Monday, July 11, 2011

I'm still here...

...which is the first thing I say to my therapist every time I see her. She always asks, "How are you?" and I always reply, "I'm still here" with a tone of annoyance in my voice, frustrated that some act of God hasn't yet taken me out. Typically she'll respond with something like, "well I, for one, am glad" at which point I roll my eyes and groan.

I have major guilt about the fact that I don't want to be here, but it doesn't change how I feel. I know there are many, many people who love me and are doing all they can to help me be happy, but I miss my kids terribly and each day seems to be more difficult than the last. Whoever said grief gets easier with time was full of shit as far as I'm concerned. Seems to me it only gets worse, at least that's how it feels at the moment.

I can't believe it's been almost three months since I posted anything on this blog. I'm sorry if I worried anyone and I appreciate all of your messages and support. At the time I wrote my last entry I had gotten so busy with school and work that I unfortunately had no time to do anything extra such as sleeping, breathing or blogging. Somehow I made it through and managed to do well in both of my classes. Since then I have reduced the number of hours I'm working and the number of classes I'm taking to preserve whatever sanity I can.

I'm fairly certain that, in addition to the fact that my kids are dead, my extreme busy-ness is the reason for my current funk. If you remember, a few months ago I declared that I was going to do whatever I could to try to "find" my kids and for the first time in a long time I felt hopeful. I was so hopeful I was almost excited. Sadly, my intense schedule squashed those hopes, at least temporarily.

Instead of doing something constructive, like reading, searching or meditating, I starting spending any spare time I could find in a less-than-sober state. Don't worry, I haven't become an alcoholic or drug addict and I'm a very careful and responsible person, but I have put a lot of effort into self-medicating and numbing out. I know some of you are probably horrified (especially my parents - I imagine my phone will be ringing in a matter of minutes), but I have to politely ask you to give me a break. I realize drug-induced altered states of consciousness may not solve any problems, but I do occasionally find a few hours of peace. I often feel like I'm living in hell, so it's nice to take breaks periodically.

For the past few days I've felt like I'm facing a decision, like I've reached a fork in the road and I need to choose a path. I can either continue doing what I'm doing - struggling through each day and rewarding myself by numbing out - or I can try to make some changes that might actually improve my life. I have to tell you that the first option sounds a whole lot easier than the second, but I know it's getting me nowhere and it's actually making me feel worse. I'm not exactly sure how to go about the second, but gradually I might be able to figure something out.

I am feeling good about the fact that, for the foreseeable future, my schedule will be much easier. I should have enough time to start reading and trying to "find" my kids again. As ridiculous and far-fetched as this whole idea may sound, it is the only thing that gives me hope. There HAS to be more out there, we HAVE to be eternal beings, or this whole thing called life is a bunch of bullshit. Just sayin.

I also hope to write more. I never make any promises because I know I could get busy again and not have time, and the last thing I want to feel guilty about is my blog. When I'm not writing, it's generally because I'm having a hard time and I feel like I'm only complaining. I don't want my blog to be one endless rant of "Woe is me, life sucks". I don't want to write if I can't say at least something positive.

But writing does help - it allows me to get my thoughts out of my head where they tend to bounce around and get distorted - and, thanks to all of you, it makes me feel less alone. It also makes me feel accountable. If I tell everyone I'm gonna make changes, I feel like I should do that.

So I am still here, wherever here is. And I'm hoping here will get better.


  1. Glad you're here ;-). Cue eye roll, right? Anyway - I, too, struggle with the afterlife and where we go - what happens. Today is my Dad's birthday, and all I did was think about where he is: Can he see me? Why can't I picture where he might be? You know what I mean. Certainly, we are eternal beings. Somehow - we are. Too much mystical goes on in this fascinating, beautiful, terrible world, ya know? I find your musings interesting, btw.... And you are entitled to a little "woe is me". I haven't visited here in a while and had missed hearing about your kids. Still love looking at your photos.

  2. Well, you included "swimming" as a label for this post, so I take that as a good sign, that you want to and will keep going.

    I hope here gets better for you too. In the meantime, like so many others, I am sending hugs and prayers your way. Missed you!

