful dreams stop? I would bet, they will not. Not for quite some time.

We finally turned American Idol on the other night. We haven't had the desire to watch it this season. It was one of Carly's favorite shows. Oh how she loved it. She would shush us when the singers would come on. She was all ears listening to each and every singer. And holy cow, if someone were talking...well, you just better not have been!

Our days seem to get harder and harder for us. Nothing is easy. Nothing is fun. Life is just upside down now. Do you know that food doesn't even taste good anymore? With the amount of food that I do not eat...you'd think I'd be pencil thin. Even laughter makes us feel guilty. We don't laugh all that much, but when we do,, we feel guilt.

Some people believe we should hand ourselves over to God. Well, sorry..that isn't going to happen. I'm just so very angry with God right now. I even question whether or not there even is a God. 'Cuz I'm telling you what, God sat on his ass on April 23, 2010 and did not one single thing for Carly. The way she lost her life was traumatic on her little body. The bruises on her lifeless body said it all. She was put through the wringer that day. And for crying out loud, was our girl not put through quite enough in her 8 short years of life? I think so. Could He not..if HE..even does exist, have spared her this type of death and taken her peacefully? I mean seriously, if he were insistent on taking Carly, could he not have done it in a more peaceful manner?

I realize I have some very religious folks following my blog. And that's fine for you. In fact, that's great! I certainly do not fault you with your beliefs. I too was a believer at one time. So please, do not be offended with what I/we now feel about God. Maybe some day, our thoughts will change. I hope they do. I really do want to believe there is a God out there. I want to believe that our little girl is now an Angel. But I'm torn and I'm pissed and for now, that's the way it's going to be.

I came across the following quote the other day. It speaks volumes.

While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about.

- Angela Schwindt


Anonymous said...

So sorry for you loss. I cannot even imagine. I hope someday you will have the peace you are seeking.


Stephanie said...

Joanie, oh my goodness. Those dreams... nightmares, are awful. How can you even think about sleep if that's what you face every night. Can your doc prescribe something different to take at night? So you can preserve the Xanax for daytime? You're body needs to be still.

my family said...

Joanie I can't imagine how horrible those dreams must be and only to want good one must be so frustrating. I pray for you often and even if you are mad at God it is ok He understands. "They" say God does not do the bad and harm us but sometimes it sure is difficult to understand why bad things happen to precious children. I hope these words dont offend you they are not meant that way by any means
{{hugs}}my friend

Twilson9608 said...

Im sorry for your pain, loss and grief. I know all to well what long nights filled with fears are like. I know how the terror of your dreams can haunt your days and I know how it feels to have questions unanswered. While I may not know what your pain is or how loss may feel to your degree, I can only imagine. I pay that your heart may heal, that God may bring you the answers you need and that you are able to rest.

Unknown said...

not offended, whatsoever!

Unknown said...

I'm just curious. Is the therapist that you see an expert in trama therapy? Your dreams are very classic for Post Traumatic Stress and my experience is that a traumatologist is the best for working with dreams as you have described. I would love to discuss this more with you off line if you wish. You can email me through my profile.

JRS said...

I'm sitting at my kitchen table bawling my eyes out for you, for your pain and shock, and losing your sweet girl. All I can say is that we are here to lift you up in good thoughts. Your anger with God is 100% understandable. I pray that you can have a sweet dream of Carly and someday find peace beyond all understanding. Keep writing. Keep reaching out and we'll be here.

Groves said...

Karol mentioned trauma...

There's a tiny little book called "Experiencing Grief" by H. Norman Wright. This is the chapter that came to mind: "Trauma - The Deepest Wound."

This is part of what it says:

"A traumatic experience literally disrupts the functioning of your mind. It overwhelms your coping ability. It's too much.

Trauma shatters your beliefs and assumptions about life, challenges your belief that you have the ability to handle life, and tears apart your belief that the world is safe.

Trauma leads to silence; you won't have the words to describe it.

Trauma leads to isolation; no one seems to understand the experience you had.

Trauma leads to feelings of hopelessness; you feel there was not way to stop what happened or the memories."

YOU ARE CLEARLY NORMAL. Carly's death WAS traumatic (no one has to tell you, obviously) and you are responding like a very normal, very caring, very loving parent. Everything in you recoils from the horror of what happened to your child - and to you.

None of this is news. You are living it.

Your struggles with who God is or why He allowed what He did are just as normal. If someone tells you they're not, they'd better go read the book of Job. God says that Job was one of the most honorable, upright, steadfast Christians who ever lived - and his struggle with what God allowed is something that many Christians would think shouldn't be read out loud at church, because it's supposedly too "raw." I guess God didn't think so; He put it right in the Bible...with no pretty bows on top.

I am *beyond words* sorry that Carly died. Beyond words. And that doesn't stop the trauma from drowning you like a flood; not for a second.

Thinking of you and your sweet daughter today, love,

Cathy in Missouri

The VW's said...

