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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Survivor, Surviving...

My Mom Is A Survivor

My Mom is a survivor, or so I've heard it said.
But I hear her crying at night when all others are in bed.
I watch her lay awake at night and go to hold her hand.
She doesn't know I'm with her to help her understand.
But like the sands on the beach that never wash away...
I watch over my surviving mom, who thinks of me each day.
She wears a smile for others...a smile of disguise.
But through Heaven's door I see tears flowing from her eyes.
My mom tries to cope with death to keep my memory alive.
But anyone who knows her knows it is her way to survive.
As I watch over my surviving mom...through Heaven's open door.
I try to tell her that angels protect me forever more.
But I know that doesn't help her or ease the burden she bears.
So if you get a chance, go visit her...And show her that you care.
For no matter what she says...no matter what she feels.
My surviving mom has a broken heart that time won't ever heal~


I think I've mastered the "smile of disguise" and it's harder than you could ever begin to imagine. I am surviving and so is Paul. I'm not quite sure how, because the whole process of surviving is hard work.

Paul and I have been having a rough time the past week or so. Facing the fact, the harsh reality of life without both Carly and Brad has been tough the last several days. This whole grieving thing, it isn't getting any easier for either of us and some days, it's nearly unbearable.

As March rolls in, our fears of Carly's approaching 2yr angel anniversary are becoming crystal clear. It's pretty scary for us. We can't believe we are coming up on the 2yr mark. And we can't believe that we've lost another child during that time. We are living a real, live, freaking nightmare.

They say, whoever they are...the experts on grief, I guess. Anyway, they say the 2nd year is the hardest to get through ~ during the grieving process, of a lifetime. We wouldn't know. Because during that time, we lost our son, Brad. Grieving 2 kids is hard. Very hard. We've been so numb over losing Brad that we haven't been able to hit the 2yr grieving mark for Carly. They, say the 2nd year of the grieving process is a huge hurdle to clear..it's suppose to be the very hardest part of this gut wrenching journey. But, it's important because..supposedly, when you get through the 2 year mark, things start getting more bearable. Not easier, just a bit more bearable because all of the "firsts" are over with..behind you. Such as; the first Christmas, birthday or any other special day.

We keep pushing forward and we're trying so hard to survive, but it's the hardest thing we've ever done in our lives. You can't imagine how hard it is for us to get up each morning, and just function. I'm home all day. Paul goes to work each day. We talk to each other several times a day and I can hear the life just draining out of his voice. He is in such awful shape. I worry about him all day long. He cries nearly all the time. Yes, he's on med's, (we both are) but in all honesty, med's don't heal a broken heart. A broken heart, times two.

Ashleigh is the only reason that Paul and I can face each day. She gives us the will to go on with our lives. It's really hard to have her 800 miles away from us right now, but at least we can talk to her whenever we want. Paul and I worry about her every single day. How that girl continues to move forward with her life is beyond me. She has such strength and determination. Despite the fact that she has lost both of her siblings. I'd have to say, she's pretty darn amazing. I feel so terrible though, because she "parents" us every now and then. Not kidding. It's like a role reversal. She sees us hanging at the end of our rope and she pulls us back in.

Surviving, is an awful hard job.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Just A Glimpse...

...of how our lives are changing. A new life. Not one that we ever asked for. Not one that we ever wanted. Not one that we'd wish on anyone. But, this change, it is inevitable..and this change completely SUCKS.

I've posted before that we are not happy about this new home. We aren't excited about it. We aren't looking forward to moving in to it. In fact, we are terrified to move into it. But we are thankful that our insurance co., realized that we just could not live in our old home, even after they rebuilt it. We are thankful that the cost of rebuilding our home was so high, it afforded us the chance to just get a new home. No way could we have ever lived in that same house. The house where our son took his very last breath. No Way! At this point, we aren't sure we'll even be able to live in this new home. It may prove to be much too difficult for us.

Below is, just a glimpse of our new home. We like this home. We have to, right? I mean, we have to live in it, so therefore, we have to like it. Right??? But, and that's a very BIG BUT,,, at the very same time, we don't..like it. We like nothing about it. It makes us sad. Makes us angry. Makes us feel guilty. Guilty for liking the house. Confused much?? So are we! I guess what I'm saying is this - we like the house itself. We ordered it the way we wanted it, and trust me, that was NOT easy to do a mere 4wks after losing Brad. But, we did order it the way we wanted it. From the flooring to the sinks, the cupboards to the paint color. What we don't like about it is - it's not "our" home. Our home where all of our memories were made with our kids. That home is gone, forever...that's the home we want back. The home and both of our kids who were taken so suddenly away from us.

This is a picture of Diesel sitting on our salvaged (from the old house) steps, in front of our new house. Diesel was/is, Brad's dog :(

I think the poor dog misses "home". Yes, he is with us while we live with my parents. The poor dog is so confused :( How could he not be?

