Thursday, September 24, 2009

how honest can i be?

Writing this blog has been so helpful in so many ways, however I've noticed recently that I'm starting to be more careful and critical of what I write. When I first started blogging I made a disclaimer that I was going to be honest and uncensored, but that hasn't proved to be as easy as it sounded. For example, I thought twice (or thrice or four times) before publishing my 'tuesday night' post. It felt very negative and I have this need to always find something positive to say, but honestly, this is a shitty situation. I don't feel positive most of the time.

I'm also aware that what I write can cause people to worry about me. The purpose of this blog is not to elicit reactions or comments (though as I've said in the past, all of your comments are welcomed and extremely helpful) but to give me an outlet for what I'm thinking, feeling and experiencing. It will also hopefully help others to understand what grief is like...while someone is going through it...not in retrospect.

So let me just share this...for those of you who care about me and worry about me.

First of all, I appreciate everyone's love and concern, so don't think I don't want you do contact me, email me, call me, ask how I'm doing. Please do.

Secondly, I'm both ok and not ok. I think, given the circumstances, I am holding my own, functioning as a regular person...most of the time. However, there are times, many of them, in which I freak out....scream, cry, punch things, wish I had some illegal drugs to abuse and wish I could cease to exist. Which brings me to...

Lastly, I think a major concern of many people is that I may hit bottom and try to kill myself. I have struggled with depression in the past and felt close to suicidal. However, with this ginormous tragedy I have experienced a huge shift of the spiritual kind. I haven't become religious or anything like that, but as I continue to search and grow spiritually I also continue to try to figure out where exactly my kids may be (not that I think I can pin them down to a specific location). At this point I believe they are here, but in some other dimension or plane of consciousness. I can tell you all, with absolute certainty, that I will never, ever kill myself because of the fear that doing so may take me somewhere other than where my kids are. I'm just not gonna take that risk. So to make a long story short (too late, I know) you don't have to worry about that. Just sayin.

So back to the honesty and uncensored thing...I do question how honest and real I can be. I had a rather difficult experience earlier today that I would like to write about, but it was so fucked up that I think "can people really handle reading that?" I'm still deciding.

On a lighter note, what makes this blog sometimes difficult to write is that every one of my English teachers periodically pops into my head to tell me to correct my grammar or punctuation. I do my best to ignore them, but I have to say, they make me laugh. I guess they did teach me a few things afterall.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

another dream...

So I just woke up from a dream that my kids were back, at least temporarily. In my dream it was Wednesday night (which would be tonight) and I did get to help them with their homework and do snack and a story with them. It was really nice, even if it was only a dream.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

it's tuesday night....

and on a Tuesday night I should be helping my kids with their homework, making them take baths, then doing snack and a story with them before trying to talk them into going to bed.

Snack and a story is a tradition that started when Kate was a baby. When she was still drinking formula out of bottles or milk out of sippy cups, we would read her a story while she had her last bottle or cup of milk before bed. As she grew older and Peter came into the picture, the milk turned into a snack and the story turned into stories. But it was a tradition...the one thing that, no matter how crazy and overscheduled our days were, we always did to wind down before bedtime. These pictures were taken soon after Kate got her first (and only, as it turns out) real camera, during a particularly silly snack and a story.

As I look at these pictures, I still think "Really? Are you sure they're not coming back?" I truly think my brain will never accept this. I don't buy it. They can't be gone!

Then as reality attempts to make itself clear to me I think "it's just not fucking fair!!!" They are my babies who I love more than anything in the world so they can't be gone! And if they're not here...then why the fuck am I?

My greatest defense mechanism up to this point has been distraction. I have managed to stay so busy that I have virtually no time to think. So far, it has worked. Unfortunately, my body has decided it's not down with that mode of operation anymore. I've noticed that for the past couple of weeks I have been exhausted, gotten numerous headaches and just generally felt like crap. I fear my body is telling me to slow down. But I'm afraid to.

I'm afraid that as I start to do less, therefore thinking and feeling more, it's gonna get it has on this random Tuesday night. I don't want depression and hopelessness to set in, though they most likely will. "I just want them back" is the thought that repeatedly goes through my mind. If I can have them back everything will be ok. I get it now, I'll be a better mom, I will tell them I love them constantly and I'll never, ever, ever, ever take them for granted.

One of the positive things that has happened as a result of this tragedy is that many people have told me they have a new perspective on life, that they realize what's really important. I'm honestly glad something good has come out of this, I only wish I could be one of those people learning this lesson from someone else's loss. I don't wish this on anyone, I just unwish it on me. I don't want to be the example that everyone else can learn from. I want to hug my kids a little tighter every night and spend more time completely focused on them because I saw what happened to someone else. I'm not really sure I'm strong enough to handle this. And even if I am strong enough, I just don't want to.

