Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I may quite possibly be losing my mind...

My life over the past fourteen months or so has been quite a roller coaster, as anyone who's dealt with grief understands. Some days I'm ok. Some days I even border on being happy or having fun. Some days I'm sad and want to cry and hide in my bed all day. Some days I want to punch things or people or both. And honestly, I think all these ups and downs are fairly normal.

Overall, I think I've done ok at getting out of bed in the morning, living my life, attempting to move forward and trying to come to grips with reality. I know I've had moments of disbelief and denial, but for the most part I've accepted that my kids were killed.

However, over the past two days something has changed and I have no idea why - except that maybe I'm really losing it.

Yesterday I recalled so many memories about my kids that seemed like they just happened - Kate's kindergarten end-of-the-year picnic, a trip to Kennywood with Kate and Peter's grandparents, dinners I made them, movies we watched, books we read - last night I swear to you I thought Peter might walk into my bedroom at about 2am and ask me for a snack as he did from time to time (I can't blame him, I can't sleep when I'm hungry either). It seemed to me that they had just been here, like yesterday, and now I can't figure out where they are.

I try to use my rational mind to remind myself that they died, but I mean to tell you, for some reason my brain will not accept that information right now. It's inconceivable, intolerable and I don't care what you say - it couldn't have happened!!! No effin' way!!! Or at least that's how I feel.

I cannot think about my kids right now without going into this weird state of shock. Like I'm so sad that if I start crying I may cry so much that I dehydrate and die, but I'm so far in denial and confusion that I can't cry one tear. I feel suspended or stuck - where I don't know, but somewhere, or maybe nowhere.

So do you see what I'm saying? I may really be losing it. And this is not good timing. I have homework to do, papers to write, chickens to de-bone, vegetables to tournee, a house to pack up and move...etc. How is it that I held it together for so long and now I'm wigging?! OMG, WTF?!

My rational brain tells me that it's fairly sure I'll get through this and find my mind again and if not, that someone who loves me will come over and gently guide me to the nearest insane asylum. And I guarantee that if you saw me on the street or met me in a coffee shop you would have no idea that my mind has left my head, been run over by a Mack truck and then been eaten by vultures. (I've got skills when it comes to coping in public) But it has.

And as I sit here trying to describe this I'd be lying if I said that I didn't hope the tornadoes currently forecasted would come to my house, suck me up and carry me to Oz - or even better - to wherever it is my kids are hangin these days. (I told you I wouldn't kill myself - I never said I wouldn't pray for an act of God to take me out) (and yes, I can practically hear my parents gasp after reading that)

I'm not trying to cause undue concern, or even complain about what I'm going through. I'm just sayin it like it is, because right now this is how it is. And it sucks. And I miss them. And I'd give ANYTHING to have them back or just to talk to them and find out how they are and know they're ok. But I can't so I'll just sit here at my computer, in my non-crying suspended shock state, and try to finish my homework. And go to bed. And hope and pray that tomorrow feels different.


  1. I am so very sorry for your loss. I am grieving for my husband of almost 37 years that I lost to brain cancer 4 months ago, after a battle of only 10 weeks. I know how it feels to look somewhat normal to others but to know that everything inside you has shriveled up and no longer exists. I am no longer afraid to die because I know I will be reunited with Art. I have been reading The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Dideon. Have you read that?
    Anyway, I'm putting together a project with some high school students to do a concert this summer in Buffalo to benefit your memorial project. I have given Steve some of the details as they come together.
    You are in my prayers.

  2. I can't even begin to imagine how you feel. My highschool sweetheart and his only sibling also died in a car accident (14 years ago this past weekend) and the pain his parents went through was incomprehensible. (I was a college grad at the time and hadn't dated him in years so, though devastating, it wasn't as bad as it could have been.) It took his mom four years to return a letter I wrote to her a year after his death asking if it would be okay to give my son her son's name as his middle name to honor them and his memory. And yes, my hubby knew and agreed. (Conveniently it's also my grandfather's name so it avoided issues.) Sorry -- long story just to tell you that 14 months is not a long time to grieve. It's merely an instant and your brain realizes it. Sometimes you just need to sit in the mud puddle, scream, cry, and lash out at the world.

