Friday, January 7, 2011

It's hard to find words

Where do I start? 
How do I find words that come close to even expressing my feelings? 
Why can't I shut my mind off? 
When will I feel peace again?

So many questions - too few answers.

First off, I must thank every single person who commented on my last post. Except of course for the ANON ones, but I'll address them later.
 Every blogger knows that a positive comment, however brief is extremely validating.  And we all need validation.
I must thank every person who took the time to email me privately, text me or send me a message through Facebook.  The concern via written word from real and virtual friends are tangible things I will have forever.
I want to thank the many friends, coworkers and neighbors that brought food, flowers/plants, diet coke, offers of babysitting, offers of basically ANYTHING.
I want to thank my family members close and extended who jumped to my defense when necessary, had my back and gave me continued encouragement and support.
A very special thank you to my Diva's  and particularly the Shark who spent days at my home cleaning (gasp), painting, preparing and setting up a new bedroom for Sis.

 So much has happened and I haven't journaled a bit of it.  This post will be a reader's digest version, no one wants the nitty,gritty details.  Even I don't like the nitty gritty.

Christmas eve was a long night.  After getting the call about Jillian, Splenda and I sent Sissy home with Uncle Tuffy and Uncle Luka.  They made cookies for Santa and put in a movie.  Splenda and I headed to J's parent's home.  We spent a couple of hours consoling, grieving and talking about the chain of events.

'dawg made the wise decision to hold off telling Sissy until Christmas was over.  And besides, he wanted to be the one to explain it to her.

She loved Christmas and all her presents while the rest of us went through the motions.  After a lengthy call to the Red Cross, 'dawg was finally granted leave and we booked him a flight home.

Sissy took it as well as an almost 4 year old can.  She understands heaven.  That Mommy is there and we will see her again but not for a very long time.  She understands Mommy is happy and helping Heavenly Father.  She knows that her Mommy is with Kasey and is watching over her.  Other than asking where Mommy was on Christmas morning (before she was told) - she hasn't asked since.  I find that a sweet tender mercy for now, but know that hard questions are to come in the future.

J's parents opted for no obituary or funeral service.  Instead, they chose a small, private graveside service with a word from the bishop, a family prayer and the grave dedication. It was quiet, sweet and peaceful.
 'dawg was a pallbearer and was striking in his dress blues.  Sissy sat very quiet on the chair next to her Gampa and in front of  the casket and didn't move a muscle.  It was sad and quite heartbreaking

The following Saturday, our family held an open house for the many friends of J's that were struggling for closure.  It was low key and simple.  Another shout out to the Shark for making a video tribute.  After the video, we turned the mic over to whomever wanted to share a memory, a funny story, or say goodbye.  I didn't count the actual number of people, but the cultural hall of the church was full.  A big thanks to my ward Relief Society for handling the refreshments and my other ward friends for helping me set everything up.
But I especially want to thank everyone who came out to honor Jillian and support  Sissy.  J would have been so pleased.

Since then it has been nothing but paperwork.  'dawg is turning guardianship over to Splenda and I until he finishes his 4 years in the service.  He needs the benefits that the Marine's can offer him and since he knows she will be well taken care of, he can leave with peace of mind.  As you can imagine, the legal forms, social security, insurance, etc is unbelievable.  The Marine's have been fantastic to him, it's just a lot of paperwork to take care of.  In the long run, it will be able to set him up to be able to provide for her and care for her.

I had so much time away from my own job that I am swamped and stressing about catching up.

We have Sissy enrolled in a private preschool.  She is adjusting well and very happy there.  In fact, we observed tonight that she is the happiest we have ever seen her.
She is still not ready to sleep in her own bed yet, but we are being patient and trying to gradually get her doing that.  I had asked J about it a month or so ago and she told me that she has always slept with her, so obviously this is something new and foreign to sleep alone.  No pushing from us.  She can take her time.
 Her potty training regressed for a day or two but since then, she hasn't had one accident.
She had a physical exam and got caught up on her immunizations.  Next up is the dentist, but I think I need to give her a little bit of time to recover from the doctor experience before I let someone get in her mouth : )  She still is pretty ticked about getting "pokes".

