Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Who's to blame?

Something I haven't managed to share with anybody I know is the guilt and certainty with which I firmly believe I'm responsible for her death. When I mentioned it to my husband, he assured me it wasn't so. When I mentioned it to one of the ladies at church, she told me to get past that and said "Don't you start feeling sorry for yourself." Which is sound advice, but I don't need to hear that. I don't feel sorry for myself... I feel sorry for everyone else who's been impacted. Yes, I am sad about the loss, and I wish more than anything that I could reverse time and do things different, but I also know I'll be okay. Anyway... back to this being my fault...
She wanted to take care of me that day after my knee surgery... and I told her no, I didn't need her to. Of all the things I could have said... that hurt her. I know it did. I went so far as to try and persuade her not to come. How could I do that to her? She was happy taking care of people. It's what she did. After the surgery, they came over to our house. I wanted them to stay, but didn't want to make them feel ackward or like they "had" to stay, so I encouraged them to go. After they left, I had this VERY strong urge that I needed to pray, and pray hard, and pray NOW. What did I do? "God, thank you for my grandparents. I love them." And popped in a couple Lortabs and went to sleep. So much that I ignored. If I had asked for one last hug... shared one last story... prayed for safety, and kept at it till I had peace... shut up about the eagles so they didn't go see them... talked more about the eagles so they spent just another two minutes watching... asked them to do something for me (anything)... convinced them to stay home. I don't hate myself, but I surely don't like this. I don't like thinking I killed her - the woman I loved more than I can say.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, February 26, 2007

All I Am...

All that I am, everything good about me, can be attributed to God. And for so much of what He's taught me, so much of what He's shown me, He's used you. Beautiful, amazing you. I think about who I am... and who you were. And I cling to the similarities. Long for them, need them.

People talk to me about all that's good and even great about me - the refer to my faith, strength, compassion, generosity... and it's all you. You are the vessel God used to give me these things, and the example God gave me to follow. I just hope that not being able to follow you doesn't mean I can't still be like you.

I love you, Gramma.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Today, I am starting to really understand that she's not coming back. It doesn't matter what I do or what I say, she's gone. I won't see her again until I enter heaven. I won't hear her voice, and I can't touch her face. I can talk to her... but will she hear? And no matter how loudly I shout, no matter how softly I cry, she can't answer me. Today, I can't remember her laugh. I can picture her smile, but I can't hear her laugh. I hate that. How is it that I love her this much, and I can't remember what she sounded like laughing? Is it that I've forgotten, whether because of simple memory lapses, or grief... or is it that it has been that long since I've heard her laugh.
Why am I crying? I can't cry without her... I need her to hold me, to tell me it's okay. To remind me that God is good. To help me be strong. I'm afraid of raising children without her. I'm afraid of trying to keep my faith without her. Mostly, I'm afraid of being without her. It's so selfish, and yet this pain is so raw... so real... the tears are hot, and they just keep coming.
And it seems like the world hasn't been impacted at all. I know it has - I know so many of us wouldn't be who we are (or here at all) without her. And yet, we just keep moving along. I don't understand... how can we keep living, keep being joyful, keep being strong... and not remember? How do people not talk about her? How do they live their lives without her? I only wish I knew...

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Best For Who?

I feel like it's best for others if I am strong. If I am courageous, and don't let my grief come out. If I smile, laugh, and speak of things like faith and hope. If I constantly remind them that this isn't good-bye forever, but rather just for a little while. But what I want is to cry. I want to scream. I want people to comfort me - not by saying "It's okay" or "You'll be fine" or "Hang in there" but by saying, "Yes, this hurts. You've just lost the most amazing person you knew. I am so sorry." And maybe by hugging me, or handing me Kleenex.
But no matter what I do, it's not best for someone. So the real question is how do I do what's best for you, and what's best for my family, and for those I love, and still make sure that I'm okay?

