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

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Last night, was a rough one. I couldn't sleep. I was sick to my stomach all through the night. I kept waking up wanting to go throw up, but fighting it. Going back to sleep, waking up, wanting to throw up...it went on and on, all. freaking. night.
As the night wore on, it hit me. I realized...that my restlessness and sick stomach was likely due to the fact that today, 10-23-11, is our 18month anniversary of losing the most precious little girl ever.
18 months ago, at this very moment, our lives turned completely upside down. We miss this little girl so, so very much. We can not believe it has been 18 long, miserable, trying months since we last heard her voice. Since we last held her in our arms. It sickens us each and every day. Our hearts forever broke, just 18 months ago.
Today, we are sickened even more. More than I EVER thought possible. Our hearts are no longer broke...they have completely shattered. Shattered, very likely, forever.
15 days ago, we lost our precious, only son. Much to the rumors that have surfaced...which are completely off base. Actually, ALL of them are WAY off base..We have some really mouthy firefighters, who we WILL see reprimanded in the very near future for running their mouths and gossiping over an on going State Police investigation. They had rumors soaring even BEFORE we, Brad's family, were told that in fact, a body had been discovered inside of our home.
As far as what took place, I can not say much about it. (police instructions). What I can say is this, our son, our ONLY son, Brad lost his life on October 8, 2011. Our home is pretty much a loss too. Fire broke out and Brad did not survive. I wish so badly that I could clear the air of all the gossip/rumors that are going around. I will/can say this, Brad WAS NOT COOKING METH...that IS an all out lie. Nothing but a rumor and gossip. Which to us, is very disrespectful to our son's name and to our family.
We thought that life could not get any worse for our family. We were wrong. On that horrific night of the fire, Paul and I left our home at about 5:15pm. We left Brad in our home, and headed to Auto Zone to pick up a part for Ashleigh's car. After Auto Zone, we stopped to eat dinner at one of our favorite steak places. At 6:03pm, I placed a call to Brad's cell phone. He answered. I asked him if he wanted us to pick something up for him for dinner because I was not going to be cooking. He asked me where we were. I told him. He said, "Sure, I'll take a steak." I asked, "medium well?" He replied, "No, medium. And I want steak fries too. How much longer are you going to be?" I answered him, "about 1-1/2hrs." To which he said, "okay, bye." At approximately 7:25pm (we were headed home with Brad's food) my cell rang, it was my girlfriend, Vivian, asking me where I was. I told her that we were in Lansing. What she said to me next, made my heart STOP. Completely stop. Viv said, "Joany, your house is on fire." I think I hung up on her, not sure. I started frantically calling Brad's phone. He never answered. Paul held the gas pedal to the floor, turned on his flashers and I'm quite certain our tires never hit the pavement. In between frantically calling Brad's cell, I then called my parents, no answer. I called my brother and told him to get to my house. (My brother and sister in-law are about 12miles from our house.) I also told him I couldn't get a hold of Brad, he wasn't answering his phone and that our house was on fire. I then called my girlfriend, Tracy, who lives about 5minutes from us. I told her to get to my house, which she and her husband both did.
As Paul and I pulled in as close as we could to our home, we looked frantically for Brad. We ran toward our home, only to be stopped in our tracks by the Michigan State Police. We looked around, past the cop, we just knew he would see Brad standing outside with my girlfriend and my brother. He was not. The State Police were putting crime scene tape around our entire yard. We were told, "this is a crime scene" You see, something took place within our home. Something that we have been told very little about, as of yet. People only speculate. Many things were not right within our home that night. Whatever happened took place in just about 1hr. From the 6:03 phone call I placed to Brad, to around 7pm when my girlfriend, Viv's brother just happened to be driving past our home. He was the first on on the scene. He called 911 at 7:11pm.
We are in shock to this day. We are physically sick. We are numb. We are lost. We are devastated.
We've lost our son. We've lost our home. We've lost who we are...again.

The above picture is one of my favorite pictures. This pic shows the love between a brother and his little sister. Although our hearts are shattered, we try to hold on to the fact that two of our precious children are reunited.
Brad and Carly had their "thing", so to speak. Brad ALWAYS insisted that Carly give him high 5's. Always. Whenever their paths crossed, which was often,,,we'd hear Brad say, "Carly, high 5. Carly, use your left hand." (for those of you who remember, Carly had swelling of the brain during a nearly fatal blood infection while on chemo. The swelling affected her left side, mainly her arm and hand. This was Brad's way to get Carly to use her left hand.) And she would do as her "Bubba" told her! But then, as he walked away, she would throw out her infamous, 'flipping the bird' at him. It was typical brother bothering little sister and little sister getting irratated with her big brother. It was their thing. We know that Carly greeted her "Bubba" with that very infamous 'flipping the bird' and he greeted her with many high 5's.
Although we know they are together, it makes it no easier for us to bear this horrific loss. We stand at the foot of Brad's grave in absolute disbelief. We glance over to Carly's grave and the feeling we get is just nothing we can even begin to describe. When the plots at the cemetery were purchased, 18months ago, 4 were bought. paul will be to the right of Carly (that's how we slept each night) and I will be to the left of Carly...Brad was laid to rest to the right of where my final resting place will be. I will be buried between 2 of my children.
**forgive me, I'm using my mother's computer and for some reason, I've had a terrible time trying to get my blog to look "right". Excuse the run on sentences/paragraphs...I don't feel like sitting here trying to make her computer do what I want it too. It looks okay on my end, until I hit the preview button** No title either...nothing seems fitting to me.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Broken hearts

as I've been saying over the past several days,
shattered hearts.