    One thing I wonder is if your brain is fighting against the fact that you'll soon be leaving the house where Kate and Peter once lived. I don't mean to bring up a topic that might make you feel worse. But I imagine it would be hard. Both staying there and leaving. No win situation.

    I'm so sorry you have to go through this. It's wrong, it's unfair, and it's just plain awful. And even though I don't know you, I wish I could fix it.

  3. You have a great way of conveying exactly what you're going through--I can almost feel your heartache myself.

    I can't even begin to imagine what you go through everyday-- but I do understand the ebbs and flows of grief. Somedays are perfectly, nearly, normal--somedays it takes everything in your soul just to get out of bed.

    I'm sure you know you're not alone--but do also know there are lots of people out here remembering your sweet children and keeping you in our thoughts--even people like me who've never met your family, but thinks of them all the time nevertheless.

    I wish you strength and peace to make it through. Take your time, be gentle with yourself, and do whatever you need to do to get through.

  4. Reading you so perfectly describe the state of your mind, I swear, it's like MY brain feels all weird now.

    Such powerful words.

    Please hang in there. We're all pulling for you and praying for you.

  5. Praying tonight for the kids to reach out to you in your dreams, or even better, while you are awake (like the whole text msg thing in your cell phone a while back... I think it was when you were on the cruise??). Do not ever feel like you have to feel a certain way, or be accepting of any of this. It's completely unfair, and will never make sense, and you can, and should, take all the time you need to grieve. I too was going to suggest maybe it may have something to do with the fact you are in the process of moving, and cleaning out, and am unconsciously unprepared for this step.

    Whatever the reason, know that you are not alone. We come to your site often, think of you frequently, and pray for you each night. We will probably never cross paths as we are out near Philly, but knowing you are a friend of Sarah Sommer's, makes you a friend of ours. Please continue to be strong, but know that it is completely alright to cry and scream and be angry at the world.


  6. Sending loving thoughts and prayers your way tonight, Amy. ~Jennie

  7. Oh Amy...hang in there. You're so eloquent in your grief. There's no right or wrong way to do it. There's a lot of change going on in your life and your brain isn't entirely sure it wants to keep up. Thinking of you. Just keep swimming...and leaning on the many people who love and care for you.

  8. Your words are so powerful. You covey your thoughts so well and I can almost feel the pain although I can never really know what you feel.

    Am thinking of you and want you to know I care and am praying and thinking of you.

  9. Hang in there, Amy. It WILL get better. It will take time, but it will. Stay strong - you ARE incredibly strong, Amy, and you'll get through this. And you have you family, friends and all of us online to help you out. Always. :-)

  10. My heart truly aches for you and your loss, even though we've never met. Praying for you, Amy. I can't even imagine what you're going through, but every time I read your blog, I have an uncontrollable urge to grab my baby girl and beg her to never ever leave. Sending all my love and prayers your way.

  11. Within the past week or so you found yourself at the center of a public controversy, through no fault of your own. That would be stressful and surreal for anyone. But because the controversy involved your treehouse for Kate and Peter--that makes it all the more mind-bending.

    Add to that the stress of moving (again, it's stressful for anyone, but much, much more so in your case) and it's completely understandable why your mind feels so off kilter. You'll get the move behind you, the treehouse situation will be resolved. For now, they're disruptive, stressful, changing forces in your life. But our support of you, our caring, is not changing--it's constant. We're here when you need us.

  12. just {{{hugs}}}

  13. I just wanna say that you are totally NOT losing your mind. Your brain has been on such overload lately with everything on your plate that I think it's just completely overwhelmed with it all. I'm soo sorry for all your layers of stress and I really hope you feel a peaceful wave soon. Hang in always seem to find your way out of the darkness. Please know I'm always thinking about you in between calls and texts and sending you love.