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, February 12, 2007


I still feel like I am in shock. In so many ways, I can't believe she's really gone. Where's her laughter? Why can't I hug her? How come she doesn't call on the phone or type out an e-mail? How will I know what to do if I can't ask her?
Tonight, it is starting to hit home a little more. I actually was able to talk about her without crying, and in that, I felt a little glad (and relieved) and a little sad... glad to be able to be strong, sad that her memory isn't more heart-wrenching. Does that make any sense? I somehow doubt it... but anyway, I'm off to work on her memorial.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Pleading Guilty.

I can't help but think that I could have prevented this turmoil, this heartache, this wrenching, searing pain. How? I could have respected and honored her a little more... cherished her, asked her to stay a while. Maybe she'd still have died, but not that way. Not in a horrible accident, one which disfigured her, made her into an unrecognizable lump of humanity. One which has caused my Grampa, sweet, good-hearted, fiercely loyal Grampa, more pain that he knows how to handle. One which he blames himself entirely for.
I feel so responsible... if I hadn't insisted on having the stupid knee surgery, she'd still be alive. And maybe if I'd honored her, respected her enough to ask her to stay instead of asking her to leave, they'd have remained the extra 30 seconds necessary to avoid all of this. I struggle not to hate myself, struggle not to become bitter or wrapped in self pity - and I keep finding myself thinking "It's all my fault, really. I caused this. I killed the best woman I have EVER known. My best friend, my mentor, the one who held us all up."

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, February 1, 2007


Today, I am broken. I am hurting. I am sad. I am feeling hopeless. I feel alone. My best friend, after my husband, has been ripped from my life. I didn't get to say good-bye. My gramma is no longer here. She's gone. For real. The greatest woman I've ever known - life is snuffed. Now, the hard part is figuring out what we will do with grampa. He can't live alone. I don't know how we can help him out... just so hard. In some ways, if they'd both gone, at least neither would be lonely. But at the same time, I am not ready to loose one of them, much less both.

And while people assure me that it isn't so, I feel at least partly responsible. Why didn't I ask them to stay a little longer on Wednesday? Why didn't I pray for their safety? Why did I have to have knee surgery at all? If it wasn't for that, they wouldn't have been on that part of the road. And yet, they were. And now look... our family has been wrent, torn, broken. I'm not the only one who can't picture life without her. Seems to consist primarily of emptiness, grief, sorry, and tears.

So tonight I am broken over the fact that I did not do my job - I didn't show her how much she was loved. I was too selfish. Now all there is for it is to help grampa, and to make sure I show up in heaven to be with her again.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Deepest Pain

This morning, I had knee surgery. A little later in the day, my grandma had physical therapy. They left my house this afternoon, and took a short trip to look at eagles on the river (it's just thick with them right now). Gramma counted 31 Bald eagles in one spot. Then they went home - or at least tried to. They were involved in a head-on collision with an oncoming milk truck. Grampa was seriously injured - several bones in his face broke, including his jaw. His arm is broke. His chest hurts. He is in ICU right now. Gramma was killed.

Meaning I have to live the rest of my earthly life without my best friend (after Derek). There was so much love that I had for her - and still is. And there is so very much pain at her loss. And Grampa is blaming himself for the accident. And saying he has been living for her for so long and now he's not so sure he can keep going.

Derek and I have discussed, and when Grampa is released to go home, I'm going with him, at least for a while. We'll be finding a larger home this summer, and we will maybe ask Grampa to come live with us (if he wants to). I can't even fathom having my spouse die less than 2 feet away from me, not getting to say good bye, not getting to tell her he loved her one last time.

A lesson... If you love someone, it should be the last thing they hear from you when they're on their way out. Hug them, cherish them. And let them know.

Our only consolation is that she is in heaven now. That doesn't make the loss less significant, doesn't make it easy to be happy. But it does enable us to have the hope of seeing her again.

Stumble Upon Toolbar