"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, June 25, 2010

Fathers Day

Father's Day came and went, just as Mother's Day did. We tried hard to find some kind of joy, but it was very much nonexistent.

Again, just as Mother's Day, we visited our sweet angel at the dreaded cemetery. We trimmed her grass, which is unreal how her grave is completely covered with fresh new grass. We noticed this rapid growth of grass as being somewhat odd. Looking around the cemetery, we noticed graves from a year ago, with nothing but very sparse grass, most of it being crab grass. It leaves us in awe each time we visit Carly. Her grass looks as if it's been there forever. Nice and green and always needing to be trimmed with the weed whacker.

Soon after Carly passed away, I received this very treasured gift. Paul really wanted one too. At first I wasn't sure he'd really wear one, but Ashleigh insisted we get it. And so, he got one for Father's Day. He was beyond thrilled. Although, sad too. Kind of a bitter sweet gift. It hasn't left his neck since he put it on.

Later that evening , we went to my parents house. Where my dad received a gift from me and Paul. And then he was handed a gift bag from the kids. He pulled the card out to read it. It was a card with a monkey on it...(which is what Paul and Ashleigh always called Carly). And then he started to pull the tissue out of the bag. The gift inside; a framed picture of my dad and Carly that was taken about 1 1/2 yrs ago on my dads birthday. The frame that Ashleigh put the picture in said, "I Love Papa". Carly never called my dad grandpa, even tho all the other grand kids do! Not Carly, he was "Papa"! I m quite certain that we broke my dads heart all over again. He cried and cried and cried. And thanked Ashleigh over and over. Needless to say, we all were in tears. This is the picture. Sorry for the small size. My mom emailed it to me and for some reason, it came to me teeny tiny. It's actually a regular sized 4x6 pic!

I talked to my mom the other night,,,, I talk to her every day. But, the other night she told me that every time my dad looks at that picture, he breaks down in tears. He loves the picture and misses Carly so very much.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oh for pete's sake

McDonald's warned: Drop the toys or get sued
click on above link

Honestly, do these "groups" have nothing better to do than to go after McDonald's and their happy meal toys??? Can't people focus on the needs of the American people. How 'bout the Gulf Oil Spill. How 'bout the homeless children. How 'bout childhood cancer. How 'bout Congenital Heart Defects....Why on earth go after a fast food chain?? You people need to get a LIFE!

Yep, I'm guilty. I have taken my kids to McDonald's for years and years. I've purchased the happy meals each time. My kids got nearly all the "mini" beanie babies from happy meals. So what??!! It was MY decision to take my kids to McDonald's. Mine! What's the difference...school lunches, in Michigan anyway, are terrible. Probably worse than McDonald's.

Happy meals and toys go hand in hand. It's up to the parent to NOT take their children there. If they don't want their kids to eat McDonald's and get a toy...then don't go to McDonald's! However, if the parents see no harm in the freaking toy...then so be it. Yeah, I know this group is all about the poor choice of food being served with the happy meal,,,but again,,,this falls upon the parent. NOT McDonald's.

It's like walking into a candy store with your kids, but telling them...sorry, no candy for you. Give me a break.

This is my sweet girl. Taken last August. I took Carly to McDonald's for my birthday! And because she had just had a blood draw, checking out her platelet count. Do you see a toy in this picture? Yep...it's on her wrist!

Seriously people...if you don't approve of McDonald's food and their happy meal toys...then don't take your kids there. It's really that simple!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I want to hit the rewind button of life.

As I sit here tonight, in our living room. Which once was filled with the laughter of our sweet girl. I realize. I'm all alone. My side kick is gone. Paul's in bed. Brad's in bed. Ashleigh is in Kalamazoo. And Carly, well my poor sweet girl lies in a grave, about 4 miles from our home. Which makes me physically ill.

As I wake each morning, my body aches and my stomach is in knots, even before my feet touch the floor. Which are all symptoms of grief. I close my eyes several times throughout the course of a couple of hours. If I'm up by 11, it's a good day for me. Yes, I said 11. I figure if I don't get up, I don't have to face the early mornings. Those early mornings, that I miss so much. My morning routine is forever changed. And I'm unsure what to do with myself. I can't for the life of me figure out what to do. Myself, hasn't existed for over 8 years. Myself. Alone. It sucks.

