We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.
I have received many messages in my inbox since I started writing this blog. So many of you have written me to say how you admire my strength. I have had people say I inspire them. I have had others tell me I inspired them to find their spiritual path. Some have said I give them comfort with the grieving of their lost ones.
Those messages seem to always come at a time when I need to read them the most. I write these blog entries when I am feeling strong. I write when I think what I have to say will help others but let me tell you all something...it is rare that I do not cry at least a little everyday for my beautiful daughter. In fact I decided I needed to write this particular blog right now....right at this particular moment of complete despair.
I previously wanted to avoid doing this because I don't want to give the impression this blog is for me to get attention or to get pity from people. I don't want this to become an "emo" blog. However when I read the emails I get from you I feel somewhat like a hypocrite. I don't deny I have my strong moments but I don't want you to think that I'm so strong that I don't have weak moments.
In fact, prior to this I was a strong independent type. Now I lean heavily on Katie. Before I was fairly fearless, now I am afraid of dusk...not the dark but dusk. The dark I sleep through. Dusk, that in between time, scares me. I become anxious and sad at dusk. Before my head was always in the future. Now the future scares me. I want to move on but am afraid to without Alysia. Thunderstorms make me uneasy. Sirens make me anxious.
The past couple of weeks with the shortening days have really affected me. The last few nights I feel as though I have slipped backwards. If you only knew how I lie in the bed crying so hard that I stop breathing. How I cry so hard my heart physically aches. If you only knew how during those moments I just don't want to go on. Does that sound like a strong person? When I have these moments of hopelessness I wonder what the hell it was I was feeling before when I wasn't feeling so bad. Was it strength? Or was it just plain denial? Am I able to fool myself enough to think I can get through life now that Alysia has passed away? Am I that delusional? When I lay in bed crying to the point of coming close to passing out, I don't see the light. I don't see the hope. I don't see the love. It is complete darkness. Sometimes I cry so hard my vision goes dark and I think to myself "is this what it's like to die? If so bring it on."
I'm sure this is not a blog entry many of you want to read but it is the reality of my grief. I have moments when I want to die just so the pain can go away and I can go see my daughter again. That's all I want in those moments. I just want her back.
One night I had to go get groceries and it was dusk out and Katie wasn't feeling well. I wanted to help Katie for a change because she's been doing so much for me. When I have those moments of darkness, she is there holding my hand, talking to me, loving me. When I open my eyes, I see her blue eyes and feel her hand and hear her voice and she slowly pulls me out of the darkness over and over, night after night. Anyway so I wanted to do something for her. I walked outside the apartment door and saw the dusk sky and I was very afraid. I had a choice....I could go back in the apartment and tell Katie I couldn't do it or I could face my fear and go on. Just make it to the parking garage, I would say to myself. Once in the parking garage, afraid of being jumped or something ridiculous like that I would think, just make it into the car. Once in the car and out in the dark, driving through the neighborhood I would say "just make it to the grocery store." I drove and hyperventilated and cried and asked God and Alysia for strength. I made it to the grocery store still hyperventilating. Once I was in there a few moments I was ok. The trip home wasn't as bad.
As dark as my moments are, I face them head on. I will not mask them with antidepressants or anti anxiety pills. I know I am the type of person that needs to hit this grief fully conscious, fully vulnerable. I will not drink myself into oblivion. I will not allow it to stop me from doing what I have to do to survive in this world. Really what choice do I have? My heart still beats so I guess I have to keep going. Anyone of you would do the same. We find the strength somewhere.
True courage and strength isn't in the survival of losing my only child. True courage and strength is living life to its fullest in joy and love even if I lost my only child...that is where I am struggling. That is where I have my ups and downs. One moment I am optimistic for the future, the next I don't want to go on without Alysia in my life. The last few days, being sick, shortening days and other reasons really brought me to a low I haven't felt since the first week she passed away. Despite this set back, I will face these moments. Each time I do, I hope to get stronger so that I'm not just surviving, rather,so that I am fully living.
Thank you everyone for your notes of encouragement. They pull me through more than you realize.