  14. Amy, your kids are ok. They are better then ok, they're wrapped in the eternal loving embrace of Christ, they know glory and peace. You will see them again - hang onto this. You *know* you will see them again. We all pray for you, that and your love for them will get you through. I so desperately wish I had more then words to help you, know that I send you hugs, and I pray for peace for your soul. Much love.

  15. You're trying to pack up and move out of the home you lived in with your kids. Hello! Of course that's going to fuck with your brain. Moving out of their house forces you to re-mourn them all over again. You're fine to be crazy, even though it's unsettling to feel that way.

  16. Dear Amy,

    we never were in contact and I am living around the world so we might not run into each other soon. That I came here is one of the little miracles of internet which makes up strange connections between people. In the very last step I came through "That's Church".

    I am not in your position. I did not loose kids, which is definitely the worst thing what could happen ever. But I lost both of my parents much too early (when my dad left I was only a teenager) and learned my lesson about grieving.

    My experience is, that it comes and goes in waves and it has not that much to do with specials days and anniversaries (although these are bad of course). The real big waves hit on totally normal and regular days without a clear reason. Suddenly the heart cramps, your blood feels cold in the veins and every cell screams "NO" not willing to accept the facts. You whirl around because you are SO sure you heard a familiar voice, because there is something you see, hear or a scent (worst!) kicks off a tsunami of memories.

    I cannot promise you that it will ever stop. But I think I can assure you that the time between these tsunamies will slowly get longer and allow you to recover from the pain a bit more every time.

    I wish you all the very, very best and may these small moments where you feel better and start enjoying things will appear more and more often.

    As the next step my fingers are SO crossed for the meeting about the treehouse and your move into a new home!

  17. Oh Amy. It must be terrible -- to have this kind of numbing grief and then to have things like homework to do. It must feel surreal. I have faith that everything you're feeling is, unfortunately, "normal" given your situation, and as Jonathan said in his comments, it makes sense given your upcoming move and other recent events. Hang in there. I think it's good that you're moving.

  18. I think the fact that you can express what you're feeling mean that you are NOT crazy. I know nothing I can say can make you feel better, but I am thinking of you and I hope you feel the love of all of these folks supporting you.

  19. Even though you are not crying, you are writing. You are expressing and organizing your thoughts. I wish you lots of strength and support today.

  20. Amy, you don't know me, I can't even come close to the grief that you must be feeling, but I hope knowing that complete strangers (me!) are thinking of you and are here at your beck and call.

  21. I'm new here...just read your blog from start to finish...and afterward I immediately called a friend of mine to tell her about how AMAZINGLY STRONG this woman (who I don't know but who's blog I found) is. I was completely blown away by your ability to cope every are an inspiration! I know your kids are proud of you, and maybe this time is a gift from them-embrace the memories you have and are re-experiencing and know that things will get better...

  22. I am sitting here in tears - I feel, after reading that, that I am experiencing the same pain you must endure every second of every day. Your words are so powerful...

    I won't try to say anything to make you feel better, because I know that is really impossible ultimately. The death of a child is not something we can ever be consoled about. But what I will say is this - you are a wonderful, amazing mother and woman. Your strength gives me strength.

    I can totally understand wishing that a tornado would whisk you away. I felt that way after the death of my unborn child. I can only imagine the fright and overwhelming sadness at losing a child you had raised for so long... the sadness must be crippling. Just know that you are in so many people's thoughts - and God is carrying you right now.

    God bless.

