It seems like a very long time since I have written, but please know that I never forget about the other survivors out there – helping other survivor’s cope with their grief seems to have become my life’s work. Of course I would have not thought that two years ago – many things have changed. I am going to pick up from my last post in which I had just started seeing a therapist……
In April 2009 my friend Lora (from my hometown and there was never any doubt as to our friendship) and I gave my daughter Kristin a baby shower. The baby shower took place at Neal & Friends, a great childhood friend’s beauty shop in my old neighborhood. The same beauty shop where Amber gave her sister, Kristin, her bachelorette party, and the same place where my friend Kathy prepared all our hair for my daughter Kristin’s wedding. The shower was a lot of fun and I was happy to spend time with my daughter, granddaughter and my friends.
The beautiful baby boy was born on April 30th, 2009. The family was very happy - he is a great joy to us all. Kristin was very happy that she delivered early. Her sister passed away in May and the due date was going to fall at the same time as the anniversary of Amber’s passing. My grandson was also born on the same day as his Great Grandmother - that made it extra special for Kristin and I was very happy for her on many levels..
As the anniversary of Amber’s death approached I became very upset and confused. I was not sure what I would do on that day. Her death was on May 13th, my birthday is May 10th, my beloved grandmother’s birth and death were May 11th, and of course Mothers day always falls on these dates. I did not want to celebrate my birthday at all, and unless I just don’t remember, I think that is exactly what happened. My husband was out of town, Mothers Day and my birthday were on the same day. I remember knowing that Amber would not be calling that day, and I just sat in the house hoping that Kristin would call. As I think about it now it brings tears to my eyes remembering when Kristin did at last call me that day. There were times that I thought that I had lost both my daughters……….If it were not for me going to see Kristin and the kids on the weekends I don’t think I would have talked to them—she didn’t answer the phone a lot and she rarely called me back. I felt very much an outsider, and only my therapist could make any sense out of all of it for me. My therapist told me to back off some, give everyone some space - it was very good advice. It was hard to follow through due to me worrying so much over them and me not being in the same town to check on them, but I did and as I got used to the idea everyone seemed to relax a little.
Of course the next few days after my birthday led directly into the awful anniversary of the most horrible time in my life. On May 13th I just went about my day as if everything was ok, but I was miserable inside. The problem again was I had no where to go to talk to Amber, if you know what I mean. Her ashes were spread at her grandmother’s house, there was no burial place that I could take flowers to, no where to go that connected to her—I didn’t know what to do with myself. I can not turn back the clock now and do the funeral in any different way and honestly I still do not have an answer to how to handle the anniversary of her death. I think that if a loved one is cremated that there needs to be a plan of a memorial of some sort - somewhere or something to help you feel like you are spending time with your loved one. That probably sounds a little crazy, but to have been able to do something – I mean really do something - like make myself get out of the house and drive to the cemetery - would have been so much better than sitting in my house doing nothing. When the weekend finally came we did go to see all the kids and did a balloon ceremony with them. That helped a lot, but it was not enough. I hope some day that I have a place to go to honor Amber’s memory, somewhere that I can have quiet moments to reflect with love……..