Of course that weekend was bad when the “girl’s day” fell apart and then I had to return to work on Monday and see Elizabeth and pretend that everything was ok--it really did not work real well-my emotions were raw. I was just too emotional to say much-I was afraid I would just fall apart. The other thing is I really did not want everyone to know my business and my grandma always said “if you can’t say something good don’t say anything at all”. I was raised to believe that there was a time and place for things and I knew that work was not the place.
My daughter Kristin had contacted me about attending the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's "Out of the Darkness" Community Walk in October. I said yes, but was feeling very anxious about that also--another trip away from my safe place. I had already found this group on the internet so I tried to get some sponsors for the walk.
I was totally without any friends now at home-it was very strange and quite depressing. I can remember driving around in my car crying my eyes out and calling Bridgette and getting VM-ask her to call-needed to talk. She didn't of course and I just parked the car in a parking lot and prayed till I calmed down enough to continue. I knew her birthday was coming up on Sept 29th and I had already bought her a gift and tried several times to call her to set up a meeting time--finally went to her mom's house and left it-talked with her mom for a couple hours-it was very nice to have someone to talk to. I can’t remember how long it took for her to get back with me. Things are very foggy through this period and it seems the more I write the more things I remember later.
October came and I was trying to see if any of my "friends" were going to Huntington with me to the Out of the Darkness Walk (had no expectations-I know many of you are thinking why did you even ask?). I was surprised when Elizabeth said she would go. My boss put in some money for sponsorship-also surprising-and so did several other people. I thought it strange that Kristin and her Husband and the kids had done this walk the year before Amber passed. So many things were odd about all of it-I was just trying to get through each day. Work had become horrible-my weakness put a huge target on my back and the more bullying that went on the quieter I became-work had now become known as my "happy place"--with all the sarcasm that could possibly drip from my mouth!!!! The financial pressures that had been added by my father and Amber's passing were making it worse for me at work-because I felt I had to stay at this job-couldn't afford to leave. I now realize that I put that pressure on myself-no one ask me too-I was just determined that I could get through the work situation somehow and maybe I would feel better soon and all would be ok again someday. My hubby & I felt like we should take responsibility for the children (financially-or otherwise if necessary) since their mommy was not going to be here to help. Wow-how crazy everything has become-it was hard to keep up with it all.
The “desperate thing” was always at the back of my mind now-I saw it in so many faces, everywhere I went and it just continued to break my heart. I just felt so fortunate to have all the necessities of life and felt such great empathy for so many-I knew I had to get a handle on this way of thinking so I started trying to find somewhere to volunteer-I specifically wanted to be around the homeless-I needed to know more about them-why they became that way, where do they sleep, eat-everything! Not living in my hometown I was not really sure where to go to find this information-I talked to a lady who was active in church and she finally called me with a name. It was the Covenant House. It took several calls before I was able to set anything up-and I was not sure exactly what I had set myself up for at the time. I was told to be at a church on Thanksgiving Day to help serve the homeless for dinner.
The Suicide Prevention Walk was Oct 25th, and Elizabeth and I met early that morning to meet the family there. I was still quite peeved with her because of the silence, but glad to have the company for the drive so as not to get lost too deep in my thoughts. I was nervous about the event-not knowing what to expect, who would be there, how was I to act-happy, sad, or what. Since no one around me ever wanted to talk about it you start learning to just pretend everything is OK. That was not the case at the walk-everyone seemed genuine, touched-I could see the pain in their eyes that matched my own. I was at a place that I was not uncomfortable. More on the walk to follow…..