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Dear Leesa,
I relate to your story so much. My 23 year old daughter and only child was killed unexpectantly in a car crash on the 7th of Sept '08. The Highway Patrol officers knocked on my door in the middle of the night. I screamed out, "Please tell me she's in the hospital!: They told me to sit down and I knew at once she was gone. My entire immediate family gone! I am a single mom and she was my world. My mom had a stroke when I was 23 and was never "my mom" again. She did not speak but a few words, could not be a mother, but rather became a child. But I was glad she was still here. I could touch her, kiss her, love her, brush her hair - talk to her. I don't have a sister, just a brother with whom I am not close to. I have unbelievably good friends but they go home to their husbands and/or children at night. I come home to house full of memories of my daughter but no daughter. Her name is Amanda. I do think she is trying to contact me. She had long curly, blonde hair. Her friend and I were on the dock where we surrendered her ashes and as we left and said goodbye to her, a long curly blonde hair flew onto my shirt. Her friend noticed it and we were shocked. The other morning when I was getting ready for church, I heard an alarm go off. I couldn't think what it could be...I followed the sound and it was her alarm clock...more than a month after her death. the door had been closed and I just can't go in there too often because it brings up such strong emotions of grief. There are more signs but I am not afraid of them...I just don't want her hanging out here if she thinks I'm too sad . However, these signs are a comfort. A couple of her friends have asked for some of her posters but I just can bear to give anything of hers away. I feel selfish but its just where I am right now. I teach high school and I have to stuff feelings all day long. As soon as I get out of school, I cry. I call her cell phone (which I keep paying for so I can hear her voice) and listen to her voice message. I'm trying to find a counselor who specializes in grief. But reading your words helped me. I think I have separation anxiety along with depression and the upcoming holidays are making me even more anxious. I know I have to live through them but I just don't know how I'm going to do it. But thanks for sharing your grief with me and others. It does help.
Hanging in there by my fingertips!
Karen
Karen I read your story and it made me cry; I lost my husband in a tragic car accident July 27th of 07 and nothing has been the same. It sent chills up my spine when you were describing about the contact you have had with your daughter. I have had a few experiences of being contacted by my husbands spirit, things happen that i cannot explain. My son had the most contact just a few weeks after his dad died;he was calling out for his dad in his sleep and woke up claiming that his dad grab his shoulder, as if he was reassuring him, and it scared him but i told him not to be. I think its wonderful when we can still connect with our loved one that is no longer with us. Your daughter will hang around till she knows you are going to be okay. I started writing in a journal just a few weeks after my husband died, sometimes with just word on the page. Other days i write till i cannot write no more, it helps the mind and the soul and begins the healing process. We have grief counseling here in California ( i live in San Joaquin County); find out through your church or look in your phone book under grief counseling, there has to be something there to help you. Like you said the upcoming holidays are the toughest and as each holiday comes and goes and some how you get through them. What I do every birthday, easter, christmas, whatever my daughter and i let off a bunch of balloons in his memory. I talk to my husband every night and say good night, it helps ( we were married for 30 years). If you can't handle too much, take it one day at a time or even 1 mintue at a time whatever it takes. You can do it hang in there!
