Friday, October 2, 2015

I know..

It's been a month since I posted anything in here. It's hard to write sometimes when you feel like there may be people reading this & sitting there in judgement of my words & feelings.

We finally received your death certificate about a week & a half or so ago. I told the people that I felt needed to know & didn't tell anyone else. It's a private matter, a family matter, not for the whole world. So, if you read this & I didn't tell you, I most likely felt like you didn't have a need to know (or I forgot), but you know, it won't change anything, you're still dead.

Dad had another bad day today, he had to take a vacation day & leave work. It's hard to answer phone calls when you're crying. We all just miss you so damned much.

Oh. You were right about me being anemic. I'm getting a handle on it now. I should have listened to you then, but it sounded crazy. Now I'm exhausted all the time & just hoping to start feeling normal again. If I have a normal anymore.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Sadness

I'm sad today. I miss you. Most days I think I manage to convince myself that you're in Cedar & I'm here & I just haven't heard from you lately, then it hits me that I'm never going to hear from you again, that you're really & truly gone. Then there are tears.

I don't often beat myself up over all of it anymore, but I have my days when I start thinking I should have let your fosters adopt you & then at least, you'd still be alive, because obviously the reason you're dead is because of my shitty parenting. On my more lucid & realistic days, I know that I have absolutely no idea what you'd have been like if you hadn't grown up in my home. Most days, I'm just grateful that I got that time with you, that I got to watch you grow into an amazing man - and you were amazing, Erin, in spite of your addictions, you were a special person. I'm not sure that anyone who spent any time with you at all ever really forgot you.

I really have only one true regret - at least today - and that is that I never got to tell you goodbye. I'm not sure that would have given me any closure, but I wish I'd been able to. To just let you know, at the end, and no matter what else, his very much I love you. It hurts me to think that you might have thought otherwise. I never stopped loving you. I never gave up on you.

I took this at the fair the other day - goats will always make me think of you. 


Friday, August 28, 2015

Wow!

I've been slacking off on my blogging apparently. I guess the past few days have been okay, since it seems like I don't post much on those days. I probably should, I think this should be a place that tells the story of our journey while we navigate our pain & loss, and the good days are always going to be a part of it.

We spent the day yesterday doing laundry. I slept in pretty late, since I really haven't been feeling all that great for about a week or so. Dad played a game on the 360 for quite awhile, too & then we took a donation to Goodwill & stopped at the store. 

Today was groceries & such, which we got done before dad went to work at 10:30. I went back to bed for about an hour, I had a hard time getting to sleep last night.  

The State Fair started today, we plan to go on Sunday, since we haven't been since you guys were tiny. At least we can park at dad's job & catch the shuttle, which is a lot cheaper than trying to get parking close by. 

I just can't believe I've been here for almost a year - that it's been almost a year since I saw you last. I wish you could have known how much we missed you & how much we love you. You always seemed to believe that our love for you could go away, and here it is, just like it always was, but now you're gone & we can't show you anymore. I just miss you, Erin.

I miss this..



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Relationships

I know that you struggled with relationships the last year if your life - trying to figure out where you fit in, who your friends were, how to keep your independence & the people you loved at the same time. You were forging new friendships & making new relationships with people you'd known awhile.

I wonder about some of those relationships, not understanding what the draw to those people was. I know you rarely offered just part of your friendship to anyone, so you must have seen something worthwhile in order to expend the effort. I know that like attracts like & that probably explains more than I want to think about right now.

I honestly wish you could have seen how many people genuinely loved & cared for you. I wish you hadn't shut so many people out of your life. I wish you had realized how much dad & I loved you & wanted the best for you, even when things were difficult between us. I guess I could spend the rest of my life beating myself up with all of the "if only" and "I wish" statements, but they won't bring you back.

I just miss you.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Broken Trust

I'm finding that I'm having a hard time feeling close to people who lie to me or pretend to be on my side in an argument so that they can tell the other party everything I said. 

There isn't any reason to lie to people.

I don't believe I was accidentally unfriended. 

I don't  believe that people found out my blog address on their own. 

I don't believe that treating people like shit until you need something is decent human behavior.

I don't have time to waste on people who value the psychotic opinions of assholes over a relationship where I've been there for them for almost as long as they can remember. 

I don't need friends so desperately that I'm willing to betray the people who have stepped up as true family in my life to keep them. 

It's clear to me that some people will never understand that some of us don't throw the word "family" around, that it really does mean something to us. It hurts us when you treat us like we're casual acquaintances until we can do something for you.

I've had my fill of lies. If I've unfriended you (or you have done the same to me) don't request to be readded. I'm done.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Life

Another day off for dad, more time relaxing & doing whatever. We're getting ready to draft players for fantasy football with your brother, it should be pretty fun. It'll be something to do, at any rate.

We went to the library today (yes, it's open on Sunday) and I'm finally reading 'To Kill a Mockingbird' since I seem to be the only person on the planet who hasn't read it.

Tiblows sent me a message today, apologizing for the way he treated you guys as kids & expressing his condolences, then he launched into a good, old-fashioned LDS sermon, so I was done at that point. I might have been able to tell him I forgave him, but after that, I'm just going to ignore the whole thing. We all know how much I love being preached to.

I've been okay the past couple of days, an little bitterness about various things, but mostly just moving on & going through the motions of every day life. Sometimes you have to do whatever it takes to get by.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Hanging On

Some days I wonder if I'm waiting for all of this to feel real or if I'm hoping it never does.

It seems I've lost so much in the time since you died, but if I think long & hard, I've gained some things, too.

I lost you, and along with that a huge chunk of my identity, who I thought I was all of these years. Who I was on May 7, 2015, died the next day, and I struggle with figuring out who I am now. I lost the ability to think about your childhood & because of that I can't think about anything during those years, it all hurts too much. I lost some friends, but I have to wonder if they were really my friends after all. I lost my belief that I'm lucky - I used to believe that I was the luckiest woman in the world - I had a great husband who loved me, 3 great kids, amazing bonus kids, beautiful grandchildren, awesome friends & so much more. I wasn't lucky, fate was just waiting to start taking it all away until I wasn't paying attention.. Until I had started to take it all for granted. Now I'm just scared.

I gained a new understanding of loss. I gained the ability to set boundaries for myself & uphold them. I am grateful. I don't take the people in my life for granted anymore. I cherish those people in my life that I know will stick by me no matter what, those who accept me for who I am, who forgive when we have arguments & who understand that sometimes I'm irrational & over the top, but that I'm not always that way. I learned that I was right when I said I would never survive one of my children dying - because I'm not that person anymore, she didn't survive, but the woman I am today, the one who was born from your ashes, is stronger than I ever thought I could be. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

I Didn't Know

I never knew you'd be so lost when we moved.

I never planned to leave you behind.

 The plan was always that you'd come with us, and I still believed that until the day you got into the car in November & went back to Utah with Dad.

When we bought this house, we were so excited because there was room for all of us, even if we had to be somewhat creative about it. Then suddenly you were moving out because you weren't coming with us & you started to shut down & push us out of your life. You started to lie to me & act cold & hurt & angry. 

You & your sister were both adrift without us, you were both terrified the other would leave & when she went back to prison I never knew you'd feel so lost & alone in the world. I was here, Erin. All you had to do was reach out. I'd have done anything I could have to help you then, but I couldn't because you never told me that you were struggling. 

Did you know at the end of January, when you took that last walk with her, that it would truly be your last walk together? That the two of you would never have another conversation together? 

Did you know on May 6, that you'd never make it to Salt War? That I'd never see you again? Never talk to you again? I was so excited to see you.

I miss you, Erin. There's a hole in my soul that's shaped like you (suddenly I was reminded of your sister singing 'The shape of a boy...' at you), that will never be full again & I don't know what to do to ease the hurt, to make this horrible, overwhelming sense of loss go away. Some days I think I'm okay, but then, in the middle of the night, thoughts like these strike me & the tears start & I know the next day will be another one full of tears.

It's been awhile since I had a day like this. I feel out of sorts, overwhelmed & empty today.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Still Unreal

Some days it's still almost impossible for me to believe that you're gone. Today, I watching a video of a dog that knew how to climb down a ladder (and presumably up one, too) & my first thought was to post it to your Facebook & tell you it was the next trick you need to teach Bella. I actually started to & then reality stuck it's nasty nose in there & reminded me that if she was going to learn anything new, it was gonna be me that taught her. I hate it. It does me no good to stomp my feet & insist it isn't fair & that I want you back, everyone knows it isn't fair & none of us can change it.