Everyone seems to be handling everything so well except for me.  I should be adjusting right?  I try to sit down and write thank you notes and all I do is cry.
I close my eyes at night and all I can do is picture Jillian's last moments and wonder what she was feeling. Was she frantic?  Hysterical?  Calm?
I was shown her suicide note to read.  My heart aches for her.  For her pain and anguish that we didn't fully understand the magnitude of.  I wish I had.  Could I have?  Could anyone have done anything different for her?
Splenda and I had talked to her a couple of weeks earlier, and she expressed that she was in a bad spot.  We offered help, she wanted to feel better and was working on some things and looking into some options we suggested to her.  Should I have pushed more? 
These are the questions that haunt me.  They stress me out.  They make me cry.  They make my chest pound with anxiety.
Logically, I know all the right answers.  But in my heart - I still hurt.  I can only imagine how I would feel if she were my own daughter.  I cannot even begin to wrap my head around the grief that her parents are feeling.  And while our relationship with them is strained at best, I pray that they might find the solace, peace and comfort that they need.

Over the past couple of days, I have come to realize that every person in her life will struggle with some level of guilt.  I am told it is normal and to be expected.  I hope that anyone struggling with that can find their own peace.

I think of Sissy.  Of what lies ahead for her.  This is with her for the rest of her life.  For now, she is everyone's focus.  Stability.  Stability.  STABILITY.
Our goal is to provide the happiest, most fulfilling and opportunity filled life possible.  I want her to not just know, but KNOW -deep in her heart and soul that she is loved beyond comprehension.  And not just by me or Splenda, or Daddy and her Uncles, but by her Gampa, Gamma and other extended family and friends.  I want her to KNOW that she is a beloved daughter of God and that her Mommy is always watching over her.

To those cowards who have hidden behind the label of ANON - let me say this:  I know who you are.  It's not hard to track an IP address.  You don't know the whole story, you don't know the situation and while you are trying your hardest to hurt me, I refuse to let you.  Sorry, you lose.

I love my blog.  I love my own personal outlet to express my feelings, share my funnies, and connect with friends.  While I am now no longer allowing anon comments, and enabling moderation, it is merely to protect myself and my family from those who think they can sit in judgement.  I don't need anymore negativity in my life.

Thanks again to all my real life friends, my blog/virtual friends, my family and the perfect strangers who have taken the time to pass on a cheery word of encouragement.  Your support is greatly appreciated.

And, I promise I'll get my funny back!


Pedaling said...

Thank you Melissa for the update.
You have been in my prayers and thoughts. That sweet little girl is blessed to have you and her grandpa...
What a very hard thing for all. Again, I am so very sorry. I do think things will work out. They always do, in the long run. Sorry to about the yucky anon comments. I didn't see any of them, but I can only imagine. Keep on carrying on! You are truly and inspiration. And even though the few details you shared about the funeral pulled at the heart...I thank you for sharing a bit. Love you!

Pedaling said...

oh, and by the way- I love comment moderation. I wouldn't do it any other way.

Cheeseboy said...

The best part of this post was feeling the happiness of the little gal - - that she is happier than ever.

I still feel awful for the struggles you have to and continue to have to bear. But that little girl is so very, very lucky to have you in her life.

I took my anon comments off long ago. They are nothing but trouble.

linda said...

Thank you so much for the update. Every time I'm online I check to see if you've posted anything as I have been thinking and praying for you and yours continually since your last post. I'm sure it has been a person's worst nightmare and can only imagine. I'm so sorry but only hope and pray that your Jillian is happy and in a better place. To be so young and so lost just breaks my heart.

Sissy will be ok and flourish beyond belief I'm sure. How can one not grow up to be happy and well adjusted when surrounded by such love and support. She is one lucky and loved little girl. She is blessed!

I am not a grandmother yet but you provide such an amazing example of what a grandmother should be. From me to you, thank you for such a fine example of true love!

Megan and Devin said...

Thinking of our favorite Catmulls from Arizona! We love you guys and are praying for all of you!

Garden of Egan said...

Em! I wish I could just hug you and take it all away. Really.

You and Splenda are the perfect thing for Sissy right now and it is so wonderful that you are a stable home and place for her.

I can't imagine what Corbin has had to deal with, good for the Marines for giving him the time and support he needs. Wow.

It's all so overwhelming right now. Just reading your post made me cry.
I only wish I would have known when the Memorial would have been. I would have been there.

