Today was one of those days. For no apparent reason I just didn’t seem to have what it takes to control my thoughts. Either that or it was my mind’s way of saying, “you’ve been playing avoidance for a few weeks now, time for a reality check” and it rams right into a wall. I think this avoidance play time started to crumble on Thursday when the girls and I went to Vernon and Catherine and Johanna each bought a lovely dress/gown at Value Village and then we were in Wal-Mart looking for a plain white blouse Catherine could use to wear with her few skirts that she has nothing to wear with. I had to fight and fight and fight back thoughts and tears as we went through the little girl sections and knew that ‘Bernadette would love this or that….’. Taking all three girls out together is always the hardest because it is the most glaring reminder that Bernadette is missing from our group. There is just no avoiding that reality. When I go out alone I can more easily forget about the kids for five or ten minutes because I know they’re doing just fine with Dad and for brief moments Bernadette is included in that, so in a way I get to lay down the burden for a little while and take a break. Thursday was no break. Friday the crumbling continued as Catherine, Zoe, and I went to visit the Anhels in the morning so Candice and I could go for a walk. I think it was the first time we’d been there since last September with Bernadette, so even though it’s been months since I’ve had to do a head count it was another glaring reminder that Bernadette was missing. Then this morning I was helping Catherine clean up the school room and again it was such a stark reminder of lost plans and dreams. Workbooks I’d picked up over the last few years that Bernadette was excited about doing crowded the shelves, books that Catherine outgrew and were being saved for Bernadette, enough construction paper and art supplies for two.
Also while Catherine and I were working, we came across a “Chicken Soup” book and Catherine wanted to know what it meant. I told her that we generally like chicken soup when we’re not feeling well physically and that the “Chicken Soup” books were kind of a help when your heart isn’t feeling well or is hurting. And she said, “Like me!” I asked her what was hurting her heart and she said, “You know, starts with a B. E. R.” I asked her if she wanted to talk about it and she was adamant that she didn’t, especially not while they were cleaning up their school/art room. Suffering the loss of a child is hard enough, but to continually watch another one of your children suffer too just compounds the pain.
Today added a new element of frustration. I recognized that I still can’t think of good memories of Bernadette without crying and that added to the anguish. It’s common to hear people say in movies or shows how those we have lost live on in your memories, etc. but I can’t seem to keep Bernadette alive even in that way. I know it will come with time, but for days like today that ‘in time’ is of no consolation.
Thankfully today is almost over and there is always the hope that tomorrow will be a little easier.
I always tell my kids to make good choices, choices that build good memories.
It’s been 7 years since Mom was killed and the kids and we still cry at times reminiscing the good, bad, and amazing memories. I can tell you, I know I don’t understand, I don’t think anyone who hasn’t lost a child really truly understands but I do know grieving and I know it never totally goes away but your strength grows with time, your ability to handle the bad days improves. I pray for you that you allow yourself to cry, be mad or sad. Allow your self time. And, when you are feeling down, remember to feel comfort knowing you are in many prayers!! Thinking of you ! Your friend always,