  3. I check in on your blog every day. I don't say that to make you feel guilty and hell, who am I anyways, but seriously. I don't care if you want to blog about stink bugs...I just want to read your thoughts if even only for a sentence or two. You matter. Your feelings matter. Your thoughts matter. And mostly, Kate and Peter still matter.

  4. Thanks for writing, Amy. I'm also glad you're still here, but I can unerstand why you're not, most of the time. The whole thing really sucks. Thanks for writing and letting us in. Hang in there. Hugs and prayers.

  5. Glad you posted. You have a following and instead of viewing that as a burden, please try to look at is as an on-line support system. If you're swimming let the knowledge that there are so many people you don't know who want to serve as your "swimmies" to help keep you afloat.

  6. I wish words were hugs and I wish hugs brought them back. My nephew died last week in a horrible accident. I hugged so many people, and then at his funeral, I touched his face, wanting that connection I had felt when I hugged his young wife, my sisters, his father, my parents. And, he was just gone. I want to be far away from this event so it hurts less. Mostly, I want it undone. I want to feel he really is in a better place if it can't be undone, and I'm not feeling that now.

  7. Glad you are still here.

  8. Good to hear from you Amy...I have no great words of wisdom to offer...but I am glad that you posted something...hang in there.

  9. When our children die young or much earlier than we have come to expect, this death becomes a tragedy. Our grief can be overwhelming; it can take over our lives; we can appear to have come to terms with it only to have it blindside us at unexpected moments.

    "Enduring without desire,
    It may be called slight.
    All beings return to it,
    But it does not become their Master."

    From this perspective, dying merely means that we slough off our mortal, human, bodies and reunite our spirit/soul/chi with God or the source of life. Our death, from this perspective, inevitably leads us to reunification.

    And yet this is not an easy perspective to hold on to, but we should remember that our grief is not for those who have left us, they are beyond pain and fear. Our grief is for ourselves, the ones left behind. Our grief expresses the fact that there is, and always will be, a certain person-shaped gap in our lives that used to contain ones we cared for.

    We should resist the temptation to let grief overwhelm us at all times. Obviously, there will be times when our grief seems to become unbearable, and this is when we need to share that grief either with friends or trained counselors, but we should always strive to bring it into perspective and remind ourselves that life progresses smoothly on and we must move with it or be left behind.

    The Tao of Loss and Grief: Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching by Pamela Metz

  10. I check in every day, just to see if you're there. Figuring that the tide was rolling a bit quickly and you were getting in the undertow. Having never met you, I sure find my mind focusing on you and your kids pretty often. And I want what we all want, which is to undo it all. I don't have any major connection to the afterlife, the hereafter, or the ethos, but there has GOT to be something to all of the collective thoughts of everyone who posts here-that maybe by all of us thinking, wishing, praying...maybe we can all be part of the path that helps you to find your kids. Seems like everyone is along for the ride. Hoping you find some peace tonight, in whichever form it comes.

  11. Dear Amy:

    I don't know you except outside this blog, but I want you to know that I think you are an amazing person. Like, someone I would want to be friends with, regardless of different circumstances/locations/etc. You are very open, honest and unapologetic about who you are and what you feel. The world needs more of you.

    I can't imagine what you go through on a daily basis, but I hope you know that the grace with which you do so is inspiring. I pray that you will find your children again and that it will bring you the peace that you seek. God bless you-you are beautiful.

  12. Good to hear from you.

  13. I don't check everyday, but it is good to see a new post. I don't think anyone should begrudge you whatever gets through the days and nights. If a couple of drinks (or something else) is helping you right now I want to tell you that I think that is totally ok. You seem to recognize this method of coping as a way station on your journey. You have loving people around you who you can trust to let you know if it becomes a problem. And we're here when you need us, too.

  14. I lost someone very important to me when I was 26. A boyfriend of 7 years. He was an ass, but I loved him. He died horribly and was alone when he died. He died in March. I was fine--I mean, we all knew he was dying--until his birthday passed in August. Then I fell apart. I remember it like yesterday. I had come from therapy, sat in my car, and cried, non-stop, for several hours. I called in sick. Eventually I lost my job, my apartment, and some friends. That was in 1986. I think about him from time to time, but it's not the searing pain that it was. It does get better. I realize that losing a child is not the same, but the pain is the same.

