Yesterday I met some friends at Paint Monkey, a place where you paint as an instructor explains how to fill in your painting, this was my third time attending an event like this, my first with some friends. I arrived exactly on time, which meant I was last to arrive, so everyone else was seated and waiting for me before they could begin. I didn’t mind that because I had to work then drive a bit of a distance to get there. As the evening wore on, I found myself getting frustrated by the comments of some of the young women who were there. They were complaining about their children and husbands, things about how they can’t do anything by themselves and such, but it really started to get to me because I kept thinking, if they only realized how lucky they were to still have their children safe at home….and how lucky they were to have a husband to help raise their kids and help support them. It was yet another signal about how much we take everything for granted, that each day will be exactly like the next. But we aren’t really in charge of anything in this life, nor would I want one of them to go through an experience or suffering as I and so many others are right now. It’s not a path I would EVER want another parent to have to experience, but it happens every minute of each day.
I know that I was very lucky to have had so much time with my daughter, time that she was healthy, happy, and successful. But that doesn’t eliminate my feelings of pain, grief, hopelessness, and loss for her future and mine. Love you Betsy, forever…<3 <3<3
It’s November, in 17 days it will be Betsy’s birthday. She would have been 26. She would have graduated from grad school and who knows what else. My life is so different than what we both had projected. We had plans to somehow live near each other when she moved away, because neither of us could stand the thought of being far away from each other. Even though it’s been 4 years, 5 months, I still feel shocked that she is gone. I don’t try to pick up the phone to call her like I used to do, but it’s just still shocking that’s she isn’t here. For me at least. Other’s have moved on, while they remember her, her close friends feel the pain of her loss, most people, I think, expect me to have just to have moved on but I feel stuck in a place of pain and confusion where I don’t know how to move forward. I’m just stuck, this isn’t like me, I’m like in a gooey funk where I can do the minimum I have to, but that’s it. And more than anything, I think I don’t want to let her down, to disappoint her or not live up to her memory. But then, all I want to do is just be able to sit and cry. I know I just can’t do that though, it isn’t any good for the long term. But nothing seems to be helping me right now, I just feel sadness, maybe it’s the time of the year for me. I just miss her so much.
I’m trying to keep a new focus going, I know it’s not always going to be easy because losing Betsy isn’t like losing a pair of socks, but like losing a part of my soul and heart. Some part of me is deeply changed and I have to really face those emotions of how that feels before I can truly move forward. I know how the pain and hurt feels of her being gone, that feels as if someone ripped my heart out of my body and left me empty of any feeling or caring for anything that could happen to me. I know longer care for holidays, parties, or any type of celebration as I used to.
Those things used to be big events for her and I. Especially Halloween, we’d decorate our yard with all of her old costumes, stuffing them with newspaper and rags. I’d get hay, corn stalks, that fake spider web stuff, why we even had purple lights on the house. The dogs had costumes, I’d play creepy music during trick-or-treating..We loved it so much that my sister started to buy me Halloween stuff for gifts. But now, I don’t even have one item hung up, I haven’t given out candy or treats since she died. The dog costumes have been thrown away. I have a few of her costumes left, but can’t bear to see them because it reminds me of how full of life this house once was, of how much fun we had together.
How do I capture a different type or sense of joy in my life now without feeling this sadness swell up in my chest? My hands shake as I even write this because I haven’t a clue as to how to find a measure or satisfaction in my day to day life. Things just seem to get worse and worse. Shouldn’t I catch a break??
So, a lot has been going on with me, signs that I’m returning to a new me. I’m kind of ok with that. I knew that eventually I would be trying to put the pieces of my life back together again, but a recent event made me realize that I wasn’t really doing things the way I wanted to do them. Since this fabulous, wonderful, beautiful young woman left this world to go on with the rest of her soul’s journey, I’ve only been existing. In some ways, it’s understandable, she was everything to me. My only child, the deep love I have for her will never die and the pain and loneliness I feel from missing her will never leave me. But I also know that I am doing her a grave disservice when I cannot be places and truly have fun or feel happiness because she isn’t there.