It certainly doesn't make sense why Carly had to suffer more than her share, and I can only imagine how difficult it would be to keep such painful thoughts from your mind! And, then to have to dream such painful things too!

I am so sorry...and I pray that you are given peace some day very soon! I will be praying for you and your family.....Love, Hugs and Prayers!

Emily said...

I'm a believer and your pain does not offend me. I hope my prayers don't offend you. Thank you for sharing your grief on the WWW. Your story makes me more thankful for MY family everyday, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to lift you up, to pray for peace and healing upon your wounded family. Take care of yourself, now.

I am said...

I started reading your blog through someone else one day and come back often to see your updates. I haven't had children yet so in a lot of ways I can't even begin to imagine what your emotions and thoughts are like. I think I like many even though we don't know you personally wish we could take your pain away. I can understand you're feelings about God, in different less traumatic experiences i've felt the same way. I know now that God brought me out of those. I hope it's ok that I'm praying for you and that my words don't offend. Without even meeting you I can say I love you and I know God does too. I hope in time you will see that. I hope right now you will begin to feel peace!

Heather said...

I think Karol hit it right on the head with PTS joany.I hope you will consider contacting her.Maybe you already have.She is one of only a few mommies,that loves your family,that truly,truly understands your grief.

We love you Joany and would never judge you for the place your are in and your loss of faith and belief.We will just keep loving you and sending our prayers of peace and strength your way.That's all we can do.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JennyH said...

I hope your dreams change to happy ones soon. It would be hard getting to sleep knowing what your going to dream about.

Sasha@ Blyssfulhealth said...

Wow. You are going through so much. What if you can get a little sleep pre night time. I am reading a book on grief right now, I wonder if you want the name. Let me know. I read about 15 books on grief(I know kind of crazy but it helped)when my mom died. Hang in there kiddo!! Hugs to you. Take care.

Aimee said...

Hello! Fellow Michigan Mom Blogger here. I've been reading your blog all day. I wish I had something insightful or wise to say which might bring you comfort but I don't. I do hope for some peace and comfort for you.
Aimee in Manchester

Kristin said...

I have no words. Just sorry your existence is so horrific right now. And obviously, if Paul is in much the similar boat you are in right now, you are not both crazy; you experienced what no parents should ever have to. I hope you are not beating yourself up thinking your feelings aren't justifiable :)

Tina said...

What you are going through is unthinkable for any parent and I am so so sad that you are having to go through this horrific reality. It's no wonder trying to sleep is a nightmare by itself, if only at that time you could forget it all and go into a deep sleep. You need rest and your brain needs to rest. One one can judge you for your beliefs or non beliefs, how can anyone judge you after what you have gone through. I pray that someday, someday you can breath a little easier and sleep is not something that scares you. I wish there was something someone could do to make things easier, at the end of the day I can imagine how lonely you must feel in your grief. We are all here to listen and not to judge so please feel free to write whatever comes into your heart, exactly what you are feeling and we will try and understand for your reality is just so unimaginable so unthinkable for most of us, my heart goes out to you all the time and yet I know just how useless my words of comfort are for you right now. I will continue to pray for your peace and strength. Love and hugs

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and feel compelled to leave a comment. I know your heart is broken... I know you have unanswered questions, I know there isn't a moment of the day that goes by where you aren't thinking of Carly, missing her, wishing for one more moment with her... I have been there - I am still there. I lost my beautiful sister with DS and I still think of her every moment of every day. There aren't words to express how sorry I am for your loss, there isn't a quote or cliche that will make it better.... all I can say is that for me - it took realizing that only I can carry on her legacy, only I can ensure that I carry on the unconditional love she gave to me... it has been this 'lens' on life that has allowed me to get going each day and to continue to do more to keep her legacy of love alive... I know your pain is deep... Carly was your angel and she left an imprint on you that you can carry on all you do.... my heart is with you....

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across this blog through a friend and cannot even begin to understand your pain.
I hope that you will be able to find someone to help you, to listen, to provide you with some comfort.

However, I have just one question for you. (I was raised in a very religious home although do not necessarily agree with my parents beliefs.) How can you be mad at someone if they don't exist? To be mad at God, you have to believe he exists.

Anonymous said...

Joanie, You don't know me, but I have been following your blog for quite some time. My heart breaks for you. I have had my share of loss and pain in the world, but I CANNOT, nor even pretend to know the pain that you are going through. I don't want to sound like some religious zealot either. Simply, yea you! Cry out to God. Get angry--scream and yell and throw things. He IS big enough to take it. You need not apologize for that. Get it out of your system. Just a couple of things. . . .#1 God works best in the darkness of despair--that I know from experience
#2--God would rather go to hell with you than to go to heaven without you. That's why He sent His one and only Son to die on the cross for YOU! If YOU were the only person in the world He still would have done it. He loves you that much.
God never promised life would be easy. He just promised that He would NEVER leave you.
My love and prayers go out to you and your family. Don't feel guilty for being angry or for laughing. God gave you emotions. Satan is in charge of "guilt". Love you.