  23. I am almost six years into my grief journey. My daughter Delaney was only 3 when she passed. HUMM do I have days like you are having. ALWAYS! Do they ever go away NEVER! Some days it seems like everything reminds you of a memory. Today is Kennywood day for us and our friends and all I can think of is Delaney with her red, white and blue outfit on with her hair in pig tails. Riding the motorcycles. She loved the patch fries. But this year her brother will be going with us. He is 18 months. so yes he has never met her physically. this year he will be able to ride and do much more than sit in a stroller. Would she be mad she is missing this HELL yeah! BUt the memories attack. And always will. it does get a bit easier but not so much. Do I still feel like my chest is being squeezed until I can't breath. Yea but not as much. Now sometime those days are a blessing. For as much as they hurt they also keep the memories fresh. Our (my group of friends kids included) kids are almost 6 years older now. But I look at them and see what she would have been like. But at the same time I see what she has missed.
    Peace to you today as every day.

  24. Wow, reading this, I got a lump in my throat and found it hard to swallow, I could really feel what you were saying. Praying that it gets better.

  25. Keep on swimmin, Amy. You're not going crazy at all. What you're experiencing is expected in this situation. I know that this will pass because you're that amazing. You continue to surprise me and amaze me with every post. From your culinary adventures to your fight for the memorial, you show us how powerful a woman can be. But when you open up and tell us about what you're really feeling? That's what makes this blog special. So keep writing, keep questioning, keep going. You are capable of anything.

  26. I am watching my mother go through the grieving process after losing her sister 2 months ago. While it cant compare to the sheer rawness of losing two children, it has really thrown her. My mother and her sister were life lines for each other, and it has up-ended her life because they were so much a part of each others daily routine. I think she has been trying so hard to be strong (for my uncle, for their kids, for her own kids) that she hasnt let herself wallow in it yet - probably also for fear that she will fall apart. She said finally the other day that sometimes she feels like she is right on the brink of a great heaving sob and something stops her. She says she even feels her face twist with the grief, and then she just stops, like someone pushed her pause button. I think she is starting to think there is something wrong with her, but I think it is just that she has gotten stuck on autopilot. The only thing I can do is reassure her that we are all OK with her falling apart for a while. Grief is ugly, and messy, and it is OK to feel like the floor has caved beneath you, because there are people around who will pick you up and carry you.
    Sometimes the only way to get around something is to go through it. I am praying for you and hoping you feel OK to let it out and not to be afraid that you are cracking up.

  27. I'm so sorry, Amy. Trying to send you calm, peaceful thoughts today. You're missing them so much, and, though you feel them, you just absolutely know they're not with you - on this visible earth anyway. It hurts to read what you're going through, but I know it's normal. There are days now that I miss my Dad more than I did a few years ago (and I haven't had him for four years); little things remind us of how important they are to us and that we can't hug them or go to a picnic with them now. The memories almost become more tactile as they get further away from us - I guess because it would be worse if we didn't remember at all. I know your little angels are watching and loving you and all that you're doing right now. You are strong, and you are an amazing mother. I'm so happy to see that you have support from others like klcs1 (above), who know just what you're going through and can guide you a bit on your grief journey, as she says. I do not think you're losing your mind (for what it's worth :-).

  28. Amy, I read this today - it's a quote from Susan B. Anthony and it made me think of you and your post.

    Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these.

    Saying prayer for you today.

  29. Maybe it's just your beautiful kid's way of reminding you how much they were loved. It's not meant to punish or torture, but maybe just an embrace from beyond. Cherish the memories and never forget them. I can't even imagine how sad it must be, but hang in there Amy. I'm praying for you and your little Angels.

  30. I read your post and thought, "of course you are dealing with all these emotions." In many ways you have so much going on in and around you right now, that your sub-conscious goes back to the time when you felt most comfortable and happy. A time when your primary role in life was as Kate and Peter's mother. Only my opinion, but I keep wondering if you need permission to move on with your life (school, moving, etc.).

    Continued prayers for you to get through each day.

  31. I'm so sorry yesterday was that. Sucky and normal and horrible and all wth-ish. I wish we - any one of us - knew some sort of magic phrase to help even a little bit. We're all here for you (and for Kate and Peter) and willing to do whatever we can. I hope today sucks a little less. What a crazy world where that's what one wishes for, right? But still, in a crazy sort of way, that's what I'm wishing for. Keep swimming, kiddo.