Sadly, though, I'm seeing some of the relationships that your death helped heal falling apart again. Enough time has passed for true natures & old feelings & resentments to start to come back. Some that weren't damaged before are now, because life is a messed up, crazy ride & sometimes people are just unhappy with who they're sitting with. I guess, in the end, everything will be the way it's meant to be, good or bad.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Reflection

Losing you has caused me to do a lot of thinking. But just about what may have gone wrong to take your life, but how I live my life, how I love the people in my life & the things that are worth fighting for or those hat I should just leave behind because they're dragging me down.

I'm working on trying to accept that I'll never understand what went on with you in last year you were alive & that I may not ever know why you died. Right now those thoughts don't give me any peace or comfort, maybe one day, the acceptance might.

I'm accepting that there are people who, no matter how much I may love them, have no place in my life either because of their own behavior regarding me or my behavior regarding them. It's easier at a distance to see who those people are & to see who those are that I need & can't do without. 

I'm learning that all of those things that I thought were the big, important things really weren't.  Those little things that I was never sure mattered? Those are all the things I miss about you. Your silliness. Your smile. Your outrage. The arguments. Drinking coffee with you. Listening to you play music. Seeing the joy you felt when you were working outside. Watching you at Amtgard. I rarely think about the things that aggravated & worried me so much. I didn't think I'd ever miss worrying about you, but if I was worried, you'd still be here.

I try to remember, when people are angry at me for standing up for what I believe is right, that those same people will miss that about me when I too, am gone. I know that even though you & I often argued about what we thought was right, I miss that you cared enough about the world & people to stand up when you saw an injustice, even if it meant I was going to disagree.

I'm working on learning to love people in spite of their faults & to stop focusing on those things, because that's how I want to be loved by people. That has to happen within reason, because I'm still too fragile emotionally to allow people's faults to injure me, and to know when to let go of them. I should already know how to do this, but since I don't, it's high time I learned.

Monday, August 17, 2015

To Morgan, Chris & Jodee

I kept your names out of here. I vented my frustration with you in the only place I can freely speak my mind. If I can't do it here without repercussions from you, where can I? To my husband who has regular panic attacks since his son died & is devastated on the inside? To a stranger on the street? I have no friends here. There is no one to vent to. This is my blog, it belongs to me. 

I post about my grief over MY SON dying without any warning. I post what I'm feeling so I don't get up one if these days & blow my fucking brains out. I'm sorry if my feelings offend you. I'm sorry that I'm not on your side in this situation. I'm not the one destroying friendships over a fucking tattoo. You guys are doing that. If you don't like what you read here, it's pretty easy, don't read it. Grow up, walk away & stop reading it. I know it's hard to be enough of an adult to actually tell people when you're upset, and they it's easier to unfriend someone or block them. I'll be removing any of you who are in groups that I admin & then I'll unfriend & block Jodee, too. If I'm not good enough to be your friend, you won't be spying on me, either. Fuck off.


Life Goes On

Still waiting for your DC, I often wonder if we'll be waiting forever. At any rate, when it dies get here, I gave no intention to post your cause of death publicly. There are very few people who really have a need and a right to know that. It's just not for public consumption. 

People are still angry about tattoos & angry at me for not jumping on the bandwagon to screw the artist, but that's life. It goes on & you either realize you were wrong in your reaction, or you don't. The very worst part of the whole thing is that there were people who were waiting to get theirs, who were being reasonable & decent & they won't be able to afford to get theirs now. Isn't that always the way things go, though? Someone gets greedy or pushy & ruins it for the people who are quiet & waiting in line.

I've been sick, some cold or other bug. Probably from changing climates going back & forth to Utah, but I'm feeling better today. Bella is afraid of thunder & fireworks now, I'm not sure if it's learned behavior from Tiny or something else, but she is.

I'm okay. I worry that Zoloft is preventing me from grieving properly, but I guess I'll take being numb over crying every day. I do cry occasionally, but I'm better able to process my thoughts about your death this way. I'm not beating myself up over it these days. I didn't take your hand & lead you up that final path. You walked that alone, fully aware of the consequences & what was lying ahead if you didn't turn around. I offered you a way out. A place to start over, yet again. You didn't want it. That was your choice. I miss you. I love you. But I didn't kill you.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

I Wish People Would Grow Up

You know, the memorial tattoos were supposed to be a way to help people heal. They weren't supposed to be a competition to see who could get the biggest tattoo for the least amount of money. I don't see why in the world anyone needs a full side piece done. Mine is about 8" X 6" & took 4 hours including a 30 minute or so dinner break & a few short ones to let me stretch. It was probably even less than that by the time we got going on it.

Everyone else since then? Less time than mine, smaller pieces than mine. Now someone comes in & asks for a full side, full color design & gets told that he'll be charged $100 an hour for it & so, instead of being reasonable & asking if it's because it's so much work & so big & deciding on a smaller, less extensive piece, he throws a fit & starts thrashing the guy's reputation & demeaning his art. He isn't understanding that the guy doing the tattoos didn't have to agree to the terms he did, we didn't ask for him to give us a break of any type, he offered out of the goodness of his heart. He's saying "if you want me to do this particular tattoo at this size, I'm going to have to charge you this amount of money" likely hoping he'll decide on something else. 

At any rate, why message me whining about it? I'm not a 35 year old's mommy or protector. Talk to him. Find out why he's charging you. Don't take it to FB and thrash his reputation because you didn't get your way. Be a fucking adult. Stop letting your inner addict speak for you.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Not Much to Say

There isn't much going on. We still haven't received your death certificate, with your cause of death. Maybe someday we will, I hope so, since we paid for a copy & all. I guess if it never gets here, we can always order one, I just don't want to have to do that.

Haven't heard from your sister in a few days, which might be a bad thing, but of course, I have no idea. I imagine I should check up on her & make sure she's still ok. 

My tattoo is itching like a mo'fo' today, so us Dawn's. I think Ike, Jen & Jason are getting theirs today. I'm excited to see what Jön does with their ideas. I'm not sure when anyone else is having theirs done, we told people to go & talk to him & set up appointments, hopefully they are.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Easier - At Least Right Now

I feel better since we got back home. It could be closure, it could be Zoloft, it doesn't matter, I feel like I can get through every day now. I still ache for your presence, I still feel like a piece of my soul is missing, but I know that will always be the case. Our family will always be missing a member, we can't change that, no matter how much we all wish we could, or that we could understand what happened that night. I'm learning to deal with my regrets, either by owning them or releasing them, a little at a time, eventually, maybe the only ones that will be left will be those that changed all of us.

I love you, Erin. 

I miss you, my boyli.

Those things will never change.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Back Home

I really didn't have time to write much while we were gone, it seemed the only time I wasn't busy, I was in bed. Our tattoo is beautiful, Erin, you'd have approved of it. Jön did an amazing job of capturing what I was going for with it. Dawn's tattoo was even more you - it made several of your friends tear up. I have a pretty strong feeling you know all of this, though, I felt you pretty strongly while we were there and I'm not the only one.

Your funeral rites were everything I hoped they would be. Several of your friends were there, everyone spoke about you & I think it was the closure & beginning of healing that everyone needed. There was a lot of energy in the circle that night & a whole lot of love. Whatever else you may have been in your life, Erin, you were loved by so many people.

Your sis didn't come back with us like she planned & while I'm disappointed, I understand that she wasn't ready & it's ok. Hopefully, we have plenty of time left together, but as I learned with you, you just never know.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Packed. Ready.

Everything but the cooler is in my car & ready to go. I hope. I think we're about as ready as we can ever be. We've both been very emotional today, knowing your birthday is tomorrow & that from here on out we're just marking dates where you would've been a certain age hurts. It's impossible to begin to describe the feeling. Then, 2 days after that marks the 3rd month that you've been gone from our lives.

It's not easier. 

It's not better.

If you ever seriously entertained the idea that we would all be "better off" without you, we aren't.

