“The last time I was here…”


Last Wednesday Marc thought it might be a good idea for the two of us to go out for coffee and just be together.  It didn’t exactly turn out the way either of us hoped.  I cried all the way to town, stayed in the car the entire time he ran errands, and cried all the way home.   Today we tried it again.  We went to town together to pick up some tubs to store Bernadette’s new Barbie toys and other precious items.  This time we managed to get to town tear free.  We made it through Canadian Tire tear free.  Wal-Mart was another story.   Every aisle I walked down I was haunted with the memory of ‘the last time I was here” I was looking for food that would interest Bernadette, looking for Pokémon cards for Bernadette, looking for movies Bernadette might like to watch, looking for clothing that just might fit her…. memories, memories, memories.  The worst was the craft and toy sections.  It became painfully real to me that I no longer needed to look for anything for Bernadette.  She no longer needed me to meet any of her needs.  I realized that I have to not only let go of my little girl, but I also have to let go of all my dreams for her future.  She won’t need a bike, or school supplies or shampoo.  She won’t need that cute dress or a new jacket.  I won’t be buying her any toys for Christmas next year.  (I always started keeping my eyes open early).  Her birthday would have been in just a month and I don’t get to buy her a birthday present now.

Needles to say the trip home was not tear free!   I guess there will be many times over the next year where ordinary events will now be touched with tears, whether I want them to or not because as I’m discovering, the tears just come.  I don’t beckon them and I certainly don’t go looking for them, they just come when they feel like it.   Sometimes I wish they wouldn’t feel like it so much and yet if they don’t come for a few hours I feel guilty.   Oh there is so much to learn about grieving that can only truly be taught by going through it.  Why does grief have to be such a ruthless teacher?

On the way home I told Marc that there is a new fear in my life.  I fear having to ever go through this again.  There are moments when the pain is so intense that I honestly wonder if I’ll be able to take the next breath.  And yet I do.  But then the next one?  That one too.  How about the next?  On and on it goes.  Thankfully there are moments of reprieve.   But the reprieve is just a dull endless ache with no life in it.  No color, no joy, no hope, just fear.  Fear that none of my other children are safe from illness and death.  Fear of losing Marc.  Fear of living!  To be totally honest, the only thing right now I don’t fear is death itself.  It would be a relief.  I never feared living until these last few weeks.  Now I fear what the future holds.   I fear giving my heart totally to Zoe.  I fear not being able to help Catherine through her grief, or Johanna.  The list goes on and on.

How do people walk this road who have no faith?  For even though I fear and even though I grieve, I also know that there is more to life than this.  As Marc reminded me this afternoon, “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, what God has ready for those who love Him.”   There will come a day when we will all be together again and when that time comes we will never be separated.   There will be no pain, no sickness, no death.  An eternity with God and with each other with no fear of the future.   I guess that’s where I have to keep bringing myself back to when the waves of grieve threaten to drown me.


By Fr. David Purcell
I am sorry that this hurts so much!
Fr. David P

By Teri and Nick Schroeder
Thank you, Bless you

By Sarah Lenarduzzi 
Patti- I’m so sorry you are in such pain…your heart is broken. I don’t know how I would cope given the same circumstances. Please know that we are all continuing to pray for you.

By Zita O’Neill
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding…..” You have such great trust, hang in there Patti. The fear you are experiencing is a normal part of grief, and it will ease, as will the tears. It is very early days, please don’t feel guilty, go gently. I am praying for the healing of your grief. XX

By Cheryl Zimmer — last edited
Thank you for sharing with us. Your strong faith and your words are truly inspirational and deeply touch our hearts. We love Bernadette, we love you…pray for us

By — last edited
Patti, thank you for you sharing your grief with us . it is a painful road you must travel. Here is a small poem that I have cherished since I lost my mom. You can shed tears that she is gone or you can smile because she has lived.You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come backor you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her or you can be full of the love you shared.You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.You can remember her and only that she’s gone or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back Or you can do what she’d want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.~ David Harkins

By Karen Hohmann
Patty Mark and family.
Please know, not a day goes by that my heart is not aching and is called to pray for all of you. And I truly believe there are as many prayer partners as the stars you see at night that are also called to lift your family up in prayer. I am so amazed by your strength to continue to share your journey with us. When we think we have lived the hardest day another comes. I pray for you all that in those moments when just breathing is the most difficult thing to do,that you will look to the sky and remember all the rest of your brother and sisters are praying for all your needs and that you can just sit and BREATH. Gods plan is a mystery but he never writes a mystery by himself. I pray the Holy Spirit blesses you all today with a little glimpse of Heaven where your Angel now lives with a Joy and boldness to help each one of us who bring our prayers to her. My heart still aches that I was not able to say good bye on the day of her funeral. But know that she awaits all of our prayer requests, which she wil bring joyfully to the Lord. Let the tears of healing flow like a bulging river in the spring, bringing new life to many things in your heart. Hope to see you soon. ❤️

By Laura Brestovansky
Thank you for sharing this trial. I am praying for you and yours, now more than ever.

By Danielle O’Neill
Patti, remember to go easy on yourself. Let your grief be what it is and in whatever form it needs to take. You have the faith and the courage to do this. Remember, God never gives us more than we can handle even though it sure feels like He has at the time. You are very blessed with a loving God and loving family and friends to help you. When you feel those fears swamp you, remember that the Bible tells us 365 times (one for each day of the year) to fear not. Put your trust in God to guide you always. Only He can heal your mother’s heart. Everyone is still praying for your family now more than ever. Much love to you. Wish I lived closer so that I could comfort you in person.

By Carole Landry
The deepness of your sorrow can only be comforted by God’s love as you said it so well. He gave you and Mark a very big mission to love educate and guide 6 of His children through life and to Him; but He knows how strong and loving you are and He is your Rock. We are with you in this difficult time and we love you dearly. My prayer is for you.

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