Dear Pamela,
Thank you for your compassionate response. It really made me feel more sane to know that I'm not the only person who feels that my loved one who died is still making contact with me. Today I came home late and laying on my dining room table was a photo album that both she and I had been looking for. We looked for months before she passed for that photo album and were dumbfounded by its disappearance. It had photos of her with our family dog who died Sept 11th a year ago and with our cat Doc who died just days before our dog. I HATE September! Anyway, that album was on the table right near the front door. I nearly had a heart attack. I asked my parents who have a key to my house if they had been here and they said no. I scattered most of ashes in the spot where she and I fished but the funeral people put some in a hand sized pewter container shaped like a heart. It has gold leaves on the top and her nickname "Manda Pants" enscribed on the top. I sleep with it and talk to it. I kiss it goodnight and goodbye in the morning. I had a very bad day yesterday because I dropped my cellphone in the tub and it ruined it. It had several photos of her on it that were as valuable to me as any fine piece of art. I just disolved into tears. But I took her cellphone, which the police returned to me, and they phone company was able to put my sim card into her phone. To my surprise, there were some photos she took of herself on there and photos that she took the last night of her life of our dog dressed in gator football shirt. We were watching the game and then left to a friend's house. She said, "Do I look okay Mom?". I said, "you look beautiful baby." She smiled confidently and twirled around and said, "Don't worry Mom, I'll be careful and I'll be home soon. I love you Mom". I said, "I love you more." That was our last words. I feel grateful that it was loving last words. My Amanda was such a great young woman. She loved to cook, she was artistic and wanted to be a movie editor. She was joining the Peace Corps in January. Amanda made me laugh once so hard in a restuarant that I peed in my pants and had to walk out with wet pants. I try to remember all of the million ways she lighted my life. Thinking of never seeing her again is agony. I try not to blame God. I try to keep my faith. I try to not be angry at my step mom who says that she's not certain that my girl went to heaven because she wasn't going to church at this time in her life as she saw many people not practice what they preach. She was christened and went through communion. She knew there was a higher power. The thing is, why would you tell a grieving mother whose only sanity is that one day they will get to see their child again in heaven that you don't think she'll be there? Even if she thinks that, did she have to tell me? It has devestated me. But a blind student who comes to the high school I work at for one or 2 classes showed up at my door the very next day. She gave me a letter in which she said, "I know you don't know me but I know some kids in your class and they like you and told me about your daughter. The Lord demanded that I write you a letter and I've typed it as best that I can per what he said. In short, the letter said that Amanda is in Heaven and is supremely happy. He said to tell me that sometimes he shields us from the storm and other times he rides the storm out with us. It was much more elegant than what I've written but it did help me find some peace about where she is.
Pamela, I'm so sorry for the loss you experience. Losing a life partner, best friend, husband must be so awful and scary and then you have to be strong for you children. I am going to take your advice and start a journal. May God hold you and your children in His big, gentle hand and protect you always. Bless you for taking the time to write back. It helps more than you know!!!!so much!
Peace, one day, one minute at a timek
karen
Karen it was good to hear from you, and I hope things are going as well as can be. Loosing a husband or anyone for that matter has the same awful end result.... pain, emptiness, and what hurts me most is at night, the loneliness. My son and daughter-in-law have been wonderful; especially when he first was killed and we had so many things to do, and they stepped up to the plate. But I have to be truthful, there are times when I don't want to be strong anymore; I have a good cry and take a deep breath and move on the best way i can. Grief that you have for a loved one really never goes away, it gets tucked away in a corner. A smell or a movie or something down the road jogs my memory of the times we had together, and it's not easy. We all know how fragile life is; but when it is taken away from you so suddenly you are at a loss. To be honest I don't go to church all the time; and i feel bad about it but I do know there is a higher power that watches over us even though we can't see it or smell it, we know that it is there. I can't tell you why your mother-in-law made that statement about your daughter not being in heaven, she might be hurting to of the loss; but the only one that decides is God, and we just have to hope and pray that everything will be okay. What you might want to do is sit down with her (if you can) and ask her why, that is a start. If you would like to write me my e-mail address is pamapostolos@comcast.net. You will be fine just give yourself time, only you know what is best; take care Karen.

