Grief doesn’t fight fair

Coming on 25 years ago this August, I lay in a hospital bed in the maternity ward. After complications during the end of my pregnancy, I was an 18 year old girl with a new baby who had just had an emergency C-section 2 days earlier. I was still under Doctor’s orders to be on bedrest when this tall, blond lady bound into our shared room with her giant (twice as big as my petite little gal) of a baby.

We spent our time visiting and became fast friends, then best friends and eventually sisters.

We lived through a lot together…a lot.

In a few short weeks, it will be 5 years since I opened my phone and saw that her son, my nephew, had been killed. I can still recall the feeling of my blood as it seemingly drained from my body. I walked out of my office at work in shock and told my coworkers. Many arms outstretched to comfort me. I stepped back.

“Don’t touch me! If you do, I will lose my shit and I have to go tell my daughter her longest and closest friend is gone.”

I got in my car and drove to her work, thoughts ringing loudly in my head. How do I tell her that just a few short days before her wedding she lost this important and irreplaceable treasure?

Five years later it is no easier to understand, to process or to accept.

Sixteen months ago I got a call my daughter was in labor with her first child. The moment I started my car “Still Breathing” by Green Day began to play and it played the entire (short) drive to the hospital. I cried the whole trip….ugly cried.

Today I jumped in my car and a sweet little reminder of my boy was on the radio, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”…Green Day…his favorite band…

I cried, all the way home. Hard cried. Head pounding, eyes swollen, “can’t I have a nap” cried.

Losing a child in your life is hard. My nephew was not sick; this wasn’t expected. He was simply gone. His mom described it best to me; it’s like “a sudden and unexpected amputation”. It truly is and we get to spend the rest of our lives relearning to do things (even simple every day things) without that huge part that has been amputated.

Everyone’s grief looks differently; everyone’s soul “heals” on it’s own terms. Please, don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re grieving wrong (don’t confuse that with choosing an unhealthy way to grieve) or taking too long.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to wrap myself in the sounds of his favorite band and enjoy some sweet memories and I will laugh and I will cry and I may even “ooglay” cry and that’s ok.

‘Cause I’m still breathing
‘Cause I’m still breathing on my own
My head’s above the rain and roses
Making my way away
‘Cause I’m still breathing
‘Cause I’m still breathing on my own
My head’s above the rain and roses
Making my way away
My way to you” – Green Day “Still Breathing”

Memories

As my granny had a huge part to play in raising me, living on the same farm and all, I think of her often.

Spring especially.

When I see and hear the birds coming back, the butterflies, the crocuses…she is one of the biggest reasons I have adored nature my entire life.

I enjoy these gorgeous symbols of a woman who was the epitome of bravery and strength – a woman, who at 9 years old, was tasked with raising her younger and older siblings, and care for the household after the death of her mother. Who had to quit school, at 9 years old, to do so. Who taught herself through reading, life and hard work. That, ladies and gentlemen, is strength.

This is for you, Grandma.

So proud

Fear can suck it. We are so proud of this guy and the bravery he exuded getting up on the horse.

He asked if he could, scared himself and only needed mild reassurance that his step-mama was in control of the horse and Uncle would be right beside him.

In the end, Uncle doubled with him as I lead them around. What a moment of joy for me to see his face beaming with pride over his accomplishments. ❤