Hang on. You are OK. You really are. Everything you are feeling is normal. Looking at Sissy being happy and content can be affirmation.

I'm sorry there are those out there that are hurtful. You are the best! And you are right, they are losers.

Scrappy Girl said...

I am so sorry for you loss mCat. I wish I could give you a great big hug in real life. {{hugs}}

Untypically Jia said...

My mother died when I was two years old. While the deaths are different, the pain is still there and always will be.


What did help me remain as strong as I have been all these years, is that I had the most amazing Grandmother the world could ever offer. A Grandmother makes all the difference.

Hugs to you.

Missy said...

I have been so worried about you! I wish there were words to console your troubled heart, but I know of none.
Focus of Sissy and the rest will fall into place.
I will continue to Pray for you and your family...

Cherie said...

I have been SO worried about you and your family and Sissy. I am so glad to have this update - to know that, as hard as it is, that you are all coping and helping each other to heal. You are so blessed to have such a wonderful support system.
Sissy is so very lucky to have you and Splenda and her dad and all the other family that she has who really do love her.
Melissa you really do have one of the biggest, kindest, loving and tender hearts that I know of.
I'm so sorry this happened. I know the road ahead will have a few bumps. I'll be praying for all of you. Love you bunches!

veronica said...

My heart breaks for you and for Sissy, and then in the very next beat rejoices that even in the absence of her mom she has you and others to love her and support her.
Your description of 'dawg as a pall bearer brought tears to my eyes. You must be so proud of the man he has become.
Thinking of you and praying for you.

Loralee and the gang... said...

I just can't get it out of my head that anyone would post cruel anon commments about this tragedy. There is no justification for that. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, especialy your Sissy. She is definately in good hands with you.

TheBabyMammaChronicles said...

I hate mean people and I hate mean people that hide behind anon comments even more. My prayers and thoughts with you, your family, and your beautiful Granddaughter.

MommyJ said...

Melissa, I'm so sorry I missed your initial post. I feel so overwhelmed reading this and the last one... My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Hugs sent your way, and to that precious little girl.

LKP said...

woman! so relieved to hear something from your camp. i love you more than you can know. good to know 'dawg was able to come home. very wise idea for him to turn the custody over so there will not only be stability for sissy but for him on the other side as well. he'll be able to focus better on what he needs to accomplish, knowing that she's with you & splenda. i'm hoping that strained the the relationship is with j's parents, hopefully they'll be fully supportive and willing to have sissy come visit. though it may be hard for them when they see sissy they'll for sure see her mother. but in many ways it'll be MORE than cathartic for both them & your sweet cherub of a granddaughter. private preschool's also an excellent decision. structure is key.
you're right, bigger questions will eventually follow, but you guys are so good about being open & up front. follow the Spirit, and the timing will be just right as sissy continues to grow & learn with you. my heart goes out to all of you. and since shipping a casserole in the mail is sorta frowned upon, not to mention it'd be in an awfully grotesque state by the time you got it, consider this my virtual casserole. my offering of comfort. hugging you in my heart! lub, me.

(to the anons, get a new hobbby. crazy is soooo last year!)

Mindi said...

melissa, all i can say is this:

those idiots who invest SO MUCH TIME trying to come up with the next cruel, mean-spirited, and horribly inappropriate comment to hurt you will GET THEIRS.

i find it comical that they go to so much effort to harm--too bad they don't realize that it makes them appear weak and obsessed. dumbasses.

i love you.

tiburon said...

You already know exactly what I think and feel since we practically share the same brain but I will say this about the anon commenters: We both know who they are. We both know how pathetic they are. And finally, consider the source.

They are their own special kind of crazy and karma is a beotch.

I love you more than the sea and I have been on the receiving end of oh-so-many conversations where you have been heartbroken over Chloee and her mother (long before the events of the past few weeks).

I know what your intentions are. I know of your heartache. I know of the difficult decisions you have had to make in the past 2 weeks - and 2 years. I know it all and those anonymous people are straight up cowards that are just looking to cause some hurt wherever they think they can.

Too bad they lose. And when it is over, they will still be losers.

Our family is here for your family every step of the way. Please just keep doing what you are doing for that sweet little girl. She amazes me every day :)

Vanessa said...