We are all just empty shells that walk around with pasted on smiles so that no one asks if we're ok. We aren't ok. We will probably never fully be ok again. If anyone who asks how I am was really interested, I'd tell them how I am. I'm broken, my life is shattered, my dreams are dead, I hurt every day. I cry, at least a little, every day of my life. I wonder if there will ever come a day when I'm not jealous of people who have all of their children or of inside jokes that parents share with their kids. I'm angry. Angry because this is so fucking unfair. Angry because I get to spend the rest of my life without one of my kids. Angry because this pain is who I am now & I hate it & hate crying. That's how I am.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Almost Time to Go

Our clothes are ready to go, I'm almost done getting everything else ready to go out to the car. I was printing your obituary & ran out of ink (of course) and since the choice is buying food for the trip to Utah or buying ink, I asked our tribe to help out & it's being handled.

We have to leave early to go get BT since he has no car to drive now, and he's leading your funeral rites & really, even if he wasn't, he'd want to be there. You left a bunch of devastated siblings when you died, young people who shouldn't have to be dealing with this loss, but are nonetheless. In most cases, they are doing it quietly & in their own way, but grieving & broken, they are.

I'm amazed by the number of people who are just beginning to find out about your death. It was the most life-changing event (other than becoming a mother) in my life, it feels like there's no way the world doesn't already know (do you know who I am?!?) I guess it's filtering through your sister's FB now, to people you didn't have in common & they all seem equally surprised that you're gone. She's okay, on the outside, but like all of us, obliterated on the inside. She calls me often, we both feel your loss profoundly. She's coming home with us Sunday, to spend time with us, to see if she wants to move here eventually, to get to know this place you were both born in & to scatter your ashes where you began. We're trying to leave as little of you there as we can, we know you didn't want to be there & I sure as hell don't want your remains being left there. I couldn't convince you to leave, but I'll be damned if I leave more of your ashes there than I have to.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Just. Stop.

Well, we almost lost another one. BT was in a really scary car accident this past weekend, he completely totaled his car on I-70, and could very well have died in it. He had no injuries at all, which is a huge relief. 

I'm not sure what's going on & why we've had so many close calls this year, just in the past few months really, but it needs to stop. None of us can take any more loss. We've had our limit. I know in my case, just the thought of losing anyone else causes me to start to panic. One can only manage to carry so many layers of grief at a time.

We're trying to figure out a way to get him back to Utah with us this week now, for your funeral rites, so I'm guessing our travel plans have to change slightly, which is fine, whatever gets him there.

I got to talk for quite a long time to your sister today (on the phone) which was great. I've missed her so much, and it's nice to have the luxury to talk for as long as we wanted to about whatever came up. We haven't done that in a long time.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Stupid

Why do I find myself feeling guilty when I'm happy? That's so stupid. I didn't kill you. I didn't do anything that lead, in any way, to your death, why should I feel guilty when I'm able to find a tiny spot in a day that actually makes me smile - or heaven forbid - laugh? I'm along way from feeling normal & I'm honestly not even sure what that means anymore, at least for me, but unlike the first month, I have entire days when I don't cry. 

Dad & I were out last night, getting our lone dinner out during our pay period, and something struck me as funny & I laughed, dad laughed along with me & I instantly felt guilty, as if by being miserable & completely bereft all of the time will somehow - if I'm just sad enough - it will bring you back.

That's ridiculous. Why would my mind even do that?

Friday, July 31, 2015

An "Easy" Day

Some days, like today, it's easy to talk about you, to vocalize our feelings of guilt & question each other about what really did & didn't happen during your childhood. I hate the your dad carries this heavy burden of guilt over things you claimed he did that never happened. I hate that he doesn't question your stories, but instead, questions his sanity because he lacks the ability to remember events that never occurred.

I hope that one day we'll be able to actually talk about your childhood & smile and laugh & hold all of that close to our hearts, but right now, it's just too much, it's too painful.

I find myself living in dread of the mail, knowing that your death certificate should be coming soon & with it we'll know what you died from. Right now, I can still make myself believe it was something medical that we didn't know about, after it gets here I will know for sure what it was. I'm not sure if my heart can break into pieces smaller than its already in.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

So Loved

I am always blown away to realize how loved you were by people. A potluck was put together in a very short time for your funeral, easily, no drama, with food you'd have loved. Word was put out to try to include people who'd want to know & I tried to explain what was going on & ended up looking like a fool, but whatever, things like that don't matter to me anymore. What matters is doing the things that comfort me & make me feel like I can keep going every day.

Some days are easier than others, some days are still filled with tears & pain. Today has been pretty good. It's been easier than a lot of my days. Having your ashes near me all the time has been a comfort. I wear them with Darby's Thor's Hammer (he gave it to me at Salt War). When I miss you I can hold the vial & know you're close, that even if I can see you, you'll always be a part of me.

This missing you. This pain. It'll never be "better" and I'll never be "done" but I can live with it, the alternative us to hurt everyone who loves me in the same way I'm hurting & that is unacceptable.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

It's All Ashes

Your sister is finally out & back home, so maybe she can start to heal & learn to live without you.

I finally opened the box your ashes were in today. Just opening it & seeing that all you once were was sitting there in a plastic bag broke me again, but I powered through & opened the bags & started separating pieces of you to give to people who loved you, who still love you & will miss you always. I always thought that all cremains looked like they show on TV & the movies. You know, gray, powdery all if that. Not yours. Yours are almost white & grainy, almost like sand. It would be easy to convince myself that the bits of bone in there are seashells, but I won't do that to myself.

So. One more step on the path of letting you go.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Getting it Together

I'm almost ready. I've created, printed, cut & folded. If that was all a funeral was, I'd definitely be ready. It isn't. It's more than that. It's a symbol of something I'm not sure I'm really ready for, yet. I'm not sure I'm ready for that final step - giving you back, to start your journey anew. To let the earth & the ancestors have you. I know it's time - past time - but I was supposed to get to keep all three if you, you guys were supposed to be the ones giving me back, letting me start over again. It's not fair. It'll never feel fair or just or anything else close to it, but it is what it is & all of my tears aren't going to change that. I guess I'll be as ready as I can be when that day comes. 


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Little You

I found pictures of you today. Little you. Before you started hating us and went away. Before you loved us again & came back, wanting your life back. Before you decided that drugs & booze were everything & you decided you hated us after all. Before you grew up and died.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

It's Just Hard

I've been trying to get ready for your funeral rites over the past few days, at times it's almost easy & other times, like today, I can't stop crying. I'm making the memorial cards today & trying to decide on a picture that captures who you were is almost impossible. The quote wasn't quite as hard, but no less painful. 

I found the Amtgard video you made for Sindari last night. I was so happy, because I knew it had your voice on it & I couldn't remember what you sounded like anymore. It broke me, to see you just being you, doing your thing, but it was so good, too. Jaden made a tribute video for you last night, I saw it this morning & cried for a long time before I got out of bed. I'm sure it will get harder the closer we get, but it needs to be done. Maybe it will give us all a little more closure, I don't know.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Ashes

I bought several necklaces that have tiny urns in them for your ashes, to give to people that we feel would like to have them. They came yesterday & of course, I've been putting off the inevitable; getting your ashes out of the cabinet that I hid them from my view & actually opening the container. I'm not sure I can do that yet. I'm not sure that I can do that ever. I know I have to, but I'm not sure I can.

I'm very tired of people who lived on the fringes of your life bothering me every couple of weeks, asking me if we know your cause of death yet & if we do, could I please tell them. Why does anyone who wasn't your family (actual or chosen) or your girlfriend really *need* to know? Why do all of these people you barely saw anymore & in some cases, weren't all that fond of, think they own any part of you? Where were they when you needed friends? Where were they when you were spiraling out of control? I mean, besides enabling your addictions, were they trying to help you in any way that might actually do anything for you? Do they need a reassurance that it wasn't their fault? That there wasn't anything they could do? I'm not sure I feel like giving the majority that absolution. Is that selfish? Probably. Do I care? Nope.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Weird

I couldn't stop crying today. I'm not sure if it's because people are starting to post about their feelings over Gage, now that the funeral is over & people are back to their "normal" lives or if it was posting your obituary to the family Facebook page, typing out your funeral rites or a combination of the above. It was what it was.

