"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, June 9, 2011

Fear and Anxiety..

...both reared their ugly head at me today. Actually, this week has not been a good one. Fear and anxiety have been hovering all around. It's been terrible. Some days, I really just don't want to get out of bed for fear of, well..fear.

Fear and anxiety are very similar, at least they are for me.


noun /fi(ə)r/ 
fears, plural

  1. An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat
    • - drivers are threatening to quit their jobs in fear after a cabby's murder
    • - fear of increasing unemployment
    • - he is prey to irrational fears

  2. A mixed feeling of dread and reverence
    • - the love and fear of God

  3. A feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety and well-being of someone
    • - police launched a search for the family amid fears for their safety

  4. The likelihood of something unwelcome happening
    • - she could observe the other guests without too much fear of attracting attention

Wednesday, Ashleigh and I drove up to Carly's elementary to drop off the books I purchased to donate to the school library. It was such an eerie feeling walking through those front doors of that school again. It was fear staring me straight in the face. Or was it anxiety? A combination of both I think. I could remember so well, walking in to pick Carly up for appointments or even after school. Carly would see me, as she walked toward the office, she'd get so excited and run and jump into my open arms. What I wouldn't give to have her jumping into my arms again. ugh. And so, we went in and dropped the books off at the office. No big to do. Just walked in, dropped them off, along with a retirement card for the elementary secretary, who saw all three of our kids (well,,except of course, Carly), through elementary school. Got a hug from the secretary, and then ran smack dab..face to face, into that awful 1rst grade teacher of Carly's. Oh my god..I wanted to smack the crap out of that woman. She just smiled and said, "hi!" The whole drop off took about 3 minutes. We didn't see any of Carly's classmates and I was thankful for that. Because I feared them. I feared, that I would bust out crying.

Wednesday night, I went with Paul to his doctor appointment. I mentioned the fact that I'd been having a terrible headache for several days. I ended up getting a shot of Toradol, for a 3 day migraine. It helped, for a bit. But, of course, my head is booming again today. I'll be back to the doctor soon. And likely back on my oral migraine meds. I haven't had to take migraine meds in years. I also found out that the anti depressants that I take, are soon to be, no more. Lovely. My doc informed me that he's going to have to switch my meds up. I HATE the thought of changing those meds. I don't like the side effects of new meds. I don't like the way your body has to adjust to new meds..especially these kinds of meds. I've been on this particular med since 2006. So now, I have all sorts of anxiety going on,,,just because of an upcoming change in medication.

Today, I had the mother of all panic/anxiety attacks. It was crazy. I was out mowing the yard and as usual, Carly was on my mind, but that's really nothing new. All of a sudden, I couldn't remember what size shoe she wore. It threw me into a tizzy. I just freaked out. How could I forget my daughters shoe size? What the hell is wrong with me? And why on earth would I even be thinking about her shoe size? Then I got to thinking, who would ever forget the size shoe that their child wore? I did..that's who. And it stung my heart terribly and then it pissed me off. I did eventually remember. She had just gone into a toddler size 9.

Now, I'm left wondering, is this the first of many things that I am going to forget? I don't want to forget. I want to remember every. little. thing. about Carly. Her pant size, her shoe size, her giggle, her pivot-off one foot as she pranced around the house. I want to remember her, "huh huh" quick little laugh she'd do when she turned the channel on the TV or cranked out her boom box,,even after being told not to do either. I want to remember, forever, the way she would sneak her food to her dog, Penny and the way she would wave her hand in front of her face, while wrinkling up her little nose and sniffing..when something tasted bad to her, or if something smelled. And just now, I remember how her underpants drove her nuts. Carly had no butt. I'm not kidding, she had a teeny tiny little butt. Which caused all her underpants to be a little baggy on her bottom! I constantly had to fix her underpants. Poor kid. As silly as the underpants memory is, I don't want to forget it. Ever.

My mind continued on, during my mowing. I thought about the last time I played with Carly during the month of June. Then I had chills running up and down my spine. It was the year before last. The freaking year before last. How can that be? Then fear came out..as I rode along on the mower. I was thinking, oh my god, before we know it, we're going to be saying..5yrs..10yrs..20yrs. And that takes my breath completely away. The more years that go past, make me fear that our memories will fade. And that really scares me.

The sad thing about fear and anxiety, for a bereaved parents is---you have to face both. There is no way around either of them. You have to live through each of them. You can't avoid either one. It sucks that both, will be with us for the rest of our lives. Sure, they both may fade a bit from time to time, but from what I have been told...both stay uncomfortably close, never leaving your side for very long.


noun /aNGˈzī-itē/ 
anxieties, plural

  1. A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome
    • - he felt a surge of anxiety
    • - anxieties about the moral decline of today's youth

  2. Desire to do something, typically accompanied by unease
    • - the housekeeper's eager anxiety to please

  3. A nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks

Saturday, June 4, 2011

And so we went...

***this post was done a year ago. I knew I had done a post about our donating books to Carly's elementary school and to her classmates,,,but....I never actually posted it. Soooo, below you will see the post I did, a year ago. Followed by an updated post from today!***


....to visit Carly's school.

