Wednesday, August 26, 2015

It's not my fault...

How one would cope with the loss of something so great. You don’t. No loss is the same and no one gives you “Grief Tools” or “Grief Badge” when you are young. Most of the time, we shield our children from the loss. We want to protect them. I learned at a young age how death feels and what we teach at a young age is usually how we deal with it as adults. I coped by running. I was known for building a wall so high that it was impossible to get in.  As I have stated, I have known more loss and sorrow than one person should bear. Of all the people who should be able to “cope” death of this magnitude, my cup runs over and I find myself at a total loss.  But the fact of the matter is that you are never prepared for the loss of a loved on even if you have done it too many to count. In times of sorrow, you learn things about yourself that you didn't know. You also learn things about your loved one you never knew possible. You find yourself holding on to anything and nothing at all...

Is there calm after the storm….No, there is function enough to get through the immediate situation the best you can. The only thing that I knew for sure was that Sara wanted to be cremated. We had talked about it a few times. Recently in fact, the night before she took her own life. We had a meeting at the financial planner Thursday night and part of that plan was to discuss wills and what we wanted in the "end" We always agreed that I would be cremated and she would have me on a necklace. She made sure that she told us that’s what she would want as well. She didn’t like the thought of being in the ground with the bugs. She hated bugs and that was not something that she could handle. After a loved one’s dies, no matter how or why it’s the hardest thing to figure out what’s next, if it they didn’t spell it out for you. You don’t have a choice but to make choices but your mind won’t allow you the ability to decide anything. It goes into protect mode. Mine did anyways. It only allowed basic thought process…yes and no answers. Moments of blurred crazy…whirlwind inside your head with nothing to hold on to…You are not sure what is up or down, right or wrong…
The lost was too great to understand and too huge but people need answers. Answers you don’t know and answers you were never prepped for. The morning after Sara took her life, I received a call from a woman named Linda. Linda had a sweet voice and I could hear the sorrow in her voice but what did she need? What did she just ask? She asked the unimaginable? How could she? She wanted me to decide if Sara's tissue could be donated. My first thought was to tell her to f@ck off and not to touch a hair on my baby’s head. Magically Sara was going to all of a sudden show up unharmed…She asked again this time explaining that Sara had the ability to help people. With my permission, they would use her tissue to help others. You want to what? I made the 2nd hardest choice I have ever been faced with. I called her dad to make sure that he was ok with the choice. This was our baby and he had as much right to say no as I did. We decided that we would allow Sara's tissue to help others. You lose everything in a moment and then they ask for more but we did the right thing. We chose to honor our daughter and give to others. Now I am not sure if this is something that she would have wanted or not. It's not like we talked about her leaving this earth before me. Regardless, we as her family choose to make a difference. Sara’s tissue was donated to help over 50 people. A piece of her will go on in the lives of others…I try to find comfort in that.
The next few days are such a blur. From trying to find a place to have her cremated to battling the demons in my head to figuring out what we are going to do with the house. I don’t know who I called and who I didn't call. What I remember is the lady at the creation place, trying to help my family through the worst time in our lives. I remember people bringing food and water to help. I remember feeling lonely yet surrounded. I remember seeing so many faces yet none of them I wanted to see. I wanted to see hers. I wanted her to walk in and hug me or nudge me again. Poke at me…. Sara's choice impacted everyone. There were hundreds of people who were impacted by one decision. She didn’t make the right choice. Sara didn’t speak up and tell us what her struggles were.  Sara took her life with my 22 Walter pistol. I don’t need a lecture on gun safety. They were hidden, put away and safe. Our guns were never loaded. It was a range gun only, not used for protection. Gun safety was 100% important in our house. My daughter’s bad choice to end her life and use my gun IS NOT MY FAULT. She made the wrong choice. Her life mattered and speaking up matters. Sara's last breathe was in our bedroom. I was the last person to see her. Those are my demons and mine alone however I do not carry them alone. I have friends and family who have tried to hold just a piece of the pain from time to time. My husband has been there from the beginning and has never left my side. He walks through every nightmare I have. He is my rock through all of this.  He goes to every appointment, every meeting, every phone call, everything. Sara’s dad has also been there through everything. We were her parents and we did everything that we could to protect her and guide her, love her, encourage her, praise her, we would do anything for her. She took a bad moment in her day and let it get the best of her, instead of reaching out which is why I blog now.  To show the world that you can carry the worst demons and talk about them. To share with everyone that I will SPEAK!!!! I will share my story….I will not be SILENCE as I walk through this hell!!!!

I am not asking for you to carry my burden. What I am asking you to do is SPEAK. Talk to your children about death, about suicide about coping with pressures. Ask those though questions like- have you thought of it? Have you talked to your friends about it? Have your friends mentioned it? DO NOT SHY AWAY FROM IT OUT OF FEAR. It's not a common cold you can fix after the fact. You have to not be afraid.  If it could happen to Sara, then it can happen to anyone. Everyone that I have talked to who also suffered a loss this way, 90% of the time had no idea that their children were hurting or had these thoughts. Those signs that everyone talks about are a guide not the absolute fact that they will meet this criteria. Most people also at some point research it. We know that Sara researched it.  We didn’t know that at the time, we were given no standard textbook signs. I share every detail of our nightmare to be transparent-to prevent someone else from having and living this hell. If I can save 1 or 10 it will be worth sharing my story. 

So SPEAK!!! SPEAK UP!!! And Stop Sara’s Silence. 

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