Another one of Betsy’s school friends got married yesterday and another had her bachlorette party last night. I’m happy to see these events, but heartbroken to know that she will never experience them, with her friends or for herself and nor will I with her. My entire life I waited for my own wedding that never happened and I always wished for hers, at least to celebrate and plan hers, but that will not be either. Now, I just wish not to be lonely and by myself, because this is terrible.
I still feel some numbness inside of me although I know I have to break through that feeling and let my pain and anguish out or I’ll be destroyed. The little things I miss about having Betsy with me make life so hard now even though she wouldn’t live here most likely, I’d still talk to her and see her regularly.
I think that’s what I miss the most, the routine of hearing her greet me or enter the house after she was done working. Or picking her up from Pitt when she was done with her classes. Getting the privilege of hearing about her day, getting a hug and a big smile. The closeness we shared, the love we felt for one another was wonderful. I was very lucky to have a daughter like her. Her presence in my life gave me joy and purpose. I’m still looking to reignite that purpose again in some other way, but fall into these depressed states where I find myself stuck as if in a glue trap unable to move for days and weeks sometimes.
Others never see this because they can’t. Humans are great at hiding pain from each other. Truly, I believe, we desire to be fulfilled via relationships with others built on love, since most of ours are not built that way we fill our lives in pursuit of other fleeting pleasure that never fill us up and we search on and on. I know Betsy and I were connected in some other lifetime and will be again, our connection was and is that strong. I just can’t feel her now because my soul and heart hurt with yearning for her. I wish and pray that I can make another close connection like that in this lifetime…
Numb….numbness fills me day after day after day as if to protect me from the reality of the emptiness of our home, the silence that could shatter me to pieces if I’d only feel it. But I’ve numbed myself to everything, walled it up inside of me like all the other pains I have felt over my lifetime because the truth is that nobody really cares to hear about our pain and sorrow. No matter how much they say they love you or care about you it’s themselves they try to protect. Our human-ness is imperfectly built on receiving not giving, our ego therefore does not know how to listen to the heartache of others.
So, in turn, we place our pain behind walls, walls of stone. We live in a world that is false, fantasy…because I’m falling to pieces and nobody can tell. Bit by bit I’m losing myself and all thoughts of caring about it. I smile and agree as they talk about how strong I am and how they admire my strength, what they don’t know is that I’d just love for someone to reach out and hug me, ask me to tell them one thing about Betsy. Or ask about one thing that made me smile when I saw her. Or one happy memory, one silly thing she did, the cutest thing she did, but she’s dead to them all. And it’s like I’ve died too.
People go on and think that we just go on but our hearts hurt each minute of each day. We have to pay our bills. We have to try to find a purpose. For me, being alone is like living in hell. Numb, numb like my migraine pain…no goals, no desires, numbness, just numb.
Around 6:40 each evening or so for about the past few weeks (only during the week days) my doorbell has been ringing but nobody is there. There is nothing significant about that time for Betsy or I, but each time I’ve gone to the door I’ve thought about her and think that perhaps she’s trying to get in, but I’ve not said anything until now. My stepfather, who was very close to her says they’ve experienced the same thing at their home and he always thinks it’s Betsy letting them know that she’s still there.
But me, I just don’t know what to think. I know I’m hearing that doorbell when it’s ringing because it’s dark and it startles me each time. Just don’t know what to think about it.
Today while working, one of the young 2nd graders noticed one of my tattoos that is on my wrist and said, “You have a tattoo!” I replied, “Yes, I actually have 3, they are in memory of my daughter who died.” These boys know about Betsy’s death because as I’ve worked there the kids have asked about my kids and have noticed a necklace I wear that has her picture on it. One of them said that he remembered my saying that she was in an accident. The first boy asked, “Did you cry?” I felt my heart skip a beat as I held my breath wondering how to answer this innocent question, realizing that he truly had no clue as to how I would have felt as having lost my only daughter.