I can't really tell you what I do throughout the day. Time seems to be going so fast. The days just fly past. I hate that. I want to put the brakes on. I want to hit the rewind button of life and go back to April 22 with my happy go lucky little girl. Eventually, I do make my way to the shower, at some point. Some days, I may wash a load or two of clothes, but half the time I forget that I washed anything and by the next load, whenever that may be... I discover the sour smelling clothing left in my washer. Brad is home until about 3 each day, so I'm thankful that I'm not actually all alone all day. At that point, I head outside and sit in a yard chair. I sit there because I don't know what else to do. Paul shows up from work at various times. Normally by 5:30. He finds me sitting out there each day. I then head in to find something to scrounge up for supper. Then realize, it's the first bite of food I've eaten all day. Sometimes, actually quite often I realize that I haven't even had anything to drink all day. Other than a swig of water to take my blood pressure med and my anti-depressant. Then night time falls. Nights are just as bad as mornings. I'm used to bath time and bubbles and bath toys. Combing all that gorgeous hair of hers. Oh how I miss that hair. We had to blow dry her hair because she had so much of it. Air drying would take hours and hours and hours.

I feel like I m spinning at a rapid rate of speed. Spinning out of control. Going so fast that I can't stop. My mind is boggled. My legs are weak. My arms weigh 10 tons each, or at least they feel as if they do. My stomach has a constant knot in it. I can't sleep much. I'm up till the wee, wee hours of the morning. I'm having crazy wild dreams that don't make any sense at all. Which by the way, are all symptoms of grief. I've been sleeping (or trying to) on the couch. I just can't bring myself to climb into my bed. The bed that Carly slept in each night. I would tell her every night, "no Carly, you have to sleep in your bed". Well....she'd tell me, "NO, mama and Paul". Since she had us both wrapped around her little finger...she got her way. I'm unsure why it bothers me to lay in that bed. I can't even begin to explain it. Maybe I fear that I may turn over to gently pat her back, as I so often did...and she wont be there.

My memory seems to be shot these days. I can't remember anything anymore. Like the clothes in the washer. I can't remember what day it is. I can't remember what I made for dinner the night before. I panic if I can't find my cell phone, only to realize that I'm talking on it.

I visit Carly's grave often. Almost daily and sometimes more than once a day. Usually, if I go more than once, it's because I forgot something...like a jug of water for the plants/flowers. As I drive over to the cemetery, I feel like I'm in a dream. That there's no way possible for this to be real. Then I pull in and see her little grave and reality hits. I want to hit the rewind button of life and go back to April 22. when my girl was so happy go lucky. I want these days to slow down. I hate that the weeks are pressing forward without Carly. I hate wondering how to get through this.

Paul and I talk often of how lost we both feel. The emptiness that consumes our days. At any time at any place. We are reminded. Walking into a store. Walking out of a store. Going to the gas station. Driving by a park. Driving through the town where Carly went to school. Going to my parents house. Every place we go we are hit with the reality of loss and emptiness. We can be having a so so day and bamm...it's like slamming into a brick wall. At any given moment, our grief consumes us.

Last week, my mom and I went to a grief session group. We are suppose to go each Thursday night. However, I think it's too soon for me. I know that sounds nuts. But, I'm so full of anger. And this group is all about God. We all know, I'm not to good with him these days. I'm not sure I'll ever be good with him again. There is only one other person at that session who has lost a child. She lost her son in a car accident 7 years ago. Which scares the crap out of me. It makes me wonder just how good these group sessions are if you're still going after 7 years. These groups sit and talk about how grief works. Well guess what...I already know. I'm going through the process along with my entire family...I'm not sure I need them to tell me what I already know I feel. I know it's grief. We're going again tomorrow. Well, I guess today, since it's now 1:10 am on Thursday morning. I wont quit after one session. I'll give it a couple of weeks. However, private sessions may be better for me. Sessions where I can scream and cuss and complain. This group is NOT the place for that. It's only reaffirming what I already know and I don't know if that's of much use.

Guess that's it for my babbling tonight. I want to hit the rewind button of life...except, it doesn't exist.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Gift #3.

Another beauty of a gift that I received in the mail a few weeks ago. This is from another dear online friend, Debbie. It is so pretty! The picture doesn't do it justice at all. I'm just now realizing I should NOT have taken a picture of this necklace up against a red background! Hopefully, you will be able to tell,,,,,the necklace is copper colored. "Carly" is stamped on it. Attached to the chain is an angel charm. I LOVE it! Thank you Debbie.