I have been thinking a lot about you lately and hoping you have been surviving.

If anyone can make it through this it is you. And lucky for Sissy, she will be all the better for having you and Splenda at the helm.

Anonymous needs to check themselves before they wreck themselves.

Suzie said...

My heart has been filled with thoughts of that little girl & your family many times in the past 2 weeks. Brought a smile to my face thinking about her being so happy, going to a new school & sleeping in her own little bed (sometime soon, perhaps)

I am just so impressed with your heart of gold, truly inspired by the words you have chosen sparingly but thoughtfully.
I hope with all my heart you keep feeling the peace that has clearly been in your home throughout all this. I know you hurt and it will take time.
My heart aches with the thought of the pain her parents must feel.
Good luck with work and I can't even comment about anon commenters. I have no words.

Eric and Ape said...

I'm so sorry for the struggles that you've had to endure lately.

The open house was perfect.

Thank you for being such an amazing person Melissa!

We love you so much, thanks for being so great!

Eric and Ape said...

We love you!

DeNae said...

I will never understand people who do the hatefully anonymous thing, but I haven't allowed anonymous comments for nearly a year now and I don't miss 'em a bit. Your situation just breaks my heart, Melissa, and I want you to know I really have prayed for you and your family.

CeeGeeBee said...

ANON is just another word for cowardice. I was so glad to see your post tonight...I have been thinking about you daily since this tragedy began. Anyone who follows your blog knows that Sissy is in the best place she could possibly be.....she is surrounded by people that love her, can provide security and that all-important stability.

Terri Ferran said...

The sharp stabbing grief will eventually subside. Until then know that you're not alone. Not one bit.

I think you and Splenda are some of the awesomest people I know!

So for now...Eat, pray, love, breathe in, breathe out, drink some bubbly, burp, sleep, cry, drink some more brown bubbly, burp, water the porcelain flower pot, and repeat steps as many times as necessary.

You are loved!

Becca said...

I was going to tell you to be strong. But you already are. You might not feel it, but you are!

Anastasia said...

I m so glad that you guys are there for that little girl. You're in my thoughts.

Merri Ann said...

You all have been in my thoughts and prayers. Sissy is very fortunate to have you to lean on.

Mae Rae said...

Dear Melissa,

Throughout the last few weeks my mind and heart have been with you more than can even be explained. The situation has sparked many a conversation with my own family. Although, i can not feel the pain that you are experiencing, I want you to know that my prayers for you and your entire family have been continuous.
Anyone that has ever experienced the love of a grandmother can be sure that Sissy will indeed feel that from you.
Your strength is something that I have emulated over the last year and you continue to show me that it is indeed something that I should strive to have.
Love you more than words can express and will continue to keep you in my everyday thoughts and prayers.


tammy said...

What can I say that hasn't been said? Amen and amen.

Love you.

And anon, in the game of life, you LOSE!!

wendy said...

Melissa, like I said on your facebook.....I sooooo feel everything of which you speak. I have never known such pain as loosing my son. I too have asked myself a thousand times "what could I have done to change things" I am tormented by the fact he died alone....and I wonder what he was thinking/feeling at the time. Was he mad? sad?lonely, despair what?????
just like you
It is one of those things in life that just plain suck I guess and we have to learn from.
YOU are a wonderful lady, I know and felt that from our conversation when I was in Utah. Sissy will be so cherished. and for that....she is blessed.

I hate the ANON people. such cowards and heartless people. Oh those who judge.....HOW do they feel they know everything and can set themselves on a higher plain.

hugs to you. It slowly, EVERY so sowly starts to get less painful. Those stabs to your heart, and punches to the gut will start to feel less severe.

But we will never forget
any of it will we..........cause we love
and we're moms

Erin said...

My heart breaks for you and your family. I wish I had words of comfort that would make everything all better, but I don't. So just know that I am thinking about you and praying for you.

Martha H. said...

I love ya, girl!

Carina said...

A dear friend said to me last year while going through my own personal trails the following....

It is surprising yet amazing to think that we knew that all these "things" would happen before we came to earth, YET WE STILL CHOSE TO COME.

The best pick me up ever! That means we believed in ourselves enough in heaven to take it on here on Earth. Remember that not only do all these amazing friends believe in you......but YOU believe in you.