The child I love the moment I knew I was pregnant. The one who I knew was a girl from the moment I felt her move, who I named before she was born and only could think of a girl’s name. The child who read before she went to school because she read books as I studied as I went to college. The silly little girl who built tents in her room out of receiving blanket and her furniture. The one who brought all her dolls and stuff animals out into the living room to watch a movie with or read a book to. The one who cried when her goldfish died. The young girl who hit her first homerun playing softball but was upset because an opposing coach yelled to have his team strike her out because she had gotten so good when she never wanted to play in the first place. The one who played a hippie in the school musical as if she were stoned, but never had an idea of what that even meant. The girl who was shunned because I’d never married her father. The young lady who won an award for writing a poem about the Liberty Bell. The girl who decided to enter individual cheer events to prove she was that good and won each time. The young woman who fell in love with a young man and stayed with him for a long, long time…she loved him very much but they were not to be. Her heart was joyful and happy because she found someone new who made her feel treasured. The girl who was sensible and taught me how to be grown up. The girl who never listened to me about school work because even though I’m a teacher I didn’t know anything about school. The girl who started calling my Mama Deafy because I could never hear her mumbling when she talked to me. The child who, like me, loved to read all the time. The person I loved most in the world…all these thoughts flashed through my head, but how could I tell him, a young child of what that type of love means.
So, I simply said. “Yes, I cried.
This past week I celebrated my birthday, which was the day before the 3 year, 7 month anniversary of Betsy’s death. Throughout my life I can only remember a few birthdays that seemed very special to me. My family never made them a very big deal, it was pretty much like any other day except we were always allowed to go out to dinner and we could pick the place. I always wished I belonged to a family where we had birthday parties with friends and our extended family, something that was a celebration, but it was never like that. This year was not too bad, but wasn’t great either, I was just having a normal day, but a day mostly alone. I didn’t even have a special dinner.
However, as I was feeling pity for myself, I received an outpouring of love and wonderful messages from my friends and acquaintances which was an unexpected surprise. Perhaps not the greetings themselves, but the messages I received from people, some of whom I haven’t heard from for a while, but just caring messages that were about Betsy or me and the influence I’ve made on them since her death and how gracefully I’ve been handling or dealing with her loss. It’s very difficult to notice the manner that you carry yourself, from the time right after she died until now, I know I’ve made great strides in my ability to function in day to day life. However, I’ve had no idea of exactly what things I’ve said or how I’ve reacted in many situations because my memory of many things is not quite right. I have a hard time recalling many things before Betsy died and I think that is just due to the shock I’ve experienced. In many ways my mind is still numb.
But I spent much of my evening after work, sobbing and crying because of the beautiful word of the wonderful friends I’ve gained. As they wrote about their memories or things they thought about my wonderful Betsy, I couldn’t help but to cry as I thought about the loss of her and what that means to my life. Knowing that she lost so much, it’s me and her friends who are left behind to really miss her, we’re the ones who have to struggle without her. She is in another plane of spiritual life that we don’t understand. I believe that I will eventually see her again, perhaps not soon, but someday. I also felt so well loved by her friends, who have embraced my since her accident. We don’t see each other all the time or talk everyday, but when I need it, they are always there to let me know they love me or are thinking of me. So, no matter how much I felt alone that day, I really wasn’t alone, they were all with me and it made the next day much easier. I was exhausted from my emotions, but meltdowns can be good this way, they are gifts from God, sent to you when you need them so you know you are loved.
Love you forever Betsy <3
Oh, my..if this is any indication of the rest of the winter, I’m going to really miss Betsy this year. The snow has been coming down since 11:00, slowly at first, then more heavily. When I got home after 6, the roads were ok, except right where I live, but it had gotten much, much colder. Since I’ve been home, the snow has pile up a bit more and it’s gotten so cold the Sophie (one of our dog’s) won’t go outside and Coco (the one Betsy named) will only go out for a little while. I can’t blame them, they are little and I didn’t put their sweaters on them, but will have to do that tomorrow.
This weather makes me think of the last huge snow we had. I was so deep the dogs couldn’t go out until we dug a path for them. I think it might have been 18 inches. I just remember taking pictures of it and of Betsy shoveling the snow with the dogs running around in the path after her. We weren’t worried about them going anywhere, they couldn’t escape because they were in a tunnel of snow. It was odd to see that. Poor Betsy, she was worried about getting to work in her little Fit. I let her know there was no way she was going to work, she wouldn’t have made it there. So, I made her lie to her bosses about the car being stuck. She felt horrible about lying but was also relieved that she didn’t have to drive in the snow. I felt badly about it too, but she was my only kid and I wasn’t going to have her get hurt.
Funny how things happen isn’t it? I was so worried about snow when I nice, sunny day was her undoing. Learning there is a force that is in control of us, no matter what we do we have no control over a thing.
Love you forever Betsy <3