I imagine there are always going to be days like this, when the waves of missing you are trying like hell to drown me, and I guess I'll figure out a way to handle them eventually. It might be that I have to just keep to myself at that point or something, but I'll figure it out.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Coming Together

Your funeral rites are coming along. All of the roles are filled by people who loved you & considered you their family. People are working on getting the tattoos situated, and seeing that stuff gets done as it should. I don't know what I'd have done without them over these past couple of months. Probably joined you or been no use to even myself. I never imagined that dad & I would truly be in the position to where we were grieving the loss of one of our kids, and when I thought about it at all, I always assumed it would kill me. I was right to a certain degree, because the person I was before? She died that day, too, but only the people who know me well even notice that I'm different. 

Sometimes, I miss me as much as I miss you.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Stupid Back!

Well, my back is fucked today. I can't bend, it's hard to change from sitting to standing & vice versa, hard to get in & out if the car. Fun times and I'm getting nothing done because I hurt too much.

The happy news is that your sister will be out in about 8 or 9 days. I'm so excited to be able to spend time talking to her & not worry about being cut off by the computer voice telling us we have one minute left. I'm also really looking forward to seeing her. I think I've proven to myself that I need to be around the kids I raised, the ones who understand me & whom I understand. Since I can never be around you again, I guess I have to spend twice as much time with her now.

Things just aren't ever going to be normal again, are they?


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Funeral Rites

I've been typing out your funeral rites today. I'm doing surprisingly well, no tears over that, yet, I did start crying over something completely unrelated to you or the funeral & it was hours before I started it. I don't know. Sometimes the grief just hits me & there's no preparation for it.

Some days I just don't have a lot to say, I guess today might be one of them. I'm working towards letting you go, of making it formal or official. Maybe it will give me some peace. Maybe it won't, but it needs to be done.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Better

I feel better today. I'm not so angry. I still feel a little hurt that a big deal wasn't made over the amazing ban you were. I guess a lot of that was my own fault, in wanting to do things the way you'd have wanted them done & insisting it be done where you lived & grew up & as quickly as we could.  I didn't make a big deal out of any of your accomplishments, because it felt like bragging I guess, so by the time you were grown, no one here knew much about you. I feel like a I may have done you a disservice, but I didn't know any better - it was how I was raised.

Anyway. I'm getting things ready for our trip back, to see your sister. To finish saying goodbye. To scatter some ashes. To get the remaining detritus of our lives there & try to start over again. I miss you. So, so much. I miss the things we used to do together - just you & I, things I may never be able to do again without bawling my eyes out. 

We aren't going to Gage's funeral. I can't even talk about it out loud without crying because it brings back all of my pain over losing you. We wouldn't do them any good by being so torn apart by our own pain. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Reflection & a Little Anger

Gage died on Tuesday afternoon. 

He was an organ donor, so his parents get a little relief knowing that part of him lives on. Erin was an organ donor, too, but people who die at home in their beds don't get to donate. 

Gage was an awesome guy who worked with Special Olympics & was going to be a psychologist and was kind and loving and great with a smile that lit up the room & there have been at least two news articles about him so far. Erin was an awesome guy who cared about people, the homeless, animals and changing the world, but people who die at home in their beds & are still working through their addictions & problems in life don't get articles written about them.

Gage was a great athlete, who knew what sportsmanship was all about. Erin was an amazing foam fighter (and if you don't think that takes athleticism, then you've never done it) and had amazing honor. He was always striving to help people become better, safer fighters & to feel good about their own abilities.

It hurts me that who Erin was & all of the great things he did are getting lost. So, I will remember what a light he was in my life, how his smile lit up my world, how he could always make me laugh, even when he was trying to aggravate me & I will never stop dreaming about what he could have done with his life if he had been given enough time in his life to do it.



Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Not Another..

We got the bad news last night. The lightning strike was considered a global strike & Gage has suffered 95% brain loss. His parents now are faced with making a terrible decision - keep hoping & praying, or let him go. We haven't heard anything today, we are waiting & wondering what to do, knowing that there is nothing that can ease their pain & sense of loss. Your dad & I are heartbroken to see another member of our family passing much too soon. I hurt for his siblings, like I hurt for yours, all of them should have been allowed to grow old with the two of you. 

I'm done. Finished losing the young people in our family. Finished hurting this much all the time & waiting for the next devastating phone call. I can't keep piling pain on top on pain. It's too much. It's too exhausting. It's too heartbreaking.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Worries

Your cousin was out running yesterday evening & was struck by lightning. He was fully resuscitated within 10 minutes & they flew him from SD to Denver almost immediately. He was placed into a medically induced coma to keep him from fighting intubation & other procedures and the last I heard, he's on a ventilator & "for his condition" the MRI looks good - which no one but the doctor knows what that means. 

So. 

We wait & hope that we aren't going to lose another young man with his whole life ahead of him, hope that another big brother & little sister don't lose their sibling, hope that you're grandma doesn't lose a second grandson in 2 months & that another of her sons doesn't have to bury his child.

I'm ready for 2015 to be over.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Bella & the Birds

Bella loves it here, she gets to have pigeons any time she wants to, since a bunch of them roost on the house next door & then come swooping down into our yard. She races over to them, barking, with her hackles up, ready to defend her yard from the interlopers. It's quite hilarious. She's taken to chasing all of the birds she sees in the fence away, too. She wants the world to know that this is Bella & Tiny's yard!

She was very nervous during the fireworks (that seem to have gone on for two weeks or more, at least in our neighborhood) this year. There were a lot of firecrackers & we know she hates those & everyone seems to have been lighting something that exploded. We're still getting the occasional *bang* a week later, but it's easy to calm her down. Tiny on the other hand? I had to rearrange the living room twice just to keep her from hurting herself. Now, when. Thunderstorm starts, I just give her a Benadryl & she calms down. (I hadn't thought about doing that during the fireworks)

She's doing much better. Her tail has healed, she isn't quite as clingy, she rarely whines for you, but she still does. She goes to the front door & waits. Sometimes she still looks very sad & lost. Like all of us, she will never stop missing you, she just doesn't know you won't be back, so at least she had hope that you will.

Sometimes when I'm very sad, the smell of roses appears on the wind, there aren't any nearby. I often wonder if it's you, trying to comfort me. If so, it does.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Frustration

I'm having a hard time finding your sister these days. She had told me she was in Draper, so I got her a letter all ready to go & the Delbert told Morgan that she was at Wasatch, so I sent it there. Yesterday I got the first of my letters (since she stopped calling) sent to Wasatch back in the mail. It was postmarked July 3, and I was told on the 5th that she was at Wasatch.. I don't freaking know anymore. I guess I'll send one to Draper today, just to see if she's there, since the UDOC website says she is. I seriously wish people who aren't directly connected to my situation would stay out of it.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Just.. Yeah.

Made it through yesterday with a lot of tears. Things just aren't right without you in the world.  The pain goes through definite waves, it's very hard as we move towards the 8th every month & then starts to ease off through the rest of the month, to start again on the first. You know, unless there's a holiday or something, then it can come out of nowhere.

I'm really hoping that after we get through this year of "firsts" things can start to ease off, that the pain won't be right on top of everything anymore. That maybe I can look at your pictures & not be filled with regret, pain & disbelief. It's just so hard right now.

I finished drawing & coloring my memorial tattoo yesterday, I'd post it here, but I don't want anyone to take it & I have a feeling that one person in particular might, so I'll wait & post a picture of my actual tattoo when it's done.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

2 months

2 months since my life changed forever.
2 months since your heart stopped beating & mine shattered into tiny pieces.
2 months since the music stopped playing.
2 months since I stopped being the mother of 3 & became the mother of 2 living & 1 dead.
2 months since everything crumbled to dust with one phone call.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Here it Comes

I've been doing better lately, I guess. I joined a grief group online that isn't full of religious platitudes telling me I'll see you again in "heaven" or claiming I'm an "angel mom" now, it's a place to vent my pain & anger to, people who understand my terror and that I'm overwhelmed most of the time, that the things that used to matter really don't anymore.

I can feel the pain coming. I know what tomorrow is. I know how long it's been, I'd know without the help of the calendar, just as I always knew how long it had been since I'd heard from you when you were traveling. My mind still plays tricks on me, with its crafty denial.. making me feel as if that's what's going on - that you're traveling & will visit me soon. Like I'm waiting for you. That's somehow worse, especially when I know you're gone. You are never coming to visit me again. I will never get to hug you again. I will never get to hear you laugh, talk or sing again. I will never see your smile or look of disgust again. 

