My Dear Haddie Sue,
5 Years. I remember in the early days after losing you I didn’t think I could survive the next moment without you. It hurt to breath, to think, it hurt to exist without you. Many days the pain was so great that the only thing I looked forward to was sleep. When I slept I escaped my pain. But even that is bittersweet because waking up every day to a world without you in it was a horrific nightmare. A nightmare that I had to live every day.
During this time several people reached out to me that had lost a child. Some of them were 5, 10, 20 years into their grief journey. I remember thinking, “They seem so normal.” How can they seem so normal when I feel like this. What I have realized is that someday I will be that person that “seems” normal. It’s not just a decision you make one day when you wake up. It happens overtime. Although I seem more “normal” 5 years later, and I now know that those people I thought were “normal” are not.
There are areas of my life that are easier than they were in those early days. But there are also so many areas where I feel stuck, and I wonder if I will ever move forward. Somehow here I am and I survived these 5 years without you. There has been many moments of joy and blessings. But I’ll be honest there has also been many moments that are ugly, that hurt, that make me question everything. There are still moments that still hurt to exist. I’ve said it before, but I feel like it should be tattooed on my forehead or there should be a gaping wound on my body that people could see, so they know that there is something wrong with me. I am not normal.
5 years later I am still dealing with the same problems. I try to “fix” this, even though I know there is no fix. But I continuously try to make it better, make my family better, be CONTENT. I do this by buying everything I think I need, or we need, taking vacations, trying to have babies, moving houses, and more so much more. All of these things cause many issues….fights, instability, anxiety. At what point do I throw my hands in the air, surrender, you win, this is as good as it gets. Everything I try may bring me momentary relief. But nothing fixes this. One thing I do know is that I will never be content. I know that I can be grateful for the good things in my life like my amazing kids, my life sustaining needs met, new experiences, the list goes on. But content is something I will never be. I am hopeful that I will someday find peace and stop trying to find the NEXT “fix”. But I will never be at peace with what happened to you, or that you are not here.
My faith journey was/is pretty much non-existent for several years. The anger and hurt I felt towards God I couldn’t seem to let go. I had done all the things, led the Bible studies, said the prayers, did the ministry, and yet this is what I was given. I know my logical brain says God did not let you die, but my heart could not feel that. I recently came to the realization that I still believe in God, but right now I don’t trust Him. This is something I am working on. I’m starting slow. Tucking my kids in at night and saying a simple prayer with them. I am thankful for my faith community that prays over me when I can’t, who believes when I can’t.
Haddie, THIS is not the life I imagined living. I am not the mom I want to be to my kids. I am not the wife I thought I would be to your daddy. But I am trying. My new mantra for this year going forward is “moment-by-moment”.
I am choosing to TRY to live moment by moment. I’m going to try to trust God in this moment. I’m not going to worry about the next, just this moment. I am going to try to be the mom my kids deserve in THIS moment, and not obsess over the next. I am going to try to be a better wife, friend, etc in THIS moment. I am going to try to do all this not to move on, or because I don’t hurt any longer. The hurt is still the same. But I need to do better for Eloise and Fitz. They deserve so much more than what I have to give.
Haddie my love for you is so big. My heart is forever torn. You should be here, and I am angry, and it still hurts.
5 years without you so much has changed, and yet so much has not.