    I eventually married someone else, someone better, and we're making our way together.

    When he died...a few weeks after, I heard him say very clearly, as I was lying in bed, "You smell nice." I even said "Thank you." But no one was there. The first law of thermodynamics says that energy never dissipates, it simply changes form. They're somewhere, all of our deceased loved ones, pets, too I'm convinced. Science backs it up, too.

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine. I know you married recently, I was wondering if the two of you have talked of having children. None of my business, of course, but it would be a new life to love, cherish, and help them grow in the wonderful human beings...just like you.

    All my best to you. Really.



  15. Hi Im sorry for your loss I was given the link to your blog when a friend told me your tragic story I also lost a daughter she had bone marrow failure and never once was i told she would die it never sat in the back of my mind til i seen the downward spirial in her health it was a shock I think this is a wonderful way to express your thoughts, pain and heartache. I would love to say it gets easier but hell why sugar coat it, it dont its been 17 years since my daughter passed away she would of been 22 in june i wonder still what she would of been like and what she would of done with her future. I will tell you what she told me the days before she died we were at childrens and she was sleeping i kept hearing her say no many times so i woke her ive heard the story from other parents about the kids talking with angels and god so i had to know i asked her if she was talking with angels she told me no i asked if she was talking with god and she told me yes i asked if he wanted her to go live with him in heaven she said yes i stopped my questions after this it was more than i could handle about two days went by and i watched my child barely living in more pain than anyone should have to be in especially a child i then took her hand and told she could go with god she would not hurt anymore and we loved her and would not be angry that night again the talking in the sleep started i heard her say yes and i knew in my heart of hearts it was just a matter of time i woke her again and posed the same questions was it angels no was it god yes did he want her to go yes was she going yes when she told me tommorrow she passed away the next day she died nine days before her 5th birthday. i dont know how i made it thru the inital days but i put one foot in front of the other and knew i would see her in heaven again one day this past june i did one thing i thought i would never do again and that was get married i had my children with me when i exchanged vows and to have her present we did it on her birthday so she was with me also. I think your blog is a exceptionally beautiful thing you do for your sanity and to honor your children god bless you (yes roll your eyes) i do it all the time myself no one can understand unless they walk in your shoes and quiet honestly i wouldnt want another parent to feel the pain from the loss of a child. Hugs..... Rhonda

  16. Amy, I was just thinking of you the other day and wondering how you are. You are so brave to be so honest and tell people how you are feeling. I think there is enormous pressure on the bereaved to "move on" after a period of time, and of course, that just isn't ever going to happen when you lose your kids. I think of them every day, and say a prayer for you all. Sending you strength for the day, and a sure and certain knowledge that you will be with your kids again someday. Hope you can find your center soon.

  17. Virginia MontanezJuly 28, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    Amy, just getting caught up on my reading and wanted to say that while you're still here, we're still here for you -- reading what you need to write. So keep doing it.

    Much love.

  18. Alcohol is my drug of choice Amy - but I know it doesn't help, and just makes me feel even more shite than I do already. The night Catherine died I came home and drank 2 bottles of wine (and threw up on the bedroom floor). I stopped drinking completely 6 months later when I got a positive pregnancy test, and I haven't touched a drop since (breastfeeding now that is - haven't gone tea total!). The alcohol got me through the first 6 months, and then, when I needed to stop, it was easier than I thought it would be. I'm not implying you should get pg - but I think you'll find your way, whatever that is, too. Sending you lots of love xx

  19. Hi Amy,
    I am friends with Nicole Manski and noticed your kids on her facebook. I thought, how adorable are these kids and I wonder what happened? Then I saw a segment about you and your kids on the news tonight. My heart broke for you. You blogged about questioning afterlife and I just finished a fantastic book that I think you should read called, "Heaven is for real." Its about a little boy who briefly dies and recalls memories of heaven. I truely believe there is a heaven and your children are there. Please read it! <3