I miss you. To the marrow of my bones, I hurt with missing you. I am empty. I don't know how to refill myself.


Monday, July 6, 2015

Baseball, Taos & Regrets

We should have stayed here. We should never have moved away. You could have played baseball, done scouts or any of the things you were always asking us to let you do. You could have spent your life getting to know your big brother, instead of waiting until you were 13 to have that chance - then maybe he could see the impact the loss of you really made on all of us who knew you forever. Maybe you wouldn't have been so restless. Maybe you wouldn't have been bored. Maybe everything would have been different.

We should have stayed there. We shouldn't have gone off on this huge folly, thinking we'd all be a big, happy family here & everything would be amazing. We lost everything to come home & buy a house. If we had waited, if we had been there, maybe we could have been there when you needed us,  maybe you wouldn't have felt abandoned. 

It seems my whole life, no matter what I did to try to make everything work, to make it better, it's been a failure. If I had just let life happen and stopped trying to control every aspect of it, it would have worked itself out.

We visited Taos yesterday, to watch our grand-nephew play baseball. I had always wanted to take you there. I have such fond memories of going there as a child, and even though it's been about 40 years between visits & its charm isn't the same as it once was, I still would have liked to go with you. I think you would have liked it, liked it's vibe. Nothing is as good knowing I can never share it with you. I've never been one, as an adult to bitch & cry about the unfairness of life, but this just isn't fair. I just don't see the purpose of your death. There is no reason or justification that will ever be good enough for me. I thought there were so many years left.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Another First Without You

I didn't write yesterday, it felt like we were a lot more busy than we really were. I think I was really just trying to avoid the fact that it was our first 4th of July without you. I have so many happy memories of the 4 of us celebrating. Going to watch the fireworks, where ever they were doing them that year & then as you got older, you & your sister helping Dad light them, helping me pick them out at the stand. 

That last one that we had when you weren't working, it as almost perfect, it could have only been better if your sister had been there, too. You & dad spent so much time playing music together that day. You got to really be an uncle for the first time that year, too, and you were so good with the girls. It hurts my heart to know that part of all of our lives is over - you were such a great uncle to all of them.

I miss you, Erin. Every minute of every day. 


Friday, July 3, 2015

Starting Over

"Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go;
It's learning to start again."

That is so true. I had to let go of you so long ago, I couldn't hold on & let you live life on your terms, I would never have been able to sleep or relax with worrying over you. You lived such a dangerous & toxic life for so long, I always assumed that you weren't going to live through it & I know that for awhile, you had no intention to.

Then you came home & you were getting your life together & I stopped worrying about you, started believing that you would become that person you dreamed of being before heroin & booze. You were awesome to be around, you were happier & more at ease with yourself than I'd ever seen you, I had my boyli back & we all had a second chance to get it right. 

I'm not sure what changed, why you started drinking & drugging again, after 18 months, but you did & things spiraled out of control until you ended up in jail. Things got better for a little while, then you started again, and we went through a roller coaster of using & not using to the end. 

We may never know for sure what happened that ended your life, I have to believe you wouldn't have put all of us through this pain on purpose, that you wouldn't have hurt us all this way, but what if you did? How will we all feel? It's hard enough trying to start my life over without you in it - how will I do it while carrying that guilt & anger?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Maybe No Tattoo Now

Well. I was told other people had made arrangements to make sure our memorial tattoos were paid for. Today I was told that wasn't going to be happening. We have so much debt right now. Part of it from making too many trips to Utah, part of it because of choices we made, I'm just not sure how all of this is going to come together now.

I'm frustrated. I'm disappointed. I'm worried. I just want, for one day, to feel normal - to feel how I used to, when everything that happened wasn't a freaking crisis in my mind.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I Never Realized

I don't think I even knew how many times you crossed my mind every day, in the most casual ways, but since you still do, I'm going to say it's probably always been that way. I'm sure your sister & brother cross it just as many times a days, but because it doesn't hurt, I don't really notice it. I miss your sister & I worry about her, because I haven't heard from her in awhile, but that's different than the sudden realization after thinking, "What should I get Erin for his birthday?" that you're gone & your birthdays will just be another day to remember that you're gone. 

I bought a planner a few days after we got back from your first memorial, it's been really therapeutic while I stagger my way through the loss of you. It helps me see that even though Friday still hurts, that there are other things during the week that don't, and that when I mark the day you died each month, that the month shows me things that I can celebrate and be happy about. I look forward to using it every day & decorating it every week, making things for it and all of that. It's one of the few truly selfish things I'm doing these days. 

So, today's picture is the layout I did for next week, the 2 month anniversary of your death. It's green & black, because you loved those colors. The owls represent the souls of the newly departed dead. The quotes speak to me about your life, how you lived fully & fearlessly, loved to travel & introduced your whole family to Harry Potter.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Self-Centered or Anxiety?

I really try, very hard, not to do a lot of complaining about our life here & our current living situation, when I do I seem to start focusing too much on the negative & less on the good things.

We don't have air conditioning in our house - none, no forced air, no swamp cooler, nothing. I'm very proactive in maintaining the coolness in the front part of the house, if the air that's coming in starts to get too warm, I immediately close the front door & the windows, to make sure the thick walls & shade trees can do their job. 

I close doors in the house that lead to rooms that are warmer than the rest of the house & if I need to use the oven, I do it while it's cool. 

I use fans to move hot air out of the house & circulate air around a room. I wear cool, loose, comfortable clothing. 

I take warm showers, because taking a cold shower means the air in the house is that much warmer than my skin & I am immediately sweating again.

Sometimes the house is too hot, and I get grumpy, but usually, I manage to keep it in a bearable range. I don't feel put upon or deprived when it's like that, it's how summer works - it gets hot. 

I don't bitch on Facebook that it's 80+ degrees in the house & hotter than the rest of the house & how I'm in a "hell box" that's closed off from the rest of the house. I don't whine to the world that I don't have AC & how that's all I want in a dream house. (For the record it's usually 80+ in here, too)

You know what I want? I want Erin back. I want my daughter here. Yes, I want our other son & his family to be happy & comfortable, but damn, how does bitching about it accomplish that?  It's not like we keep them trapped in the back of the house, they choose to be in there. They started hanging out there exclusively when we bought new furniture & asked that we not have every toy our granddaughter owned in here. 

Anyway. I needed to vent. I vented.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Mini Breakdown

Your ashes finally arrived. You're finally home with us, where you belong. It breaks me in ways I never knew were possible to see that the little boy I held, loved & raised has been reduced to a couple of boxes of ashes. Everything I knew & loved about you - burned up. Gone. I started crying the moment I picked the box up & continued as I held it closely to me. 

I resent that you had already been sent to Salt Lake City when we got to Cedar, that we didn't get to see one that one last time, maybe I wouldn't be so crushed now or maybe it wouldn't be so hard. I looked at it then as a blessing, not to have my final memories of you marred by seeing your empty body, but it might have helped in the mourning, in the acceptance.

I am relieved to finally have what's left of you. I was terrified the ashes would get lost in the mail & we'd be left with nothing at all. At any rate, I may be crying & hurting, but you're here.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Struggle

There are days when I cry about seemingly stupid things; like Morgan saying that they lost the best crafting partner when we moved - I cried like crazy over that, not because of her words, but because of my thoughts, which were, "And I lost everything." I don't share a lot of my thoughts & feelings about you on Facebook, too many people are unable to understand & those who can are also in pain.

I did mention yesterday that it's almost impossible to choose the most important or most precious pictures of you to hang, because they are the last, people had good suggestions & it helped that they understood what I was going through.

I also removed some people from my friends list, either I felt like I was being bullied by their desire for a final piece of you or by their extreme religious convictions or I just didn't  actually know who the hell they were or why they were there to begin with. I felt that I needed to take a stand & take care of myself, especially in one case, because things got very strange & it made me uncomfortable. So, here's hoping that's over.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Pictures

I spent the afternoon today getting your collage of pictures ready to frame & hang. I put everything on the cork board the way I thought it should be, then it didn't fit in the frame. So, I had to pry out all of the tacks without damaging the pictures and figure out what to do.

I mounted them all on cardboard & then framed it all. It turned out nice, but I want to put a banner on it with your name & dates on the frame. So. Now I have a cork board to use for things that remind me of you or that I find that were yours.