Love you and your family so much!

Mrs. Organic said...

At the same time I am so sorry for what you are dealing with, I am so impressed with the grace you are handling it with. You are a gem, and SIssy is so blessed to have you and everyone in your family to love and support her. I am just so sorry that this has happened, hugs and prayers to you.

DesertHen said...

I am a new follower to your blog. My heart broke for you and your family when I read your last post in December! We were going through the tragic and unexpected loss of a friend in our little valley at about the same time. I wanted to post a comment then, but just didn't know what to say. So I sent silent prayers your way and thought of you and your family often during the past weeks. I'm so glad the Marine Corps. has been so good to your 'Dawg. My daughters ex-boyfriend is a marine (we are so proud of him! It just didn't work out for them though)He is currently in Japan for two years. Anyway, that is how I stummbled across your blog in November when you were posting about Dawgs bootcamp journey. I can't even remember who's blog I was on when I found you, but that doesn't really matter. I'm sending prayers to you and your family from Nevada! ((((HUGS))) to you all and little Sissy!


I can not imagine how hard this must be. I am so glad Sissy has you and Splenda. I know how hard these changes can be for little ones. While it is not exactly the same all 8 of my children have lost their birth parents. It is never easy.She is one blessed little girl. I have thought often of you and will continue to keep you in my prayers.

CountessLaurie said...

I don't have words either. I wish I knew exactly what to say to make all the pain go away.

You, Sissy, dawg, Splenda... you are all in my prayers.

I pray Jillian has found peace.


Emily :) said...

I'm so glad Chloee has you! She is one lucky girl! You are amazing on the outside and inside, when people are watching and when they aren't.
You're a beautiful woman!

Kelly said...

Sounds like you are going to be alright. How lucky Sissy is to have you. And even though your life is turned upside down right now, it seems that you are the kind of person who will recognize her as a blessing as well.

Sue said...

Keep sharing your story. You have 39 comments from loving people who care about you and what you have to say.You have taught us how to love, how to grieve and how to go on.

Every time you have ever shared anything about Sissy, I have felt you were talking about your own daughter. You "really love her", and it's obvious that you would do anything for her.

Your the best MeeMaw ever.

Higgs Happenin's said...

Oh how I want to hug you! First from
Your comment on my blog, second and most of all from catching up with you.

I'm so sorry about all that has happened. I have no doubt that sissy will feel and know all the love you hope for her. She is lucky to have a meemaw like you. I will pray for you, your family and Jillian's as well.

Natalie said...

You are an amazing amazing lady!!! You have handled everything with such class and such grace. Such an inspiration to your friends and family. And the way you talk about Miss Sissy, it brings tears to my eyes. Your love for her just jumps off the page. This new life will definitely be a marathon run for you, but no one does a marathon better than you!!! Love you tons!!!

dubb and dawni said...

hugs to you and your guys ROCK and sissy is a lucky gal to have you !!!!

Janiece said...

Pain and heartache take time to pass.
The biggest things are do not punish yourself and second...never quit talking about her.
When my husband and I were dating, I knew his mom had passed away...but there was never any talk of her.
Sometime after we had been married a person made a comment about his mom the questions everyone had and how hard it was on the kids...

I went to my husband and said...I want to know the secret...the secret about your mom...
she had committed suicide... and some 10 years later he and his siblings set in my front room and I said...I want to know about your mom...the good and your memories...
I was so glad that that event took place...this special women who was trying to raise 6 children on her own...who loved her family and the gospel...I feel in love with her and knew I had missed out on getting to meet her. When our children were old enough to understand and asked why they did not know there grandma was not hard to tell them about her...though nobody knows the reason for her taking her life...we do know our heavenly Father's plan.
You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

gigi said...

It's all been said, and so beautifully. Do know that I have kept you and your family in my thoughts and every prayer.
BIG ((hugs))

Melissa said...

such a beautiful post melissa. i've been thinking about you a lot.
you are so amazing and that little girl is so lucky to have you in her life.

Melissa said...

oh yeah. screw those rude people.

Plain Jame said...

I'm sorry for the loss, and I feel bad that Sissy will carry this through her life - BUT I think she has a great family on earth, along with her angels in heaven that will continually give her the guidance and answers she'll need. XOXO.