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

Thursday, December 30, 2010

All it takes

...to get the tears rolling. It isn't much, I promise you that.

Anything can get our tears rolling these days. Just yesterday Paul and I sat watching All in the Family on TVLand when good old Archie Bunker gave his little niece an Eskimo kiss. That's all it took. A clip of a TV show that's over 30yrs old, and Paul's tears were rolling. Carly and Paul quite often gave Eskimo kisses to each other. Carly got such a kick out of that. It's hard to believe that the clip of a TV show is all it takes.

Yesterday afternoon, I had to do a couple of errands. I walked into one of our local stores, got my cart and then I heard it. It, being a song that came on over the PA system. The song was "The Climb," by Miley Cyrus. It was one of Carly's favorite songs and was the last song that was played at her funeral. I held it together, only because so many people were in that store. I didn't want to make a scene. I didn't want people to see some nut job lady crying her eyes out. I got what I needed and headed to my car. Once in my car and lost it. That's all it takes, a song on the radio.

Monday night, Paul walked in the house with the mail. He looked a mess and I could tell he had been crying. He placed the mail on the washing machine and just stood in the doorway looking at me. I picked up the mail and saw a check. I couldn't find any explanation as to why we had this check. I sorted and sorted through the rest of the mail. My fingers were fumbling and mail was falling on the floor. I was getting riled up. And Paul stood watching. I remember asking, "what's this check for?" "why did we get this?" "who's this from?" and he just stood there, saying nothing. At that point, Ashleigh was standing next to me. I was getting overly excited over this check, and I don't mean in a good way. I saw that the check was from our health insurance company. But my head was a mess. And then, I picked up a letter. A letter that had been enclosed with the check. It was Carly's death benefit. The reality of the letter took my breath away. And I lost it. The tears came pouring out, along with hyperventilating. I knew this check was coming. I knew eventually we would open that check. But, all it takes, is the reality of this nightmare slapping us in the face. The reality printed out in black and white.

Finding a special toy. Finding a sock. Seeing a favorite book. Flipping through the channels on the TV. Hearing a song on the radio. Walking through the Mall, past the Gymboree store and past the kiddie rides. Seeing a little girl about Carly's size. Etc,,,Etc,,,Etc,,, is all it takes.

**I'm working on a couple of posts from our first miserable Christmas eve and Christmas day without our little girl. Just finding it a bit harder to write about than I though.**

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Quilt

Check out this quilt.

It was made by Cindy Yunke,
in memory of Carly.
This quilt is filled with photo's of Carly.
Special, precious, treasured photo's.

There are also several of our friends beautiful little
faces surrounding Carly's photo's.
I did snap several pictures of each little friend,
and planned on putting them here for you all
to see.... but...blogger wouldn't let me load them all
Hopefully you can see your child if you "click"
to enlarge the following picture
and hopefully, you will find your child.

As I opened this package on Christmas morning,
I found a letter. I tried to read it, but broke
down in tears. I couldn't even get through a letter,
so I knew when spread out this quilt...I
was in some serious trouble.
Paul and I sat crying our eyes out.
Looking at all these precious pictures.
And crying because so many people care
so very deeply for us and our pain that
we continue to feel each and every day
without Carly here with us.

Thank you Cindy, for making this beautiful
quilt. And for all the time you spent working
to get it done and to us for Christmas.

Thank you to Susan Collins-Berg, for coming up with
this idea. What a way to keep Carly's memory alive.

Even though this quilt has brought
us many, many tears, we love it.

I leave you with a couple of quotes from Cindy's letter.

"A prayer went up for you and yours with every measurement, cut and stitch that went into the making of this quilt."


"Although my hands have stitched and patched this memory quilt for Carly and your family, the threads that hold it together are from your family and community of friends that share that extra chromosome."

Sunday, December 19, 2010


The last 8 months I find myself taking many deep breaths. Often times due to anxiety. Often times because I get a gnawing feeling deep down in the pit of my stomach. Which, I suppose is all due to anxiety. I literally have to make myself take several deep breaths while counting to 10, 15, 20 etc. I guess the counting technique is suppose to help calm you down. Who knows. Sometimes it seems to work and other times not so much. There are times, I feel as though I can't breathe at all. I feel like I'm gasping for breath.