It's so hard & sad to narrow someone's life down to a few pictures & figure out which ones are the most precious when they all are, because there won't be any more pictures. Ever. I never understood how final that really is. I spent your life documenting everything with the camera, and now it's over. 


Friday, June 26, 2015

In My Lifetime - Should've Been in Yours

Today Marriage Equality became the law in this country. We talked about this often & wondered if we'd see it happen in our lifetimes. I remember at one point I told you I might not see it in mine, but I thought you would in yours. How sad it is to me that you missed it.

I'm emotional today, but I'm not sure if it's because I'm happy for the change or sad because you didn't live to see it, but really, it's more likely that it's a bit of both. It makes me wonder how many more things will happen in the years I have left that should be happy, but will be bittersweet to me. It's not fair, Erin. You should be here, celebrating one less injustice in this world, but you aren't. 


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer

We got a new lawnmower, grass seed & a sprinkler system, to put in that lawn you were supposed to help us do. I found the fountain I want to out in your memorial garden - it's a lion, and the first time I saw it, I knew that was where it needed to go, in the garden I'm planting  for my Leo. I can't afford it right now, so I'm hoping it'll be there when I can.

We went to the farmers market & bought a few onions & tomatoes, came home, ate dinner. I was craving ice cream & that made me sad because it reminded me of you. I rarely buy any now, I can't help but think of you & whether you'd like a flavor if I do, and ice cream should never make people sad. 

The rest of your ashes are supposedly on their way to us, after almost 2 months. We'll see, I'll believe it when they show up here, personally.

I know I sound apathetic, and maybe I am today, or maybe I'm just tired. I don't even know anymore.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A New Normal

I'm working towards the goal of figuring out my new normal, knowing full well that the one I had grown accustomed to is gone forever. I have a new planner, I decorate it, plan in it & have been sticking with it, so far. It helps me to have a plan written down & tools to use to help me actually get things done. That includes note pads I can carry around with me that have whatever tasks need doing written on them, that way I can keep it with me & not forget what needs to be done next.

I enjoy getting everything done & seeing the house clean and seeing stuff on my stupid little lists getting checked off. I guess it's because I can control it and there seems like precious little that I really can. You dying taught me that, along with treasuring every minute I get with the people I love, because it all ends before you're ready. (I doubt I would've ever been ready)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Grrrrr

Ok. It's been over a week since Kassy got her half of Erin's ashes. They were supposed to mail them out shortly after that to us, but still nothing & no word from them, either.

Why should we have to keep inquiring about this to a company that we paid over $1500 to to have a service done? They lied to us the first time we called to asked about them, saying that the ME had "just finished the autopsy" and they were going up that weekend to pick them up. This got Troy & I so upset that he ended up calling the Utah ME to ask what was going on & was told that they had finished within the proscribed time & had sent him along for cremation quite a bit before that. 

I'm frustrated & upset. If they are lost then we have nothing.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Late

I'm posting later than usual, I was too busy & hot during the daylight hours to think, let alone process my thoughts. I worked in our bedroom today so that I could have some space to work on my planner & get ready for my day. It was already getting hot up here by 8am, so doing it at noon wasn't one of my best ideas.

I got the room cleaned & mostly organized, for the first time since you died, and I listened to my Old Crow Medicine Show station on Pandora while I did it. I didn't cry when Foggy Mountain Breakdown came on. I didn't cry when Shady Grove came on. Wagon Wheel didn't play, which is going to make me cry for the rest of my days. I hung a picture of you, Kassy & Bella on the wall by our desk, so I can look up & see you happy & smiling with your ladies, dressed up & looking handsome.

I wish you hadn't been in such a hurry to leave us all. I wish you'd have hung around awhile longer, but at least you will never have to know this kind of pain personally, the loss of someone you've spent so many years of your life with.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Another First Without You

The first Father's Day without you. Dad is very quiet and sad-feeling (he isn't showing it, I feel it), we haven't said much about it, and I feel like I'm being shut out, but I guess that's ok, it hurts, but there are things that hurt much worse than that. Hopefully it'll all iron out & not destroy what we have.

We never made a big deal out of Father's & Mother's Day, in a way, that kind of eases the pain of these holidays. Everyone going on & on about them doesn't help, but it isn't their fault that they are able to find happiness in them, they have their children, their lives are intact. They should, by all means, have an amazing day & make wondeful memories with their children. 


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Just Keep Swimming

I've done my level best this week to just stay busy. To not allow myself time to stop & think, or remember or miss you. I'll probably cry while writing this, but that's the way it goes & part of the process.

I ordered prints of pictures of you for us, Kassy & Rhi, I've also spent time going through old pictures of you, looking for duplicates to send along. I know I have copies of all of your school pictures somewhere, and while they don't catch your personality like candids do, I've lost most of those from your early childhood. When I find the scrapbooks, I'll scan the pictures from those & have them printed, too, although the early pictures are the most painful.

I find myself feeling a lot of jealousy towards people who still have all of their kids and the inside jokes they have & enjoy with them. I cried last night thinking about the cracklin' man & how I'd never get another text from you just saying "Hellow."

Dad is having a hard time this week, with Father's Day looming tomorrow, we've pretty much agreed to just ignore it the best we can, unless your sister calls. On the positive side of it, it's one less first we have to go through after it's over.

I joined an online, non-religious grief support group. It helps knowing there are people to talk to when I need to, that won't feel like they have to fix it and won't judge me for still grieving for you, no matter how long it takes. I feel like less of a burden.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Never Normal Again

Today, or I should say, the last 30 minutes have been a prime example of how our lives will never be normal again.

I just wanted to buy baseball tickets, to give us a little taste of happiness again before the summer is gone & we have far too many dark hours & too many holidays to sit here & miss you. 

My phone refuses to cooperate while I'm trying to buy tickets, so I switch to my computer. I can't remember my TicketMaster password so it locks me out & I have to change  passwords to get in. I take care of that & by that time, my cart is empty so I start over again. I enter everything, get almost the same seats we had last time & go to pay & the window keeps hanging there. The "processing your request" overlay goes away, but the screen doesn't change. I try to get the bank page to load so I can see if it went through, but it won't load, so I try on my phone, it won't load there either. I shut my computer down so I can try rebooting.

The bank loads just fine of Troy's phone, everything is how we left it, so no new charges. I reboot my computer & can't even get facebook to load, which I need to access the event for the group tickets I'm trying to buy. So, here I lie, upstairs, on the bed where it's way too hot at this time of day, bawling my eyes out because this frustration is too much for me. No Rockies hat with Mickey Mouse on it is worth this.

I want my life back. I want my heart back. I want my son back.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Tears

Last night I couldn't stop crying. I laid in the dark, tears streaming down my face, gasping for air, throat constricted, heart breaking into a million more pieces, just like the very first night.

I talked to you two days before you died, Erin. Two. Days. What in the world happened between those 2 days? What went wrong? 

I worked on your picture cork board for awhile the other day. I think it may have been too much for me right now. There were too many pictures of you from too many times in your life. I see things in your eyes from your teen years that I should've seen back then, things that should have alarmed me, but didn't at the time.

It literally breaks me to see the pain in your eyes, to know I completely missed it, putting most of that off as you being a moody teen, but I know that it was real & I refused to see it, that it was too close. I'm so sorry that I failed you in so many ways, but I'm more sorry that all of my chances to tell you that are gone.

Time moves on. We move closer to your birthday. I'm not sure I can handle that, I'm just thankful I won't be alone.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Disbelief

Today is another one of those days where it just doesn't seem real. My mind sometimes refuses to accept that you're gone. Forever. Never coming back. It tries to trick me into thinking that someday you'll be back, probably for the holidays or after the summer or whatever.

My heart knows. The pain reminds me every day, but my mind is trying to protect me from the pain, from the finality. I'm still trying to wrap my head around so much. Trying to figure out how to answer that question everyone always seems to get around to asking, about if I have kids & how many. How do I ever answer that without crying? Will I ever be able to? Most days I can't even talk or think about you without crying and that's just in a casual manner.

I just want to get past all of these "firsts" so I can stop dreading everything.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ashes

Well. Kassy has her half of your ashes and ours will be sent to us soon. I guess you wouldn't be surprised to know that I'm putting some in ink & getting that Phoenix tattoo we kept talking about. I'm sure I mentioned I'd be getting it without you somewhere in here. There are a lot of people who are doing the same thing. It's the only way we really have of keeping you near us now.