One Day At A Time

Pamela
dearKAREN,I LOST MY SON 2 YEARS AGO,HIS FRIEND SHOT HIM AND HE DIED,BUT THE MAIN THING IS THE PEOPLES HOUSE HE WAS AT KEPT CALLING AND ASKING FOR US AND MY OTHER SON KEPT TELLING THEM THAT WE WERE AT THE STORE,THE COPS DIDNT COME LOOKING FOR US OR ANYTHING,FINALLY WE GOT WORD AND WE WENT TO THE HOSPITAL WERE I WORK AND MY COWORKERS WERE SO HELPFUL AFTER WORDS.HE WAS ONLY 16 AND HE WOULD OF TURNED 18 SEPT 12TH AND HE DIED OCT7TH 2006 WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY IS I WAS NUMB FOR 3 DAYS AFTER I DIDNT EAT SLEEP OR ANYTHING,MY FRIENDS KEPT COMING OVER WORRIED ABOUT ME,BUT THAN ABOUT A MONTH LATER I CALLED MY FRIEND UP AND I SAID IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE EVERETTES CLOTHES FOR HER SON SHE HAD TO COME OVER AND GET THEM AND SHE HAD TO PACK THEM UP BECAUSE I COULDNT EVEN GO IN HIS ROOM OR ANYTHING.SO WHEN HE WAS DONE WITH THEM SHE BROUGHT THEM BACK WASHED AND EVERYTHING ABOUT 2 MONTHS LATER AND MY COUSIN IS NOW MAKING A QUILT OUT OF HIS CLOTHES THAT HE WORE.I DONT GO TO A DOCTOR FOR GRIEF COUNSLING BECAUSE THEY BROUGHT UP TO MANY MEMORIES WHY DO I BLAME THE DOCTOR OR THE KID OR THE POLICE,SO I GO TO SUPPORT GROUP I GO BECAUSE IT HELPS ME AND PEOPLE KNOW WHAT YOUR GOING THROU.AND WRITE IN A JOURNAL AND LIGHT A CANDLE AND WRITE GOOD MEMORIES OF HER.,TALK TO HER PICTURES..AND YOU WILL GO IN TO HER ROOM ONE OF THESE DAYS BUT I WOULD TAKE MY TIME TO BUT I HAVE 2 OTHER CHILDREN SO THATS WHAT I DID PUT MY OTHER SON IN THERE.HE IS ONLY 12.BUT THE HOLIDAYS I HURT REAL BAD ESPECIALLY CHRISTMAS BECAUSE I GO TO PICK OUT A PRESENT AND I FORGET THAT I CANT.BUT HE WOULD OF BEEN A SENIOR THIS YEAR SO I DO STUFF FOR THE KIDS,LIKE I AM GOING TO GET BUTTONS MADE SO THE KIDS CAN WALK UP WITH THEM AS THEY GRADUATE.I PUT HIS LAST PICTURE ON THEM SO THEY CAN REMEMBER HIM WHEN THEY HAVE YEARS TO COME.AND THEY THE SENIORS PLANTED A TREE OUTSIDE THE SCHOO; THAT WAS KINDA HARD FOR ME AND THE GIRLS THE GUYS DIDNT SHOW ANY EMOTIONS,BUT I KNOW THERE HURTING TO THOU.BUT ANY WAYS MY SYMPATHY GOES OUT TO YOU.THANKS FOR LISTENING.I GAVE 2 KIDS A FITNESS CENTER FREE ALL YEAR IN MY SONS NAME.
Dear Kristi,
Thank you for your beautiful reply. Somehow, it was comforting to share and for you to tell me your story. I feel like you were giving me a gift of saying, "don't rush into anything, there's no rules for grieving, take it slow. I can only imagine how you will feel this year when the his friends march across the stage wearing his button (which I love that idea!) I am a high school teacher and have been senior class advisor for 11 years. We almost always have someone who dies during the year. But 'I've never seen or heard of grads wearing a photo via a button on their gowns. How cool is that! I'm glad that you have had 2 years to prepare for this. My very dear friend, whose only son was friends with my daughter ....more like brother and sister as we moms did a lot together. We were both teachers. He was having some depression problems and wanted to live with dad, but dad didn't want him. 6 weeks before graduation, my friend came home from work early with a bad feeling in her soul. She found him hanging from a big tree in the back yard. It has been 5 years now and she is able to work and have a social life, but is most definitely changed. She will never be what she was before.There were some issues about the school not calling her to let her know he wasn't in school. She has anger about that. She is still mad at his father and step-father. I remember watching her and thinking, "Oh my Lord, the suffering she is going through - Protect her lord but also, please accept my gratitude that you haven't asked me to go through this trial. I will start a journal as you suggested, You sound like a strong woman. I hope I will be. God bless you!