If I were gone, I’d want her to go on full force with her life. I’ve only been half-heartedly going through mine. It won’t be a betrayal of her if I learn to be happy without her, it will be honoring her sense of fun. And I deserve to live more than half a life, she deserves to see me being strong and tough, like she was…all those things I told her that she was, I need to tell myself. Just because I didn’t hear them from anyone but her, doesn’t mean I can’t nurture myself now like I nurtured Betsy. I think she’d want it that way. I can honor her by living, not by waiting until I die.
Things have been very hectic for me lately, Dad has been having health issues, nothing life threatening now, but almost was. But the pangs of missing Betsy have been strong for me this summer. As I work to get the things done for him, I think and wonder who will be around for me when and if I reach Dad’s age. It’s a scary, lonely thought now because before I thought Betsy would be there with a family of her own, but now it’s just really me and my one brother doing all the taking care of Dad stuff.
One brother hasn’t even called him, another brother and sister live out of town, so they can’t really help. I suppose, I just feel lost and confused because I’m still expected to be the one to help when someone can’t figure anything out, but when I need them, nobody can be there for me. As much as I love them, it’s hard to keep living like this knowing that I have very few emotional outlets. Or even the respect of some who fail to realize the amount of work I really need to do.
How I wish things were different for me and Betsy was here. She would at least talk to me, even if she didn’t live here any more. I feel so lonely without her presence in this house. Sometimes, I want to be so strong and make her proud of me, but then I wonder what for? There’s nobody to notice or care…then my common sense clicks in and I realize that I do have people who care, in big ways, but I just don’t see them or reach out for help as I should so I wind up feeling like I do now. For once, I want someone to take care of me..
Yesterday marked another month that Betsy’s been gone…it’s now 4 years 2 months. It seems like it’s been forever, but I know that in terms of other parents who have gone through this, my time has just begun. I guess the thing that is getting me so sad and sorrowful about it is that these feelings never change. Regardless of what I try to do, it’s still the same. Things in my life just seem to get worse, not better. The struggle to go through each day just continues and is just so damn hard. I feel so isolated from everyone and I really am isolated because of how things are in my life right now.
I want to change things, but get so overwhelmed with everything that I feel like I just can’t handle all of it by myself. But in this frame of mind and with the weight I have on my body, how can I ever find people or a person who would want to be with me long term??? I can’t stand the loneliness…I think that’s what I miss about her so much, is her presence with me and our friendship. It is horrible losing my friend and daughter. There’s nobody who could push me like she could or support me like she could either. And I don’t want to be strong everyday, I just want her back. Love you forever Betsy…<3 <3<3
In the past two and a half weeks, I’ve been taking care of my sister, her son, their dog, and their cat (who was not welcome to come, but was brought here anyway)…she needed to have an ankle replacement and I felt as though I needed to help her because she and my mother have a strained relationship.
However, in this time, I’ve come to realize that both she and my mom are completely selfish. My mom because she claimed she would help out, but will not now because she doesn’t like how my sister treats her. My sister for all kinds of reasons…but I suppose the big issue is what I am going to do about it.
It’s difficult for me to be at this point in my life for I didn’t think I would be contemplating cutting off ties with both of them however, my mental state and future health and progress in life is being affected by these people. If they were just any people, I wouldn’t have anything to do with them because of the way they behave and act. It’s not that I don’t love them, but it’s toxic for me and my health.
Losing Betsy was the most devastating, painful event I can ever imagine and as I work to create a different life for myself the last thing I need is to hold on to people because they are just there. The hard part is how to disengage myself without being hurtful to them and I don’t see how that is going to happen. My sister will be easy, once she doesn’t need me, I won’t hear from her. But my mom is different, she’s more clingy to us kids and I just want to be able to do what I want without her rudeness and opinions and desire to see me stop me from doing those things I need to do for myself. Since I know I’m not promised tomorrow, I don’t want to wait anymore. I feel like I’ve lost the most important person in my life, then another relationship that I valued due to her and I refuse to lose anymore.
I think Betsy would be proud of the strength that I’ve gained…love you Betsy forever <3<3<3