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Last week,we went into the local florist
to pick out flowers, for yet another dam funeral for another child of ours.

Another child lost in a senseless death.
Another of our children, taken far too soon.

As we glanced through the many photo albums
full of beautiful flowers
I spotted this, broken heart.
I knew as soon as I laid my eyes on it,
this was the floral arrangement that was
very fitting of our feelings over the loss of our son.
Our feelings of this horrific loss.

Paul and I talk quite often over HOW this living nightmare
could have possibly taken place.
HOW can this be happening to our family again?
HOW can we be going through this, again?

We've talked about reading this type of horror story,
in magazine articles.
You know the kind.
Where parents tell the story of their gut
wrenching losses of their children.
Not one, but two. (or sometimes more.)
We remember thinking back over those types of stories.
Thinking, my gosh, how can those parents go on living
after suffering such horrendous losses...
And now, here we are. We are one of those families.
One of those stories that you think,
you will only ever read about in magazines.

Unsure of how to go on really.
Unsure if we will ever be able to go back to our home
and actually live there.
The home our son died in.

As of now, our home is unlivable.
We've been back to our house,but only outside.
We have stood at our son's bedroom window,
which is boarded shut, and cried our eyes out.
As we stood crying, we wondered,
how we can go back to the very home
where one of our children lost their lives.

The real kick in the ass is-
we are still trying to learn how to live our lives without Carly.
And now, just 18 freakin' months later,
we are having to go through this loss, of our only son.

We have no idea how we will get through this.

How did a family of 5,
become a family of 3, in just 18 months time?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Unimaginable...

has happened AGAIN to our family.

8 days ago, we lost our 21yr old son and our home, to a house fire. I cannot go into any details other than, there was a fire that broke out in our home while Paul and I were out to eat. A girlfriend of mine, whose brother just happened to be driving past our home, discovered smoke rolling out of our windows. He stopped and approached the house, even opening the door and crawling in on his hands and knees approximately 6ft., but had to turn back.

I will blog more at a later time, but for now I will leave you with pictures of our son.

Bradley Paul George
11/4/89 - 10/8/11

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Our hearts are beyond being broken. They are shattered.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

One Day At A Time...

One day at a time is all I can do …
One day at a time to stop grieving for you
One day at a time for my soul to not ache
To stop shedding hot tears; for my heart not to break.

One day at a time is all I can do …
One day at a time to stop yearning for you
One day at a time for my empty arms
To stop clutching you close against nightmare’s alarms.

One day at a time is all I can do …
One day at a time blindly stumbling through
One day at a time, the motions of life …
To stop fighting against unceasing pain and strife.

One day at a time is all I can do
One day at a time in memory of you …
One day at a time to make your life worth
Your painful loss, all too soon after your birth.

~borrowed from my online grief support group~

The words "One Day At A Time" seem to be used quite often in our home these days. Paul and I seem to use them a lot. Not sure if we are hoping against all hope that one day life will be a bit easier for us..or, if we are trying to convince ourselves of something that we know full well, will never be easier.

This past week I seem to be at the cemetery more often. Paul too. Paul is having such a difficult time the last few weeks. I'm sure part of that is the fact that Ashleigh is gone now. Ashleigh kept our family "balanced". She kept us in line. On track. And gave us HELL when she knew we needed a swift kick to the A double S! I'm pretty sure that may have a lot to do with how awful we have felt the past several days.

Tonight, Paul was telling me how awful he feels, sick even, after leaving the cemetery. I told him that maybe he needed to have a break from stopping so often. Probably it wasn't the best thing to tell him. He just wept..broke completely down. I sure don't have much advise for him. We're like the blind leading the blind here. We've never done this before and it just plain sucks.

Some days are better than others, but in all honesty, no days are good days. It's like a feeling of having the wind knocked out of you time and time again. I think that most everyone can relate to that feeling. Right? Just imagine having that constant feeling. It sucks..and, well, that's the feeling we have on a daily basis. Some days worse than others...but every day, at some point, that is the exact feeling we have. Our doctor and the counselor both, have told us this is all a common form of grief. It will go on for an undetermined amount of time. We were told we need to just "take one day at a time"...but to be brutally honest, most days...One Day At A Time is just 24hrs too much.