Tag Archives: unexpected loss

Remembering Past Octobers; Cherishing the Memories

Thinking of families who are missing children who are not with them today. I am thankful that I can search from prior years (my how time passes) to find posts which help me remember the fun times with AnnaLeah and Mary.

66 gertie 2250 90a gertie 2764 93 gertie 2775AnnaLeah in costume

Reformation Day…in times past  https://www.facebook.com/464993830249803/photos/a.465869083495611.1073741828.464993830249803/535703336512185/?type=1

Remembering October…photo slideshow of Mary & AnnaLeah  https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=536019559813896&id=464993830249803

Mary enjoyed her last October (2012):  https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=724304580985392&id=464993830249803

The Headless Creatures & costume fun over the years:  https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=724314460984404&id=464993830249803

I wonder what…will never be:  https://www.facebook.com/464993830249803/photos/a.465869083495611.1073741828.464993830249803/725185964230587/?type=1

Reformation Day…photos Mary took in October 2012:  https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=725190607563456&id=464993830249803

Photo Album: Mary Gets a Clown Face https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.567421063340412.1073741937.464993830249803&type=3

 

Blindsided By Unexpected Loss; The many facets of grief

I recently returned from a trip to DC where Jerry, Isaac, and I joined with other families who had experienced unexpected loss by way of devastating truck crashes. At the Truck Safety Coalition’s Sorrow to Strength Conference we shared our stories with one another, attended workshops to learn more about truck safety issues and how to advocate for change, as well as participated in meetings on The Hill.

One of the workshops was on the topic of grief and I had made the comment that what we all experienced in our horrific, tragic losses made the grief more complicated because of the anger and frustration we all too often feel when too little is done too late to save (other) lives. It is sometimes hard to move on fully with, as they say, “a new normal” when you witness the seemingly calloused and indifferent attitude toward what should be preventable deaths.

Supposedly its a risk you take when you choose to get on the road, you know. Or, changes would not be “cost effective.”

In any case, I wanted to share an article which I read last year. It helped me process my feelings of grief at the unexpected loss I have felt after discovering in 2010 that many of our family members face challenges we had never anticipated with a progressive hereditary peripheral neuropathy (Charcot Marie Tooth or CMT). What they tell us is that it is not life-threatening, but it is a life-changer.

I had searched online and found this interesting article about the grieving of parents with disabled children, which could be helpful for any grieving person–no matter what their loss, The Impact of Childhood Disability: The Parent’s Struggle, by Ken Moses, Ph.D.:
http://www.pent.ca.gov/beh/dis/parentstruggle_DK.pdf

I just now re-read it and noticed this statement by the author:  After working with parents of the impaired for many years, I have come to believe that I was given bad advice. I have come to believe that pain is the solution, not the problem.

That reminded me of something my 5 year-old granddaughter said earlier this year:

One day, Vanessa asked me (out of the blue), “Does pain fix sadness?

Me: “Well. . .?”

Vanessa: Runs off to play. . .

I don’t know. Will the pain which I am going through eventually “fix” my sadness? Is the pain a process–or at least a signal or indication that a process of healing is taking place? If I were not feeling the pain, would it be harder to complete that process? Will the pain ever lessen?

I have also known real peace in this season. It also comes and goes–seeming elusive. Comes mostly when I am focused on the promises of God–in word or song–like the song I sang at their funeral, In Christ Alone. I really believed it then and I believe it now. It just seems in stiff competition with the real pain.

Read more in that post, Real Pain, Real Peacehttp://annaleahmary.com/2015/03/real-pain-real-peace/

I was glad to see that Jerry and Isaac had an opportunity to tell our story themselves for the preparation of videos which I just discovered are now posted on the Truck Safety Coalition’s website:

 

Other families share their truck crash stories here: http://trucksafety.org/get-involved/personal-stories/ .

Just yesterday, I read a facebook post and comments by some of the TSC family members. They were commenting on how hard it was to get back into things after the conference in DC and how they struggled anew with the grief and sadness. It reminded me of how thankful I was for the comment made several times at the conference that we will not tell each other, “Get over it.” It is such a complicated grief; we will never fully get over it.

But, with hope, we will carry on because we know that someday we will see their face again:

http://annaleahmary.com/2015/05/how-a-truck-crash-changed-the-month-of-may-or-what-happens-when-nobody-takes-responsibility/

If you lost someone unexpectedly, I think you’ll understand.

I don’t really need to write about this. I should just have a stiff upper lip and all that. But there are still so many moments when I am caught unawares and the grief takes over.

Like tonight. . . my grandson was watching a Rhett & Link Youtube video and mentioned something about “Grandma watches them.” Well, I had told him about them–showed him one of their videos a few months ago and got him started watching, I guess.

But then, I started to explain how they had moved from North Carolina to California about. . . and then I stopped to think how long ago it was and I figured it in “Before/After the crash” “when AnnaLeah and Mary were still here” time units, and I realized that it had probably been about two and one-half years ago–the crash being two years ago and Rhett & Link’s move about 6 months before that.

When AnnaLeah and Mary and their brother and I would watch the new episode every week together on the computer in the dining room. And laugh. Seems like just yesterday yet foreverago. And nevermore.

But not anymore. I don’t watch it anymore. I don’t know why. Some things are just too hard.

That’s all. I can’t begin to describe how it feels so wrong. It wasn’t supposed to be like this at all.

gertie 2842Winter photos 2013 083picereeees 136Picture 366

This was possibly the first Rhett & Link Youtube video that AnnaLeah & Mary introduced me to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ubTQfr_tyY