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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.