The house is sided with Palm Green siding...Ashleigh really dislikes this color :(

You can see in the picture below, we had to remove several shrubs due to a different layout of this home. The empty spot between the windows is where our front steps used to be :(

And there's Diesel again. Guarding 'his' house...As I look at this picture, I can't help but wonder what this poor dog must be thinking about all that's gone on in the past 4months.

Diesel was (so was Carly's dog, Penny-a cockapoo) home that horrific night. He, (Penny too) has been uprooted, moved to my parents and he has been penned up. Normally, he has free rein of our yard...we had an underground pet fence.

I can't tell you how badly I wish that our dogs could talk. They saw so much commotion that horrible night. Which is why I'm pretty sure that is the reason Diesel has become VERY protective. Or, it could be all simply, due to his age. He's 3yrs old now. I'm sure the poor dog misses Brad and that likely has something to do with his being so protective. Penny missed Carly..she even cried for several weeks after we lost Carly :( She would wander around the house sniffing all the toys and cry. It was pitiful.

There you have it...just a glimpse, of our new home.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

The Run Down...

I've been working on a blog post for a week now...thought I'd post a "run down" of the goings on around here lately.

Last week was another crazy, hectic week around here. They, whoever they are, say "busy" is a good thing. I don't know whether to agree with that..or disagree.

What remained of our burned home was removed last week. It was pretty difficult to see. We cried. It was very sad. I bought that home and had it placed on a piece of property that I purchased, 18yrs ago for the kids and I. Paul and I were divorced at that time. Brad was 4yrs old when we moved in. So it was, basically, his only home. It was the home where many wonderful memories were made. The home we brought Carly home to, after she was born. It. Sucked. To. See. It. Go.

Tuesday my parents, (we're living with them) headed to Florida for a couple months. Our house (new one) was in the process of being set, (its a modular/manufactured/whatever you call it, kind of home.) but issue after issue kept coming up. And the fact that the workers we have, only want to work 1/2 days! Grrr.... Seriously, who starts construction work at noon?? Apparently, the crew we found!

Wednesday, the 8th, Paul and I had to head to the Michigan State Police Head Quarters, in Lansing. We were finally being interviewed. Holy crap, 4 months to the day of our fire and the death of our son and we FINALLY, had a REAL and proper interview. I guess all the lab work had to be complete, which is quite a slow and lengthy process. Paul and I were interviewed briefly, on that horrible night, while we were on the scene, but,,Wednesday was more in depth. We are so thankful that we did get interviewed, even tho Paul cried through much of his interview and I gagged and nearly threw up on several occasions. It. Was. Difficult. We left after 2hrs, feeling completely exhausted. But, hopeful that the detectives will be able to figure out just what took place in our home. And for the record...we did find out that Brad had a clean toxicology test, which proves to those who like to blab and gossip,,,that Brad was NOT cooking meth!

Thursday, I met up again, with the detective who is leading the investigation. We talked quite a bit about the case. The strange circumstances that took place on the horrific night and about Paul. Paul is in bad shape. BAD shape. All the things we've gone through in the past 21+ months and the fact that he has an, A double S, for a boss...is just pushing him over the edge. The detective is extremely concerned about his stability. As we all are. We are in the process of searching for help for both Paul and I. But, his wonderful boss has not been paying into our insurance and we will lose it the end of February, or we can shell out about $800, which we can't spare, to keep it for 30 days...So, we are stuck AGAIN, between a rock and a hard spot..We need more than just a grief counselor. We went the counselor route when we lost Carly. It was ok, and I even learned a few things in my 6months of counseling. However, it soon becomes more like you're just repeating yourself week after week. Like a record that just keeps skipping over and over and over. I for one, got tired of going in and just saying the same thing. But for now, help will just have to wait..we can't do $300 a week sessions (a piece) and we can't pay for our health insurance...so we'll just see how it all plays out. Well, I did it...I got myself all pissed off thinking about Paul's stupid @$$ boss who cares nothing for his employees! &*%$@!

As for our new home, it has finally been set. There is still so much work to finish, but it is set. Next up, finishing the dry wall work, painting, the stretching of the carpet But, none of that can be done until the electric and gas are both hooked up. We still have a ways to go, but we're getting there.

In all honestly, I am terrified to go back "home". I'm not excited. I'm not looking forward to it. I dread it. I get sick. Physically sick, when we shop for furniture. I get knots in my stomach even thinking about what colors to paint the walls. And even though the fact remains, that this is a different home, I KNOW it will be extremely hard for Paul and I. We will be at home. We will be at an empty home. An empty home with no kids. Empty bedrooms. Quiet. Empty. Empty. Quiet. I've never experienced that before. Not in 25yrs...and believe me, it scares me sh!t less!

