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!