I mention the silence often in my blog and I always think about those girls in my life that I considered friends before the tragedy. There was Elizabeth, I was in her wedding and worked with her, Bridgette-who I hired at my office because of her infectious personality, & Sandy-my neighbor. I had known Sandy about 4 yrs, Elizabeth 4, Bridgette 5. Now keep in mind that I had friends that were from my hometown, but they were not around me as much since we had moved from there 13 yrs ago. In hind sight I realize that there were a few offers from each of these three about getting together--for instance coming over for dinner, going out for dinner, coming over to visit. These always involved me getting out of my safe place and being "social" and all I really wanted was some one on one girl time. The invitations were not personal, not for what I needed-the last thing I wanted to do was sit down for dinner with one of them and their husband and pretend to be normal. Every time I was expected to be normal it upset me more. My house became more and more my safe place. There were no expectations at my safe place-I did not have to be anyone, I did not have to pretend, there was no "normal". I could not relate to the others normalcy at all-it made me jealous and angry. The more I heard about their children the more pain I felt---remember though that through all these events no one has ask me how I am doing....................If that topic would have ever been brought up and I was made to feel that the abnormal me was welcome and I could talk about anything I wanted I believe it could have all been different. The fact that I had to change to suit all their lives made it more painful for me. Bridgette left work that summer to attend college and that was extremely difficult for me-she worked in my office with me and even though things had changed with us after Amber's death she was still comforting because she and I were more alike than the rest of the girls and she knew me on a much deeper level. She left in August-it was a sad day for me-I knew that it was more change for me and I would also grieve her presence at work. Elizabeth was just all involved in her world with her new hubby and wanted to be with her family more that helping out a friend in trouble, and then there was my neighbor. She had heart surgery a few days after the funeral and was then gone to Cleveland Hospital for several weeks. I thought for sure when she returned home from the hospital that things would be different, as we had not had time to really hang out after the funeral and she didn't attend. I was still very put off that she had not attended the funeral. I was wrong-when she returned home everything was to be "normal". I learned quickly that it was too painful to go to her house for anything because I definitely was not to talk about Amber-and there were always other people there--it seemed like everyone wanted to "cheer me up". I had not even processed what had happened yet-I did not want to be cheered up - I wanted to share, talk about my daughter, work through my feelings, discuss my dark thoughts--I needed a girlfriend.
As Amber's Birthday approached I had an idea that I would place this beautiful memorial stone that someone had left at the funeral into The Garden and I ask Bridgette and Elizabeth to come over that week and help me to put the stone into the garden as a memorial for Amber and it would give me an opportunity to create a place for me to come to talk to her. Our office closes early on Fridays-so the Friday after my trip to the grandparent’s house in Huntington I was planning on having them to the house for snacks, drinks, and a memorial mini service.
That summer was a very lonely one and it was no wonder that I had started trying to find my old classmates from school—I was looking for people who would care—who would care about me, care about my family, Amber’s death, and that I felt safe around. I was very glad I did look and that I found so many of them—lots.
Next I will continue on to the Grandparent’s house for the 1st birthday after Amber’s passing…….