Today, Ashleigh left, after being home for 11 days. It's been so nice to have her here, but boy, the time sure does go fast. And we already miss her. Paul and I are both having much anxiety over her being gone again. Sure, we know where she will be, which is nice. We know that we can drive to see her in only about 11 or so hours...except, we have no idea when we will see her again and for us, that's not very comforting. But, she is happy with her decision to join the military. And for that, we are thankful. We are proud of her, for going after the things she wants out of life. We are proud of her determination and of the strength that she has within herself. She's been through so much. Losing both of her siblings in less than 18months and learning about their deaths via a telephone call is wrong in so many ways. As bad as Paul and I feel and as much as we hurt over losing 2 of our 3 children, our hearts hurt even more for our only surviving child. I can't even begin to explain the hurt that we feel for Ashleigh. We gave her 2 siblings...and now they are gone. That does more than just break my heart...it shatters it.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Don't Grieve For Me For Now I'm Free

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free
I'm following the path God laid for me.
I took His hand when I heard Him call;
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way;
I found that place at the close of day.

If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared a laugh, a kiss;
Ah yes, these things, I too will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full, I savored much;
Good friends, good times, a loved ones touch.

Perhaps my time seems all to brief;
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me,
God wanted me now, He set me free.


If you've been reading my blog over the past 21 1/2 months, you pretty much know that I am now, very much doubtful there even is a God. How could I not doubt this? My family has taken quite a pounding over the past several months. Just barely able to catch our breath from our first horrific loss..BAMMM, we were hit again. Yep, I have my doubts.

I often times get asked, "do you think there is a God?" and "what do you think about Heaven?" As I try my best to answer such questions, I often times find myself just shaking my head. I honestly do not know. I used to...but not now. Not anymore. It's very difficult for me to find answers for myself. I sure can't find the answers for others. Or, the answers that others want to hear coming from my mouth.

Its a terrible time in our lives. Most people think, no, they believe that we should cling to any sliver of faith. Probably we should. But we can not. We just do not have any left. I, myself, do try a little. I try to convince myself that there is in fact a Heaven..because I WANT my children there. Therefore, I must be clinging to hope that there is in fact, a God. Right? I don't know..I just don't know.

Never once did I ever question whether or not there was/is a God. EVER. Well, never before the past 21 1/2 months had I questioned God. I thought I had witnessed God's work first hand.

For example..I had Bradley, who came close to being delivered with a broken neck. Thankfully, his collar bone ended up broken (not thankful he had a broken collar bone, just thankful it was not his neck) instead. He was delivered via Vacuum Extractor. I also saw Brad clinging to life as a 5 month old who was hospitalized due to a bad bout of the flu. Which we later learned from his doctor, we nearly lost him. As we arrived at the hospital to have him admitted, his little eyes were rolled to the back of his head. I handed him to a couple of nurses who were in the hallway and they took off running with him.

And then came Carly. I'd seen Carly live through many critical health crises. Bad ones. Coding 13 hrs after open heart surgery. Battling 3 deadly blood infections. Fighting through a deadly round of chemo..to which the end result left her with no. vitals. whatsoever. I witnessed her have a stroke during chemo. I witnessed her losing the ability to use her left arm, hand and fingers..the poor kid couldn't even hold herself up on all fours without that arm acting like a wet noodle. But, even through all of that...I witnessed healing. And I believed. But now, I'm full of doubt. Full of questions. Questions that will likely, never be answered.

A sad but true story:
Several years ago, soon after Carly had been diagnosed with leukemia, Paul came home from work telling me about a co-worker who had a young cousin, we'll just call him, Pete. Sadly, Pete passed away due to leukemia. Pete's mom was a Christian and had been all of her life. She was never seen without her Bible in her hand. Her young son passed away after quite a lengthy battle. A battle that went back and forth for many years. His poor little body had been through the wringer and he ended up with the much dreaded sepsis, which claimed his life. Paul's co-worker told how his aunt went home after Pete's funeral and burned all of her Bibles. BURNED them! She cursed God. And she vowed to NEVER step foot into a church, ever again. I was shocked being told this story. I was pissed that someone would burn the Bible. Pissed at how a Christian could be so angry at God. Because I just knew, I knew there was a God. I just didn't "get" it. I didn't "get" her anger. I didn't understand the anger toward God. How could I? I mean, really... Carly was, (and Brad too, for that matter) after all, living proof...or so I thought at the time.

After losing Carly and less than 18 months later, losing Bradley.. I can honestly say that I now "get" the anger toward God. I "get" it.

I miss these kids.
I miss them so very much.
My heart actually aches.
Every. Single.

The Poem I shared today, literally takes my breath away.
It causes that 'kick to the gut' feeling way deep down inside.
But I read it anyway.
Over and over again.