  32. Hi Amy,
    With me, after two years, I find, when they come to mind, I have to push aside memories of my lost loved ones otherwise I will spiral down. I wonder if it is PTSD related somehow. The luxury of good memories maybe a long way off. Sometimes, the sense of good feeling comes over me and I just know it's the presence of my loved ones and it feels so good. It can last such a short time but I savor it much longer.
    It's like we are somehow moving forward together, almost better than a memory. I pray you will often have that feeling, that Kate and Peter are with you, even if it's a minute in your day. And I hope you can push aside the memories for the immediate future if you need to.
    You are very strong. You will be with Kate and Peter again one day. They are with you always.
    You are still their Mom.

  33. You've been getting busier and have school, homework, handling the treehouse situation, packing, moving, etc.
    Sometimes, when we grieve, we aim to lose ourselves by staying busy. But at some point, during our busiest times, grief has a way of knocking on your heart and saying 'remember me? I'm still here' and the juggling balls fall bouncing to our feet and we're left to ponder how they got into the air in the first place and what to do with them now that they've fallen.
    It's just part of grief. This part may quickly pass and it might rear its ugly head again in five years.
    There's no way to control the roller coaster ride of're job is simply to keep your seat-belt on, your arms and legs inside the vehicle and to scream with all your might when the urge strikes.
    Sending many positive thoughts your way...

  34. I had just read an article where Joely Richardson describes her grief over the loss of her sister Natasha. Please hold on.

    "Joely Richardson, who was at her sister's bedside when she died, said she still could not come to terms with using the word ''death''.

    She said her grief had been a ''brutal'' emotion, adding her sister's death had caused her DNA to "split".

    ''I felt my DNA had split. I felt as if someone had put a bomb inside me and exploded it," she said.

    ''This idea that grief is gentle – those images of Scottish Widow adverts or a dove – it's not like that, it's really violent.''

    ''It's this brutal, aggressive, terrifying emotion – you're lucky if you can walk through it – it's like a dinosaur has got your head in its mouth, and is shaking your body, you're flailing around.'' "

    Link to full article

  35. Thinking of you and praying for you always!

  36. i hope today was better. you'll be in my prayers.

  37. Amy, hang in there. Know that there are SO many of us who have come to love you through this blog... I don't even have words to encourage you, because I can't imagine what could be said to help. If having people hear(read) what you say helps, know that we are here for you. My heart is just in shreds for you right now. I don't know what else to do but to pray for you.

  38. Amy you are not losing your mind! Perhaps it just needs a little vacation? Grief is so unpredictable I find. I recently had devastating sadness over missing my dad. He's been gone for 14 years. I also experienced thought about K and P over the weekend where I was feeling the disbelief, and i thought of you - "Amy always describes it this way" is what i said in my head. And it's almost a haunting feeling.

    You have SOOOOO much on your plate. This is big stuff - moving on stuff (packing, moving, school, the treehouse...), and maybe the brain is responding by shutting down a bit. Be gentle with yourself and find some moments of quiet where maybe you can connect to something meaningful - perhaps those beautiful kids, perhaps your brain again...

    I love you. thanks for always writing from your heart and soul.


  39. Amy,
    I don't think you're losing your mind at all, and believe me, I KNOW CRAZY! While it completely sucks, I think those feelings of being stuck or suspended as you say, make perfect sense. Kate and Peter dying is a complete disruption to the natural order of things. It simply wasn't supposed to happen and I would think that it would make you question almost everything you've ever know to be true. As a regular reader of your blog, I have know doubt that you'll find a way to work through this or with it or whatever. I also have no doubt that Kate and Peter are with you, helping to guide you through it. Sending positive thoughts your way....Aimee

  40. I don't think you're losing it. I'm not a grief counselor or an expert in any way, but even I could identify with some of the weird feelings you've described, and I haven't ever gone through anything comparable to what you're going through. (which maybe makes ME crazy?)