Today my thoughts are reflective as they seem to always get this time of year. In just over a month, 7 years will have passed since I lost one of my daughters to suicide. Amber was 29 years old when she left us, and as I write I still find this difficult to believe. It simply is because I miss her very much, I long for her, and there is nothing in this world that could ever replace those feelings of love.
I find it so unsettling this time of year that I am surprised by my own emotions. It is not that I am without emotion, but rather I have had to find a way to table them so I can feel other's emotions. The emotions that stir up so often in meetings and in our speaking engagements are brought on by other's pain. I think all survivors develop this type of empathy for others...
Having PTSD comes with lots of "triggers" and anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays are definitely a time of anxiety for most. Strange how the dates of remembrance line up for me beginning with my birthday on May 10th. This day has always fallen around Mother's Day which has added another layer of emotion knowing that I am a mother missing a child. My grandmother, Hila, who I was especially close to was born on May 11, 1906, and passed on May 11, 1996. On May 12, 2008 I received a call from my daughter Kristin with the horrible news of Amber's attempt on her life and Chuck and I rushed to the hospital.
Later at 2:16 am on May 13th I sent an email announcement to four people. This is the note copied and pasted from my email into this blog.
I am going to tell you a very sad thing that has happened tonight. My daughter, Amber Racha Chambers Townson has committed suicide at 9 pm. She is in intensive care at cabell-htgn hospital and is being kept alive by machines. she has no brain activity and will be taken from machines tommrw. Amber was born sept 16, 1978 and would have been 30 yrs old this year. I cant tell you how deep the pain is in my heart right now, am having a hard time sorting through all the details. I am sad....................
I will let you know more details as i know them---it is very hard to talk right now--i must rest so we can go back there tommrw morning.
Strangely I remember sending this email very clearly, even though so many other details escape my memory.
Continuing on...My Mother, Joan, passed on Dec 27, 2013 and I feel this loss so very much this time of year as well because of Mother's Day, and her Mother was my sweet Grandmother, Hila.
Last year, on May 14 my paternal Grandmother, Armenda, passed away. I am sure you can see the pattern of these events in May and how they have lined up, and why this week in May is not one I look forward to in the least.
I want to think of LIFE and all the blessings God has given to me, and yet I can not help to think of loss. The loss of Amber, Joan, Hila, and Armenda.
No particular reason for writing this today, these words do not come from anything other than truth...what is that?...when you really love someone it is an always, a forever, a constant. Because they are not with me in flesh does not mean that I have stopped loving them. Is that grief? No, it is LOVE.