Archive for November, 2011
This past Saturday, November 12th, marked the 7year anniversary of losing my sweet daughter Katie. Not sure what happened to the last 7 years, but they’ve managed to slip away. I know many of you that follow this blog are newly bereaved and probably think “7 years? I am not sure if I can make 1 year or 2 years. How will I ever be able to make it 7 years?”. Those are excellent questions, questions I also asked myself at the beginning of this hell. I know the feeling of surviving second by second and then moving to minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, etc. The thought of surviving a year early on seemed doubtful, but here I am, 7 years later writing a blog posting about the horrific experience of losing a child. Obviously it is still with me after 7 years, but the pain of the anniversary days have faded.
I made a conscience decision at some point along the way that I was not going to run and hide from this day, because that’s not possible. I knew I was going to find a way to celebrate Katie’s life the best way I could. So the first year anniversary my wife and I took the day off of work and spent the time reflecting on her life and what our life has become and where we want our life to go as a way to honor her.
Looking back over the last 7 years I have witnessed the transition from the person I use to be to the person I am today. I use to be pretty self serving and non-tolerant of others, but have now found a way to become a person that tries to serve others by helping them the best way I can. Do I fail at this from time to time? Absolutely, I would be lying if I said no, but I would say this new direction in my life is one positive thing that has happened to me. Would I change it all to have her back, no doubt, but that’s not an option so I know I have to proceed with what I have control over and that’s how I want to be known as a person. The positive changes I made in my life are a direct result of losing my sweet Katie. It is the gift of love, compassion and understanding that Katie so graciously gave me.
I know there is a list of hundreds of negative things that have happened to us after the death of our children, trust me, I have plenty, but what things have changed in your life that you would consider positive?
If you can’t think of anything positive that has happened in your life since the death of your child, what positives would you like to see happen in your life?
It’s been a while since I posted on this series, but this post is a continuation of my generated list of 30 words that could be used to describe grief. Obviously this list relates to my experience with grief, so I am interested to see if anyone else can relate with this word. I plan on continuing this series of postings that will not only define these words, but expand on why I thought they would be good descriptors.
The sixth word I chose is:
Haunting: Defined as “Continually recurring to the mind; unforgettable” and “having a deeply disquieting or disturbing effect”.
I can honestly say I felt haunted by the flashbacks for almost two years after the death of my son Noah who died 18 months after my daughter Katie. Not only did I have to process the images from that day for of my son Noah, but also Katie. With Katie I didn’t allow myself to process it and when bad thoughts entered my mind I ran from them as quickly as I could. But I shortly became haunted by all of the thoughts after the death of Noah.
The moments in the hospital, reliving the 6 hours I had with Noah, holding him and loving him. Having a father and son moment with no one else in the room. Remembering me handing both of my children over to the nurse knowing I would never see them again. Worried that they would be alone without me there to protect them. Watching my wife mothering both of her children after they had already passed. Haunting and disturbing thoughts that are very real and emotionally draining. Although the haunting thoughts have eased over the years, they still have a tendency to show up from time to time. They trigger emotions, but they do not send me into days of despair like they did early on.
Can any of you relate with this word as a descriptor for grief?
What kind of haunting moments visit you?