There are so many people who are carrying so much pain & guilt over your passing. I try really hard to not have regrets in my life, but I'm so filled with them now, if I had it to do over, I would do anything in my control to change the course of your fate. I was never a fearful person, now I live in fear that I'll lose another of my kids or your dad. I just can't. 

There is so little joy in things we used to do as a family, or just you & I, that I have to find new things that don't hurt. I hope that someday I'll be able to go back to an Amtgard park  day, or to a Starbucks or sit outside with my morning coffee, but sewing is hard enough & I think of you every time I do.  I literally have to talk myself into going in the craft room & getting started. 

You were supposed to be here, Erin. You wanted to move here, to start over, to leave the bad stuff in Utah behind. It hurt me so much when you decided you weren't coming, but at least I still had hope that you would come. That we could move past the things that happened over the last 10 months of your life, that Dad & I could understand why you said the horrible things you said about us. That we could understand why you suddenly started hating us, why you wanted me dead that night when I called the police. 

I love you so much. 

I miss you so much. 

I will never understand what went wrong.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Just Another Day in Paradise

Not feeling well today. It seems the more sleep I get, the shittier I feel. I've had a headache all day & I'm super tired. We didn't get anything done that we had planned, then it rained. So.. Sitting around, binge-watching Blue Bloods with your Dad, crying every time someone's kid dies, or a kid is sweet to a parent. Fun times.

We'll have insurance on July 1, it's not costing us an arm & a leg, surprisingly. Hopefully going to the doctor won't either, I definitely need to get my medication going again. Some relief from the depression would be such a blessing right now.

Your sister is okay. She isn't great, but she's getting by, doing her time & waiting to get out.

Sometimes it feels like people think I'm crazy because I believe you're still around, that there are too many things that happen for it to be coincidence, I don't care anymore. I do think you're here. I know you didn't want to hurt any of us. I know you wish we weren't hurting & missing you, and I know you would, if it was within your power, do whatever you could to show us all that you aren't gone. Not really.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Before & After

I can look at pictures I posted last month & know instantly the day our lives changed - when it became divided into two parts; before & after. That picture is just an ordinary one, taken a little while before I got that terrible call, just four boxes from our grocery shopping trip that morning, but looking at it causes me pain. That was, what seems like, the last truly normal moment in my life.

Everything now is tinged with sadness and memories that I can allow up to the surface, because I can't spend my life crying my eyes out. I never used to pay attention when something made me laugh or smile, but now, it's a big deal, because some days I have to force myself. When it just happens it's a golden moment.

Good news though, we should have health insurance soon, and getting back on my meds will help. I'm keeping up with the house for the most part & cooking dinner at night. Caring enough to shower is still hard sometimes, but it'll happen eventually.

I miss you, my boyli. I don't think I'm ever going to have another day when that isn't my first & last thought.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Everywhere I Look

I see you everywhere. Someone will post Amtgard pictures from Dragon Spyre & see you there, fighting & happy. I see traveling kids & you're right there with them. You're in passing cars, walking down the street, and at bus stops. You're in every song we ever shared, every movie we watched together & in every place we ever went together. All of this is true for me, but yet, I can't remember your voice anymore. It's not fair. None of this is fair, or just or anything remotely understandable.

I don't know why you're gone. I don't know how to answer the question "How many kids do you have?" anymore. You're still my kid, you're just not here anymore, but is that everyone's business? If I say I have 3, does that open me up to questions about ages and all of that? If I say I have 2 living & one dead, do I have to expect questions from strangers about your death? If I say two, is that pretending you never existed?

Will any of this ever make sense to my heart? Will I ever accept that we aren't being pranked & you aren't hiding somewhere, waiting to pop out & surprise us? Will I ever be able to understand the finality of this horrible thing? If I do, will I even be able to survive this? We went through so much, Erin. So many good & bad times, so much work to get where we were in our relationship, and I still lost you. Knowing that, knowing that I had no control of that, that I could do nothing to save you, that just destroys me. My soul aches every day.

Monday, June 8, 2015

1Month

I'm not even sure what to say. It hurts just as much today as it did a month ago, it just isn't on the top of my mind all the time. It's there, every day, I'm sure it always will be, I still cry a lot, I still question everything I did or said in the last year wondering if there was anything that could have changed your life, I still miss you, I still can't let myself remember your childhood. 

In other ways, I'm doing better - or forcing myself to do better - I'm getting my chores done, I'm cooking, I'm making plans, we're living our lives & doing things for fun again. I still escape into sleep every night & feel like I could sleep for several days at a time & still not get enough rest, but I accept that it's normal & a part of the process.

Sometimes I still have to take life one second at a time, and there are still plenty of days spent crying, but it's not every day anymore, so I'm going to count that as progress.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Staying Busy

I've spent the past couple of days staying busy, trying not to focus on tomorrow being the 8th & one month. The house is clean, groceries are bought & mostly put away, food for the next two weeks is planned, library books checked in & new ones are checked out.

I bought fabric for a purse & wallet to make, we wandered through the mall, chose movies to see at the drive-in tonight & bought snacks for that. I even had a short nap. It's raining & the wind is blowing, so the bedroom is nice & cool right now.

I feel my grief, I accept that it's there & have been able to move forward, I know every day won't be like that, but I'm going to take advantage of those that are.


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Time

Well.. In two days you'll have been gone a month. We still don't have your ashes, nor have we heard anything about them, so I guess we need to call the funeral home on Monday & see what's going on.

I can't remember from one day to the next what I've posted & what I haven't, between the grief & ADD, I swear I've lost my ability to think, reason & remember most days.

We finally got the front yard fenced & gated, which makes the dogs very happy. The first time we let them out without us last night they were very tentative & shocked to be out on their own, not on a lead. They quickly got used to the idea though & love wandering around, sniffing & exploring, especially Bella. She's lost her pudge & isn't a sausage anymore, which I know would make you happy, and she looks and acts healthy & mostly happy. There are times when I know she's sad & confused, and times when I know she's waiting for you. I feel terrible for her - we may not like it, but we know you're gone & never coming back - she still believes you'll be back for her (& I believe that when her time comes, you will come to get her, but please, not too soon, she's all I have), and she'll wait for you forever. I don't know, maybe those times when she gets unaccountably excited & starts wagging her whole body & yip-barking she feels you there & maybe you're keeping her company, the thought that you are comforts me. 

We'll all be okay one day. We won't stop missing you or grieving the loss of you & we'll be different, but we will be ok.


Friday, June 5, 2015

Four Weeks

Another Friday. Another week trying to get used to the idea that we'll never see you again. How can that even be? There were still things we all wanted to do together? How is it even possible that we'll never get to now? 

Why?!?! Why is all I have left of you is a guitar, a leather jacket & a giant hole in my soul?  Why is that I now get to try to rely on my memory of who you were and pictures? I don't even have a voicemail to try to save & listen to over & over so I never forget your voice.

Why can the memory of that day still bring me to my knees & steal the breath from my lungs?

I'm trying so hard just to get through every day, to just get things done & I can't even do that. I start to clean the kitchen and it never gets done. I plan to get the living room dusted & vacuumed, but I haven't done it. None of it even matters anymore. It's all just stuff that has to be taken care of when half the time I'm not sure I can take care of myself.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Not Real

Every time I see a picture of you, it still feels like I'll see you again, that if I wait long enough, if I'm just patient, you'll be back. It's so hard for me to accept that you'll always be on the verge of turning 27, that you'll never be any older, you'll always, in my mind, look the same. Frozen in time, and in my memories.

I just don't understand what we could have done to deserve this. To have to spend the rest of our lives without you, why? We just wanted all of us to be together, to live in a place where we could all be happy & move forward as a family & now? It'll never happen, even if your sister makes it out here,  you'll still never be joining us.

Someday I hope I can accept that. Someday I'll accept that no matter what I say or do, I can't change this. Not today, but maybe someday.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

So Much..

Do you even know how many people considered you to be their best friend? There are days when I'm just blown away by the lives you touched in your short life.

There are still people who are just finding out that you're gone. I feel terrible that they're finding out this way, but it can't be helped, we posted on every page we could think of, hoping word would spread throughout your huge circle of friends, we did what we could.