I mentioned in a previous post, that Ashleigh loved these necklaces so much, (she wore the above necklace for an entire week) we ordered one for her. Hers is very much like my gift from Polly and Kristen. Ashleigh's larger pendant says, "forever sisters" and the smaller pendant has "Carly" stamped on it. She then added Carly's birthstone and a small heart charm. It's very nice and she hasn't taken it off, other than to shower, since it came in the mail!

Each of the necklaces that I have received are very special to me. I've had so many people comment on them. Of course everyone is very surprised when I tell them I'm receiving these gifts from people across the United States. People that I have never actually met in person. People who were brought into my life through my sweet little angel. To think, we've all connected here, online, because of one extra little chromosome. How powerful that extra little chromosome is. Amazing!

Again, thank you to all who have been showing our family so much support. I wish I could meet each and every one of you some day.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

No...it's not getting easier!

I can't even begin to tell you all, how many times we've been asked, "it's getting easier right?". Ummm...............NO. I understand that people just don't know what else to say, but to ask grieving parents/families, if it's getting easier just floors me/us. How could it possibly be getting easier when we visit our 8 year old daughter at a freaking cemetery? Most people can only compare the loss of a grandparent or even a parent, which I can't imagine losing a parent. Honestly, when it comes to burying your child, there seems to me that there would be no way to compare a loss.

On the day Carly died, part of me died with her. She and I were joined at the hip, ALWAYS. Where I went, she went. I fought tooth and nail for her. I walked beside her every inch of the way. Through all of many illnesses that she had to endure. I watched her walking straight up to the doorway of death more times than I care to count. I went to bat for her. Up against doctors, nurses, teachers, principals, special ed directors, etc.

Actually, we feel it's getting harder and harder as each day passes. We cry often. We feel our chests caving in almost daily and have a continuous knot in our guts. We are drained emotionally and physically. We aren't sleeping and barely eating. We are ANGRY, very, very ANGRY. We terribly lonely. We miss our sweet girl. We miss her silly grins and her hilarious laugh. I long to see my sweet girl on the bus each morning, waving and blowing me kisses goodbye. She waved & blew kisses every single morning for 3 years! I miss the daily, after school hugs each day when she'd get off the bus. I miss her voice to the point it almost kills me. I miss her naughty habits of 'flipping the bird' and 'sticking out her tongue'. I miss hearing her screaming, "PAUL, PAUL" (she wouldn't call him dad), each night when he comes home from work. I miss the complete and total mess that our sweet girl could make within a blink of an eye. I miss my living room looking like Toys R Us during Christmas shopping time - it still does look like Toys R Us, but everything is put away. (Our living room was Carly's playroom). I miss her music blasting. I miss her TV shows, although I can't bring myself to watch, Hannah Montana, Zach and Cody, Yo GaBa GaBa or iCarly.

Little things seem to cause us many tears too. Monday Paul was in the bathroom and came out crying. I asked him if he was okay. His response, "I just saw Carly's toothbrush". That's all it takes. A toothbrush to cause our heart to break all over again.

Yesterday Paul and I stopped at a store to pick up some meat to grill. The cashier told Paul, "oh, my that's a really nice bracelet". The bracelet is one of Carly's. A very colorful, little girls bracelet. The cashier was teasing him about a man wearing a little kids bracelet. Paul and I looked at each other and he dropped his head. I went on to tell this lady that it was our daughter's who passed away in April. I also told her that Carly was just 8 years old. The lady's chin hit the counter. She told us that her grandchildren go to the same elementary school that Carly went to. I know the lady felt really bad for teasing about the bracelet, but I also knew that at some point, someone would say something. As far as bracelets,,,Ashleigh and I each wear one of Carly's bracelets too. As we walked out the door of the store, the cashier yelled to us, "I'm sorry for your loss". Paul just cringes when he hears that. He told me he can't figure out why that phrase bothers him so. He said he thinks it's the way it's said...Like, oh...sorry you stubbed your toe.

How we will go on with out her, I have no idea. Carly was the one who kept us going. Through all of her illnesses, near death experiences. She brought us through. Carly would just keep marching forward and we would march along side her. Well...now what?

Thankfully, the loss of a child is very uncommon. So much so, Carly's coffin had to be ordered and shipped via airplane and overnighted. I like to believe that people just don't know what to say to us and more often than not, they say the exact wrong thing. I don't believe people are being cruel...but it still stings us and probably always will. So the answer to the question, "so, it's getting easier"? The answer is NO!