Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Attending Suicide Loss Survivor Day was Hard

Attending was hard. Plain and simple. My allergies were acting up because I forgot to take my medicine before I left, and the flowers were getting to me, but those breaks gave me time to take a walk outside and spend some time with Heather too.

They spent time explaining that suicide loss is really different from other losses and that it can be a long path to find our new normal. I guess that hits home, because while I miss my Mom terribly since she passed away in the beginning of October, the loss of Heather the end of October has been a debilitating loss. The whole in my heart is just huge and it aches like nothing has ached before. It also hurts that I can't call my Mom and talk to her about this.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has an excellent package that they put together for us and I would like to share one of those pages with you.

Just So You Know - A Message for My Friends

  • I can't stop grieving just because you believe it is time for me to move on.
  • I can't stop hurting just because you do not understand the piercing pain in my heart.
  • I cannot stop my tears from flowing just because they make you uncomfortable.
  • My heart is not suddenly mended just because you believe that I have grieved long enough.
  • I will grieve the loss of my loved one for the rest of my life.
  • There is not a "certain order" or a "normal" way to grieve. Grief is an individual process.
  • I need you in my life, so please don't give up on me. Just let me go through this process and be there by my side.
  • Sometimes, being there in silence is enough.
  • Don't ask me if I'm okay. There is only one answer for that.
  • I may eventually laugh but that doesn't mean I don't hurt.
  • Remember that holidays, birthdays and anniversaries will always have an effect on me.
  • Forgive me for not asking about you for awhile. It doesn't mean that I don't care.
  • Whatever you do, please don't pretend that my loved one didn't exist.
  • Understand that I will never be the person that I was before and that is okay.
Just so you know.

You Never Know What is Around the Corner

Yesterday was my birthday. It was a very hard day for me. I have to admit, I have the best kids a Mom could ask for. When my birthday comes around, they are my first text messages. Waking up and knowing that I wouldn't get a birthday wish from Heather hurt quite a bit. Each birthday wish that I received from someone (and there were quite a few) was like a knife to the heart, a reminder that I couldn't get one from Heather. We all miss her so much. While she was hurting inside, she made sure that everyone else had a good time.

My birthday wasn't too exciting. Carter and I played a bit in the morning and then he took an early nap. It wasn't too long of a nap, but it helped. Amy got out early and we had to go over to the Surrogate's Office for Heather's will. The office there made it very easy for us. They were very understanding and compassionate. I so appreciate that.

From there, we decided to go to Taco Bell for my birthday dinner. I have never met another person that got so excited about going there. They recently opened one near us so we went there - and I have to say, I won't go to that one again. The drive-thru line moves so slowly. We waited 20 minutes (behind 4 cars) to place our order. From there, it was another 9 minutes to pay and from there, another 3 minutes to wait for our food to be made. This wasn't really prime time for dinner - it was about 4:00 in the afternoon. They couldn't even be bothered to mark which wrap was which, so we had to open our sandwiches to see which was which. Anyway, that visit was awful. Next time to we go Taco Bell to share a meal with Heather, we will go to the other one we visit over in Pennsylvania. (We live where NJ meets NY and PA, so we aren't far from there.)

From there, things got a little better. We stopped by and visited with an old friend and their family. We didn't stay too long, but the visit was good. On the way home, I got a beautiful birthday present from Heather. No one really sang Happy Birthday yesterday. It just didn't seem right at the time. On our drives yesterday, Carter said Happy Birthday to me - actually he sang it to me. This is a new word for him and we figured Heather must have taught him.

When Heather was younger, the song Hey There Delilah came out. I mentioned to Heather that I liked the song. Well, she proceeded to make me listen to the song over and over and over again until I knew all the words in the song so we could belt it out together while we drove somewhere. On the way home, that song came on the radio. Amy and I did her proud by singing it. Okay, so I couldn't get all the words out through the tears, but we held each others hand and sang our hearts out. The tears that flowed were bittersweet tears. Tears of joy that I received such a beautiful gift from Heather, along with tears of sorrow that she wasn't there with us.

From there, when we got home, I received a beautiful card from one of my sisters. She told me things in that card  that I never knew about when I was younger. It brought tears to my eyes. Some of you may know that October was doubly hard for me as I lost my Mom the beginning of the month to Kidney Cancer. The first thing I wanted to do was call my Mom on the phone but I couldn't.

I ended up going to sleep early. It was a long day and I needed to get into my dreams, with the hope of seeing my daughter and my Mom. I had a beautiful dream, Heather was there with my Mom and my Pop Pop. I got hugs from them all  It was fantastic. I woke up about 4:30 in the morning and even though I tried to fall asleep to go back to visit with them some more, I only accomplished laying there for 3 hours. I couldn't find them again last night in my dreams. I miss them all so much.

As I said, the day started so hard, but it turned out to be the best birthday I could have asked for. I love you Heather. I love you Mom. I love you Pop Pop. I'm glad you are all together in peace. I know you all have other friends up there in Heaven with you, but thank you for giving me a great birthday. I miss you all. You all made my life so much better, just by being a part of it.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Today is a Day That Heather Planned for Us

Heather loved to plan things and get us doing things all together. One of Heather's favorite things to do was to go to the movies. Every year, for her birthday and for my birthday, she would make sure we all got together and went to see the latest movie that we would all love. About a week before she passed away, she was questioning how we would all go together because Carol had moved to Fort Myers. She decided that we would all just have to go see the latest Hunger Games movie at the same time. Even if we couldn't be together, we would still all watch it together.

Today is the day. We are going to see the movie today for my birthday. Tomorrow is really my birthday, but with everyone's schedules, we are going today in her memory and to try to keep her tradition alive. I'm not sure how my birthday became a movie day, except for the fact that my birthday is around the launch of the new movies for the holidays. Yeah, Heather took over my birthday too. We basically did this twice a year - her birthday and my birthday. I was never really big on going to the movies, but for my baby, we will continue the tradition.

I hope she hasn't cheated on us and seen the movie before us. I am hoping there are some sad moments during the movie, because I just know that I have to bring some tissues with me. It's going to be hard watching it without her. I don't know who she will watch with, Carol or Amy and I. Perhaps, from Heaven, she can watch with all of us. I'm not really sure how that works, but all of us will need her with us today to get through this.

I am still working on her bookcase. I have it all primed. The only things left to do is to paint the base coat and then to attempt to copy some of her artwork onto it - to make it all Heather. I don't know that I will be able to paint tonight. I think the movie will take about all I can do today.

Heather, if you can read this, please know that we are going to try to enjoy this with you, but that every year on my birthday, no matter where I am, I am going to try to keep your tradition alive. I love you, baby, Always!