I'm finally back to where I feel like doing more than sitting here, lost in my thoughts or sleeping. I know it would be easier if I had my antidepressants, but I don't, so I'm coping as best as I can. I cooked enchiladas the night before last, out of the blue, just because I wanted them. I'm thinking about making pizza tomorrow night, after Dad & I work on getting our fence up. The dogs definitely need a place to run & play here, so we'll get it up, even though it'll be hard with just the two of us.

Today I'm going to start sketching out the tattoo I'm getting in your memory. I think you'd be amused that many of your friends are getting your "bullmoose" tattoo duplicated in your memory. I'm not. I'm finally getting that Phoenix we wanted to get together, you'll be there, in a way, although I'd have preferred getting it with you. 

This is my life now, doing the things I would have done with you alone. Fences. Sprinklers. Playing with Bella. Tattoos. Everything.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Contemplation

I spent an insane amount of time between yesterday & today updating & revamping one of my old, unused blogs so that I would have a place to journal, somewhere to talk about my feelings that doesn't make anyone uncomfortable. It's been so good for me to just be able to say how I feel without worrying about making anyone else who loved you cry, or without thinking that my "friends" on FB or Google+ would get tired of seeing it & block me or unfriend me, because I'm not grieving as quickly as they think I should. 

Someone told me earlier today that it was "your time to go" and that they had left us alone during our "initial period of grieving." Like now, at almost 4 weeks, we should be nearing the end of our pain or shock or anger or disbelief. Guess what? We don't even have your ashes back, let alone your death certificate or a cause of death, and while it may not be all-encompassing (at least today), we're far from over our initial grief. We still have almost all of those heartbreaking "firsts" to get through, maybe when we survive those, we can say that we'll be okay.

I think about you all the time, I talk to you, even if it's just in my own head all the time, too. I still start to text you because I haven't heard from you & I wonder what you're up to & if you're okay - it breaks me anew every time I realize that I'll never hear from you again & that you aren't okay, because you're dead. I see the dogs do something cute & I think about how it would make you smile, and I miss your smile so, so much.. More at times than I miss your face & your voice.

We went to a bluegrass festival on Sunday that you'd have loved, there were so many groups you'd have enjoyed & so much great music. We fully intend to go back next year, we really enjoyed it, a lot. 

The dogs were playing tug together with the crab you bought them a little while ago, it would have made you laugh. I tried to get a picture of it, but Emmy wanted to get involved (I still think of you telling them not to "get the jacket involved" every time I say that), so I couldn't. She calls the crab "crabbit" and pretends to be afraid of it. It makes me so sad to know that she'll never remember you, or meeting you & how you spoiled her rotten with Halloween candy when you did. That you won't get to see her grow up, or any of your nieces or nephews. You were such an awesome uncle to them all.


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Company

 
I had company yesterday (more than Jaden, who's here every Saturday). A young woman from the Cañon City park came by to spend time with me. She was kind & didn't make me talk about things that would make me cry.

Amtgard may never again be a weekly thing I'm able to do, no matter how much I miss our friends & that connection with fellow nerds. It still hurts too much. It's still too much you to take in at once. I still look for you on every ditch line, in every picture anyone posts of any event.

There are times when I'm okay. When the tears aren't right under the surface. Yesterday was a day like that, it's too early to know if today will be. We did notice at lunch yesterday that it felt like we stopped doing anything, that it felt like we were waiting for something, what we have no idea. The other shoe to drop? You to not be dead? To find out how you died? At any rate, we know there isn't anything to wait for & we're attempting to get back to our normal life - as normal as it can be now.

Kurt almost died at Salt Wars, Dad was the med-o-crat & couldn't do much but watch him turn blue & get ready to trach him. I stayed in the tent & cried, I couldn't do it, couldn't be there when another of our boys died. Thankfully he got help soon enough & a day in ICU saved him and he's on the road to getting the assistance he needs. But. Yeah.

Friday, May 29, 2015

3 Weeks

 
3 weeks. Maybe in 3 years or 3 decades I'll finally stop feeling like you're going to text me, call me or walk through the door. Maybe I'll stop thinking I can do something to change it, to make you come back. Maybe I won't have that haunted look in my eyes. Maybe I'll have stopped wondering what you would've been like in your 30s, 40s and 50s, or if you'd have ever had kids or gotten married.

Maybe someday I won't hate Fridays anymore.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A New Life, Just Begun

 
Mark & Sarah's little boy was born 2 days ago, they named him Ullric Hammond. He's very cute.

I had a little bit of a meltdown yesterday evening, and cried until I couldn't anymore, some days I get through okay & others I cry my way through. On almost all of them though I feel like I'm just going through the motions, trying to get through it to another day further from the pain. Tomorrow is 3 weeks, and a lifetime.

This week I vary between no hunger, starving & nausea if I eat anything. I have no way of telling if it's an illness of grief, it just is. It's how life is right now.

I often wonder if you had any idea at all of the number of lives you touched & how many people loved you & are missing you, now. I wonder if knowing would have made a difference in how you lived your last year. I know it's pointless for me to think about it, but at the same time, it's made me realize how much I matter to people around me & it is changing how I live my own life.

So many stupid, petty things just don't even matter anymore. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What You'll Never See

 
Another day. 24 more hours. I keep breathing & living through the pain. I remember how you & I used to wonder what changes we'd see in our lifetimes, always assuming you'd see things that I wouldn't, with that being the natural course of events in life. It wounds me to know that I will now see new things that you won't. That things will change that we should have seen & discussed together & now you will be the silent half of that conversation. I'll never get to know what you think about anything again.

I used to feel like I didn't have enough years left in my life to make a difference, to do all of the things I wanted to do.. Now those years seem vast, knowing you won't be in them. I know I'll survive, I know in time the pain won't be as fresh, as sharp, as overwhelming, I hope, too, that the thought of my remaining years, spent without one of my kids won't be so panic-causing with enough time & healing.

For now, dad & I accept that we will never be the people we were before 1:47pm on May 8, 2015, but we are still here & we have to keep living & moving forward, so we actively seek out the normal moments where we find them.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Sister's Pain

 
I talked to Rhi yesterday. Her first sentence was almost overwhelming, "I've been dreading this call, because I knew I'd cry." It's not that she's embarrassed to cry in jail or feels like it makes her a target, it's because (& I've felt this a lot, too) she doesn't want people to say, "let me know if I can do anything," because we all only want one thing & no one can bring you back. The only other thing Dad & I could ask for (& probably Rhi, too) is to not hurt like this anymore, and they can't do that, either.

The GoFundMe that Dea started for us raised enough to pay for your cremation, so we paid that back to Grandma Jeanie this morning, now we just keep waiting.. For your ashes, for your death certificate, to know how you died, if we never know why.

I miss you, kid. I've missed you so much since you graduated, you'd think I'd be used to it. This time is different. This time I know you won't be coming through the door ever again. I don't think any amount of time is ever going to make that hurt less.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Salt Wars

 
I haven't posted in a few days, we were traveling to & from Salt War & your memorial for them. It was cold and rainy, but the site was beautiful, you'd have loved it so much. It reminded me of the place we used to go Uprising at. Your knight isn't handling your passing well & I wish I could reach out & help her, but I'm not sure how or what to say or do, sometimes I feel like I'm being judged for whatever I seem to be feeling or not feeling. I don't know, but I'm sure the only pain I can manage right now is my own.

It rained pretty much all day, every day, until Sunday. Kurt nearly died on Friday night/Saturday morning. He had a near-fatal asthma attack & had to be intubated & rushed to the ER, where he was admitted to the ICU. After they handled his breathing, they found out he was nearly kidney failure from dehydration, as well. He was discharged on Sunday, after we had headed home.

The memorial was beautiful, so many people spoke of you with fondness & love, so many tears. You are (and always will be) missed to the core of all of us. Agard & Bruff closed it out by singing & playing "Wagon Wheel," on guitar & mando, while everyone there sang along - you'd have loved it.

Bella. She thought she heard you fighting the ditch line on Saturday, she got so excited - barking her crazy yipping bark, wagging her whole body, only to see it wasn't you. She sleeps with us, coming back upstairs to guard me after her breakfast if I'm still in bed, just like she always did with you.

I guess I've had my morning cry, now time for the business of everyday - food. Shower. Bills. Groceries.