Last Friday, Paul, Ashleigh, my mom and I (we couldn't get Brad or my dad to go) headed to Dansville Elementary School. It proved to be much more difficult than I had thought it would be. Actually, it was very difficult, for us, for the kids and the staff. Many tears were shed today. Carly is deeply missed.

Several weeks ago, we received a letter in the mail from the Elementary Principal, informing us that the staff and kids were really wanting to do something within the school, in Carly's memory. The letter stated that the staff had talked with the kids in Carly's classroom, shortly after Carly's passing. The kids were asked what they would like to do, within the school, to remember Carly. Well, the kids knew Carly so well and they knew her love for books was so great. When asked if they would like to "make a Carly's Corner" inside the library, complete with a primary size table and chair set. The kids were thrilled with the idea and all said "yes" And so, it was decided. Carly's Corner would be set up in the spot that Carly always sat and read her library books. The principal even had a name plate made and placed on the table. The letter invited our family to come to the school and view, Carly's Corner.

After receiving that letter, I knew that I wanted to donate some of Carly's books to the school library. I wanted to insert name plates inside of each book. Paul and I headed to Office Max, bought some labels and then hit my brother and sister in-law up for the project!! I probably could have done it myself, but my mind is a scattered mess these days.

We placed Carly's first grade picture on each label with a memorial message. After deciding to donate to the library, I decided that I wanted to give each classmate one of Carly's favorite books too. Carly loved those kids and they loved her. We had name plates made up for each of those books also, the message was just a little different.

When last Friday came, I was a nervous wreck. We walked into the school office where we met up with the school secretary, Mary Fran. Mary Fran has been there for 22 years! She saw both, Ash and Brad through elementary school. Seeing her really set the tears in motion. She hugged us each and cried with us. And then we headed down the hallway toward Carly's classroom. Oh my gosh, was that ever a hard walk. The tears were flowing down each of our faces. We tried to pull ourselves together before heading into the classroom. We tried, but didn't really succeed. Thankfully, the teacher had explained to the kids that this may be a very sad visit for us. Carly's aide, resource teacher and OT were there as well and cried along with us.

Once we settled ourselves down, I managed to finally speak to the kids. I told them how much Carly loved her friends and how she would be so happy that we were giving each one of them, one of her favorite books. I handed out a book to each child. The two most favorite books, went to Carly's two best friends; Hannah and Shanna. The kids were very happy to each receive one of her books. I pointed out the name plate that was placed inside of each cover. Their faces lit up when they saw Carly's pictures. One little boy kept saying, "look, it's Carly. It's Carly!"

One little guy asked me, "what's wrong with your eyes?" The aide explained that I was sad. The little guy said, "because Carly's in Heaven, and that makes us sad right?"

Hannah, broke into some horrible tears. She was a mess. The poor little girl just loved Carly. And when she found out that she had one of Carly's favorite books, the poor little girl just lost it. I sat and talked with her, hugged her and told her how good of a friend she was to Carly. She told me, "but I miss her so much." That broke my heart. Hannah was one of 7 of Carly's classmates who came to visitation at the funeral home.

Shanna, who has been Carly's friend since they were 3 yrs old, told us that she was going to take special care of her book. Shanna is the little friend who came to the funeral home and absolutely insisted, that Carly would come back from Heaven and play with her again. In fact, the class made a poster the day before the funeral and delivered it to the funeral home. Each child wrote something special to Carly and to us. Shanna wrote, "Carly, please come back from Heaven and play with me again." That almost knocked us to our knees..


One year later. Wow. I can not believe I never actually posted the above post. In fact, I discovered several posts that have yet to be posted. Oops. Guess I'm a slacker. I really do need to get several of them posted. Hopefully I will get on that, before another year passes.

We decided that we wanted to continue to donate books to the Dansville Elementary Library, each year. I went online the other day and ordered 10 nice new books. I placed a name plate in each one and we will head off to the school next week.

I went to Amazon and browsed several hundred books! I wanted to get a few of the "easy readers", which is what Carly was into. I also wanted to get some books that I knew Carly would enjoy having read to her, but were at a higher level of reading than where she was at.

The Big Book Of Bugs, would have been one of her FAVORITES. She would have flipped over this book! Carly was all about bugs, frogs, snakes, turtles...everything I disliked!!

She would have also loved having me read The Random House Book of Poetry. She loved listening to poems and fairy tales. I used to read to her, a book that my brother and sister in-law got for Ash, when Ash was a toddler. It came from England, where they were stationed while in the Air Force. That book was full of poems and fairy tales. In fact, one day while I was reading that book to her, she spelled her first word! She saw a toy box full of toys and toys on the floor surrounding the toy box, Carly signed to me, T O Y S! Anyone who knows sign, knows, you actually spell the word out. I almost fell off the couch.

These are all the books I picked out this year. I know that Carly would have sat and read each and every one of these books for hours on end. She loved her books! She had about a million of them. And I'm not exaggerating! She would ask me to get, "all books, all mama" then she'd head to the couch and I'd carry her a STACK off one of her book shelves. She would sit and look at those books for hours on end.

I hope the kids enjoy these books, as much as I know, Carly would have.