Unfortunately, I know in my rational mind that there is no going back, no unwishing, no undoing. The only way out of this is through it. Ugh.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I've just returned home to Pittsburgh after going to a very successful playground fundraiser in Buffalo. I have so much I want to write about, but I'm completely exhausted and overwhelmed with emotion. Mostly, I miss my kids so much it hurts.

When I feel this sad, the only thing I can do is look at their pictures and cry. So instead of writing I thought I'd just share some rarely seen pictures...

Kate when she was 5 months old. She was a wonderful, easy-going, happy baby...

This is the day Peter was born. Kate was 22 months old and she was a perfect big sister. She was never jealous, always very loving and Peter loved Kate more than anything in the world..

Kate often tried to climb into Peter's crib...and he was always excited to see her.

I've run out of words, but their beautiful faces speak volumes...

Here they are with their Grandparents, who I know miss them as much as I do...

Monday, September 14, 2009

things and stuff...

My house is a mess. I've probably said that for the last....well, honestly...forever. I dream of being an organized person, but I may need to accept that, most likely, that will never happen.

When my kids died, they were on their way to spend Easter week with their dad in Buffalo. Since my divorce I had been on a couple of short vacations during which they stayed with their dad, but I had never experienced an extended period of time home alone. My plan for that week was to clean. Not to just 'red up' as they say here in Pittsburgh, but to go through all of our closets, all of their toys and all of the papers lying around the house. I wanted to get rid of everything we didn't need and find a place for everything that remained.

The cleaning never happened. Now my house is more cluttered than ever and I can't even blame it on my kids, it's completely my responsibility. I certainly need to organize my own stuff (I have no good excuse for the state of my own room) but I have a hard time disturbing any of their stuff at all...and I mean ANY of it, I'm talkin dirty tissues in the trash can. I just can't do it.

A lot of people have suggested that I can keep their stuff forever and I don't have to do anything with it. I will keep most of it, but some things just aren't realistic. For example, I took them grocery shopping on April 4th, two days before the accident. I bought them a bunch of their favorite snacks, some of which have been opened. They are all still sitting in my pantry... alphabet cookies that Kate and her friend ate the morning of the 6th, Cheddar Bunnies that they ate in the car on the way to Erie and an unopened bag of Pirate's Booty that I will probably keep as long as I live (they were all about the Pirate's Booty). There are fish sticks and Kate's mango-tangerine sorbet in the freezer and Peter's Valentine's Day (formerly pronounced "balance times day") candy in the cupboards. I recently threw out Peter's cream cheese that was in the fridge because it was starting to scare me, but it wasn't an easy thing to do.

Of course I also have all of their clothing and toys and every piece of art or psuedo-art (aka scribbling) that I could find after they died. I even went through the recycling bin for things I might have discarded. There is a lot of stuff. Whereas I wanted to organize and purge every unnecessary thing before the I want to hold onto all of it. But the truth is, it's just not reasonable.

It's not that the stuff itself makes me feel any better, but I guess it seems like it's all I have left. And, strangely enough, when I think about getting rid of something my brain always says, "hey, they might want that someday", like they're coming back. That's pretty messed up. And sad.

I have considered and looked into having some of their favorite clothing made into a quilt I can wrap myself in, and I will...when I find the motivation. I know that I'm not going to stay in this house forever so someday I will have to pack it all up. The idea of their stuff sitting in boxes sucks.

I imagine that as time passes it will become clear to me what things are important to keep and what I can let go of. So far, what has made me happiest is giving their things to people who knew them and truly appreciate them. Occasionally, I get a feeling that Kate or Peter wants someone to have something specific and I get very excited to get that particular item to the right person. It makes me feel good and I think it makes Kate and Peter happy too.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I am feeling the love, lots of it...

So far today's been a pretty good day. I realize it's only noon, but I'm going with it. Maybe it's because it finally stopped raining or maybe it's because I'm over whatever flu-like thing I just had. Maybe it has something to do with it being 9/9/09 or maybe there is no reason. Doesn't really matter. It's good to feel like I can breathe, smile occasionally and have some hope to hang onto.

There are quite a few things I'd like to write about today, but I don't have a lot of time so I'm just going to focus on how writing this blog has affected me. I know I touched on it briefly in my last post, but I have been completely overwhelmed with the love and support of all of you who are reading it, commenting and sending me messages. At a time when it would not be good to feel alone, I realize that I have all of these wonderful people with me all of the time. It's like we're all on this crazy journey together. Thank you all so very much!

It's hard to believe how many people I feel connected to after the passing of my kids. I remember feeling that isolation was, by far, the hardest part of being a stay at home mom, (ok, that and lack of sleep) but now it's like things have come full-circle and my kids have connected me to everyone. Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not glad they passed and would trade everything in a millisecond to be isolated on a deserted island with them forever. But it just goes to show how much they really can have an impact on this world even though they are not physically in it.