Today, I insisted that Paul go shopping with me. Which was probably a big mistake. He was not very happy about going, but honestly...neither was I. We met Ashleigh at the Mall after she got off work. Let me just say, it was NOT a pleasant time. I took many deep breaths today while shopping. Paul drove me crazy! The minute we got to the Mall, he started.."I'm ready to go. I can't take it" I had to just walk away from him and breathe. Had I not walked away from him, he would have gotten an ear full, which would not have been a good thing because I would have regretted it. I know I would have. But, I've done all the Christmas shopping this year. ALL of it. It was not easy for me. Trust me, this has been incredibly hard for me this year. So, in a nut shell... I'm pissed about it! All of the shopping was put on my shoulders this year. I think Paul sometimes forgets, that he's not the only one who is suffering this huge loss. Thankfully, Ashleigh ended up calling Paul out on his pissy attitude, which changed his attitude up a bit. He seems to listen to her...and tends to think I'm nagging! Imagine that,,,a husband who thinks his wife nags! I do still think it was best for me to just walk away while at the Mall and take several deep breaths, count very slowly to about 15 and pop a Xanax.

Our ride home was kind of quiet. But I really think it was just the new found reality that the last 8 months has thrown our way. I don't know about Paul, but I sat staring out the window looking at all the Christmas lights with tears running quietly down my face. Sitting in silence and wondering just how in the hell we are going to get through this. How can our lives possibly go on without Carly?

Now don't go thinking we are having marital problems. We are not. This is the reality of a first Christmas without our baby girl. It sucks. It's very hard. Harder than most of you could ever imagine. Seeing everyone running around happy go lucky...and then there's us. Sad. Miserable. Envious. Us. We're trying to figure out how in the heck we are going to get through the next several days. We feel like we are walking through a fog. We feel like the walls are closing in on us. Sadly, it seems to be the new way of living for us these day.

I've been getting several comments and emails from people who are floored that I can still actually get up each day and put one foot in front of the other. Well, let me just say that many days I don't get up until very late in the morning. When I do finally get myself up, it's often due to the fact that I have forced myself up. I have no desire to get up each morning at all. None. Am I depressed? You bet. All four of us are depressed. And I can honestly say, I don't know if we will ever not be depressed.

Once you witness your 8 year old daughter/sister suffering a cardiac arrest in the middle of your living room, out of the clear blue and being in the damn ER screaming at the doctor "Do NOT stop working on my baby." Begging the doctor to give Carly another Epi shot. And I mean, I was BEGGING. Being told "it's to late." Being told "your daughter is dead." Screaming at the ER doc to do it again. Screaming for the doctor to give one more shot of Epi. And so, she did. It was the 10th Epi shot given to Carly in about a 40 minute span. I think this is more than enough reason to leave a person extremely depressed.

Also, knowing that your 24 year old daughter, who was Carly's very best friend and vise-versa, had to be told over the phone that her little sister was was gone. Well, actually, my dad had to do that. I begged him not to tell Ashleigh over the phone, but he convinced us that it had to be done. She had to be told. That there would be no time better than another. Ashleigh did in fact know that something was happening with Carly that day. Brad called her and told her that something was wrong and that Carly was gone in the ambulance. Then we found out that Ashleigh collapsed on the floor at work when being told about Carly. Having your 21 year old son escorted into the ER seeing his mom holding the lifeless body of his baby sister. Having your oldest walk into your parents house and collapse in your lap. All of this justifies MAJOR depression. All of this justifies my very deep seeded anger.

The only possible option we have in order to even attempt get through this, is to BREATHE. I just hope that none of us forgets how.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Finding Our Way

Finally. Finally I sat down to write a post on this very neglected blog. I just have a hard time sitting here some days. I want to, but once I sit down...my mind just goes blank. So tonight, I decided to sit down and just do a post.

Recently we received a letter in the mail from our health insurance company. The letter is asking for "proof" of Carly's death. Can you believe they want proof?? How much more proof do they need? They know we attend counseling-they had to approve it. They needed to decide if we "qualified" for grief counseling services? Once I explained to the insurance company the reason we needed counseling all I heard was a gasp on the other end of the phone. And the gal I talked with, said something like..oh Mrs. George, Carly was only an 8 year old. Ummm, No kidding! Needless to say, we were approved for grief counseling. And that was the end of that.