Hugs,
karen
hi karen,MY COWORKERS THINK I AM STRONG TO,BUT I DONT SHOW MY WEAK SIDE TO THEM,WHEN IT WAS MY SONS BIRTHDAY I TAKE OFF WORK THIS YEAR IT WAS SO HARD THAT I AM GLAD THAT I TOOK OFF,I JUST IMAGINE WHAT HE WOULD LOOK LIKE NOW AND STUFF,BUT I GO TO SUPPORT GROUP BECAUSE I CANT HANDLE SEPT THROU DEC.THAT IS THE WORSE TIME OF YEAR THE END OF THE YEAR.SINCE HE HAS PAST I HAVE BEEN GOING DOWN HILL,STUFF HAS BEEN GOING ON WITH ME AND I THOUGHT YOU STAY STRONG WHEN PEOPLE DIE OUT OF YOUR LIFE BUT I TALK ABOUT MY SON BECAUSE IT HELPS ME TO DEAL WITH MY GRIEF TO IF I DONT I THINK I WOULD REALLY GO INSANE,A COUPLE OF MY COWORKERS DONT LIKE ME TALKING ABOUT HIM SO I DONT DO IT IN FRONT OF THEM.BUT I HOPE ONE DAY I CAN SAY I CAN MAKE IT THROU A DAY IN SEPT OR A DAY IN OCT THAT I DONT CRY.ABOUT YOUR FRIENDS STORY I AM SORRY TO HEAR THAT,YEAH THE SCHOOL SHOULD OF CALLED HER SHE MIGHT OF BEEN ABLE TO HELP HIM,AND THE FATHER IS BAD TO SAY THAT HE DIDNT WANT HIM LIVING WITH HIM,I WOULD NEVER TURN MY KIDS DOWN IF THEY LIVED WITH THERE FATHER AND THEY WANTED TO LIVE WITH ME,MY LIFE IS MY KIDS AND MY HUSBAND AND MY COWORKERS THAT HELP ME OUT.AND THE BEST PART IS PEOPLE WANT TO GIVE ME HUGS AND WHEN MY SON DIED MY FAMILY GOT SO MANY HUGS THERE WAS OVER 1,000 THERE.THE FUNERAL HOME GUY SAID THAT WAS THE BIGGEST FUNERAL HE HAS EVER SEEN IN THIS TOWN I SAID I NEVER KNEW HE WAS SO POPERLAR WITH ALL THE KIDS THAT CAME TO THE HOUSE AND STUFF,ITS AMAZING WHEN A COMMUNITY COMES TOGETHER TO HELP PEOPLE OUT WHEN THEY NEED THEM,WE LIVE IN A TOWN OF ABOUT 300 PEOPLE.EVERYONE KNOWS EVERYONE.YEP THE JOURNAL AND LIGHT A CANDLE FOR 5 MINUTES,THEY SAY TO TALK ABOUT THE PERSON DONT HIDE THEM IN THE CLOSET.ON THERE BIRTHDAY OR ANNIVESARY OR A SPECIAL DAY YOU HAD,TAKE A PLATE OUT TO THE CEMETARY.THEY SAY MAKE A CAKE FOR THERE BIRTHDAY AND SING HAPPY BIRTHDAY WE DO THAT EVERY YEAR.I HAVE A 21 YEAR OLD YET AND A 12 YEAR OLD AND ON HIS BIRTHDAY WE ALL STAY HOME ON MY SONS BIRTHDAY ITS A NATIONAL HOLIDAY FOR US.WELL THANKS FOR LISTENING.GOD BLESS YOU TO KRISTI
Hi Pamela,Karen,and Kristi,it is great to be back. I had a little trouble with my computer. Well as you all know about my Kris I miss him so much. Now that it is around the holidays it hurts so much. Kris use to fry the turkey every year. I feel a whole lot of sadness. Kris two boys ask many questions about their Dad now. My pastor told me to stop saying that I feel depressed. Because that will make my whole day of feeling depressed becasue this is what is I am speaking on my self. It is so hard for me right now. I am crying a whole lot,thinking of Kris all day. Don't talk about me talking about him every chance I get. But some how it feels like the more I talk about Kris the better I feel. It is like a heavy load being lifted from my heart. Just because you all did not hear from me don't mean that I was not thinking and praying for all of us. I am stilling waiting to at least have a dream about Kris. Its been 2yrs. going on 3yrs. Looks like everyone dreams about Kris except me and kris Jr. I would like to see him again even if it is just a dream. Well now I can start back talking to my friends who know how each other feels. I will keep praying and asking God to give us the strength to carry on.