It's been incredible to feel supported by friends I haven't seen since high school, friends who've been by my side through thick and thin and people who have never met me or my kids. It's also been wonderful to hear from someone who met my kids but doesn't know me! I'm both encouraged and humbled by the fact that my situation has somehow helped others. I'm not sure how this is possible, but it shows that my kids lives were not lost in vain. My greatest fear is that my kids will be forgotten and you all have shown me that forgetting is not possible. I can't begin to describe the peace that realization brings me.

So once more...I've said it before and I'll surely say it again...thank you, thank you! I know I would not have made it this far without everyone's love and support. And thank you, Kate and Peter, for being who you are and allowing me to be your mom.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

5 months and counting...

this is one of those days where i simply feel bad. some days i'm fine, some days even approach being good. not today. today i just want to cry...and i'm at work so i can't. well, i could, but everyone else would feel uncomfortable. and i just realized that it's been five months...five months since i've seen my kids. that's somewhat inconceivable.

it's weird...i don't cry very often anymore - mostly because i won't let myself. when i start to cry i sometimes think i may never i just don't go there. when i do cry it's different than any type of crying i've ever experienced before. obviously the tears emerge from my eyes, but it feels like they originate in the pit of my stomach. it's almost like throwing up - this involuntary expulsion of stuff that i can't control. that may be tmi. sorry.
i had a strange dream last night. the first thing i remember is being in an auditorium full of people i knew. i completely lost it. i basically laid down on the floor and wept, almost like i was having a temper tantrum. it's probably the way i need to let go, but i won't. everyone around was very understanding and supportive. they didn't think i was nuts for behaving that way.

the next thing i remember was driving a friend's car. i was traveling on an off-ramp which was elevated over a city (kinda like the skyway in buffalo) when i crashed. the car went off the road, over the guard rail and dropped down into the city. i fell out the window so i didn't plummet to my death. my only injuries were lost and damaged teeth (no idea what that's about). i was pissed that i didn't die.

my new and latest fear is this: what if when we die we're just dead? it may seem odd that i could think this, given my earlier posts, but who knows? yes, i've had experiences where i've felt my kids or 'heard' them communicating with me, but what if that's just wishful thinking? what if it isn't real?! i want proof! undeniable, concrete, tangible proof.

i would love to hear everyone's thoughts on what happens to us when we die...and why you believe what you believe. when i'm feeling more positive than i am right now, i believe our soul/spirits go on. (does anyone know the difference between a soul and a spirit? maybe i'll google that)

long ago i believed in the traditional heaven and hell scenario, but now i'm not too sure about that. based on more recent experiences and readings, i lean more toward the ideas of reincarnation and different planes or dimensions of existence or consciousness. i know that's pretty vague, but i'll try to go into greater detail later...maybe when i have a more formed opinion.

i really do welcome anyone and everyone's thoughts, as i appreciate all of your comments thus far. even though i don't always respond to the comments, you have no idea how much comfort i find in reading what you all have written. thank you!

Friday, September 4, 2009

How now, brown cow?

I'm not sure where that saying originated, but it always pops into my head when I don't know what to do next. Lately that happens about 100 times a day.

I won't ask how I'm supposed to put my life back together because, honestly, there isn't much left to put together. I don't mean to downplay how important my friends and family are, but in many ways I feel like everything I've worked toward for the past ten years has been erased or nullified. I mean seriously...I was a wife and mother and now I'm single and childless. WTF?!

So instead of trying to put something back together I think maybe I'm trying to start something new. Sort of. A new beginning with a shitload of baggage!

I guess I can do anything I want. I have a degree, wonderfully supportive people in my life and absolutely no limits. But what should I do? And where will I find the motivation? There are many times I'd like to curl up in my bed and sleep for the next 65 years.

Part of my problem is that the only thing I've ever wanted to do is be a wife and mother...and that didn't go so well. Do I try it again? Who knows what kind of bad things will happen this time? (I'm fully aware that I don't have a very positive attitude, but can you blame me?) Or do I do something totally different.

The only thing I've ever had a passion for besides being a wife and mother is cooking. I looked into going to culinary school a few years ago and said that if I could do it all over again I would do that instead of going to college. Well, I guess I have my chance to do it all over again.

I'm apprehensive about a career in cooking because I believe that whatever I spend the rest of my life doing MUST somehow honor my children. Can cooking do that? Is food important enough? I don't know. I am working on building a playground to memorialize them, which is wonderful, but in addition to preserving their memories I feel I need to do something to change the world in their names. I always thought they were going to change the world, but they didn't have the now it's up to me. (I hope this doesn't sound completely narcissistic or conceited)

My only immediate plans are to do lots of traveling and stay busy and distracted. I'm hoping my path will unfold as I blindly trudge forward. I guess that's what this blog is truly about. The "what's next" of it all. How does the callapitter become a butterfly? I hope Kate and Peter will help me figure it out.