Or so I thought..

Last week I opened a letter from the insurance company. The letter that wanted "proof" of Carly's death. Which sent an eerie feeling through me. The letter also stated that we had to provide a certified copy of Carly's death certificate..that's eerie enough in itself..along with a photo copy of her birth certificate and a copy of Paul's drivers license. The reason for the letter was explained in the last paragraph. It read something like this - We need to process the death benefit for your daughter, but first we need the necessary items listed above along with this form which needs to be completed by you. You just can't imagine the eerie feeling that came over me while reading that letter. Not sure why, maybe due to the shitty holidays that are coming at us full force. Maybe reading the requests for such items. And maybe because reality slapped me right square in the face, yet again.

As far as a death benefit, we had no idea we had any kind of death benefit for Carly. And really, why would we know that? Who thinks they will ever bury their child? We certainly never imagined it. Even through all of Carly's illnesses and near death situations that she faced in her 8 short years, we NEVER thought death would come to her so early in her life. Not when she was healthy the last 3+ years of her life. We fully expected that she would out live us. And so did her doctors. I often worried how she would go on without "mama" and "Paul" I often wondered if she would ever be able to understand death. I worried about how she would go on without us quite a bit actually. I worried about who would watch over her. Make sure she attended all her doctor appointments. Who would make sure she wasn't taken advantage of by all the ignorant people in the world. I knew she would be in the hands of her "Bubba" and "Sissy", but I worried about how she would go on without us. Paul and Carly and I, we were pretty close.

oops...my computer just had a glitch and somehow it published my post without me doing a thing! Sorry!!

So, tonight I sat down and filled out the dreaded paperwork that the insurance company requested. I made photo copies of Carly's birth certificate and Paul's license and I enclosed the ugly death certificate too. Tomorrow I will stick the envelope in the mail to make the insurance company happy.

As far as how we are doing,,well truthfully, we are just going through the motions of every day life. Life stinks around here these days. Especially with the holidays here. Not sure how to get through Christmas. This year is our very first year without a small child. I'm betting it's really going to be hard on all of us. We're just going to play it by ear. Whatever we can do, we will do. We did eventually get our tree decorated. Ashleigh and I did it last weekend. It only sat in the living room for a week with nothing on it! We went out and bought new decorations, mainly because no one could imagine going through our Christmas decorations that we have gone through each year. No one felt like stirring the pot and making a hard task even harder. We bought decorations that match the tree that we did for Carly's grave so our tree looks just like hers. We didn't put many decorations on ours tho., Ashleigh and I just did enough so it didn't look bare.

Thanks for all those who are participating in a candle for Carly. It was started by one of my facebook friends. She asked me if I would mind if she lit a candle for Carly on Christmas day. I told her it would be fine. Well, she started an event on facebook and the last time I checked, nearly 800 people were participating! I never imagined anything like this. Our girl still has a way of touching so many lives. Oddly enough, most of the people who are participating, never even met Carly, or us for that matter.

We will continue on as we have for nearly 8 months, finding our way through what has proved to be the most difficult time in our lives.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sad reality

As all of you put up Christmas decorations.
We decorate the grave of our 8 year old.

This is our sad reality.


The child size grave blanket.
A child should NOT have need for a grave blanket.

This is our sad reality.

We decorated a small Christmas tree for Carly's grave.
As you can see, the tree is full of purple and red decorations,
along with candy cane decorations.
Carly LOVED putting candy canes on our Christmas tree.
She loved eating them too!
I even found strings of red solar Christmas lights.

This is our sad reality.

The following is a picture of the entire grave site.
A purple wreath.
Solar Christmas lights.
Solar candy cane lights.
Even a lawn ornament of Santa,,
"Ho Ho" as Carly called him.
And the child sized grave blanket with
red and purple ornaments
topped with a red and purple bow.

This is our sad reality.

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**We have decided to put a tree up. Ashleigh thinks we need to. Ashleigh also had the idea to decorate our tree just like we did Carly's tree.**