HI ELAINE.ITS NICE YOUR BACK HAVENT HEARD FROM YOU SINCE BEFORE SEPT.YEAH THEY SAY TO TALK ABOUT HIM OR HER BECAUSE THAT EASIES THE PAIN,YEAH I HAVE A HARD TIME ALOT STILL BECAUSE I MAKE SUPPER AND I MAKE TO MUCH,HE WAS MY EATER AND I STILL THINK HE IS GOING TO WALK THROU THE DOOR AND SAY WHAT IS FOR SUPPER OR CALL AND TELL ME TO COME AND GET HIM FROM HIS FRIENDS HOUSE.WE TALK ABOUT EVERETTE LIKE HE IS STILL HERE,THE ONE I HAVE TROUBLE WITH IS MY DAD,I DONT KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH HIM WHEN I TALK TO HIM ABOUT MY SON AND I START TO CRY HE SAYS HE HAS TO GO.I WANT HIM TO TALK ABOUT MY SON AND GET IT OUT BUT HE WONT.MY MOM AND ME ARE GOING TO GO THROU THE CARDS I GOT AT THE FUNERAL IT HAS BEEN 2 YEARS AND I CANT SIT AND LOOK THROU THEM YET.I TOOK WHATEVER WAS IN THEM OUT AND THAN I DID MY THANK YOU CARDS BUT I NEVER COULD READ THE INSIDE OF THEM OR SEE WHO THEY ARE FROM.THANKS FOR WRITING AGAIN ELAINE.AND MY PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU TO.
Kristi i look at the cards i received on the one year anniversery of my husbands death; it is sad and I begin to cry but i get a calming feeling knowing there was so many people that loved him and admired him. As far as your dad goes give him time, for some men it is very difficult to show there feelings, and he is probably grieving and hurting inside. You will know when the time is right to talk to him again. No matter how long your loved one has ben gone (6 mo. a year maybe more) the holidays are always the hardest. It has been 1 year and three months since my husband was killed; and the pain is still there, maybe not as bad but it is still there, for sure nothing will ever be the same. I hope the holidays will bring you some joy and not all sadness.
Hi Kristi,your Dad is like my daughter. She thinks that I talk about Kris to much. She states that she can't handle it hearing Kris name because she miss him so much and that would bring back to many sad memories for her. She would rather remember him with his big smile. Kristi I even read all of his cards that was given to the family,just to read the kind words that is written on the cards. I also look at his video that was made of his funeral. My daughter and son says that I should put that away for a while because it is only bringing back the sad memories of Kris. But Kristie I don't consider it as sad memories of kris. Here is where I get to hear all of the good and kind words that was said about Kris. How his co-workers the Firefighters,Firechief, friends and family how much they enjoyed him. I also have his Guest Book from Legacy.com that I could go on and talk to him like he right there listening to me. So its been a long struggle with me and now the holidays is coming up. This is where I need everyone prayers for strength. Well I am glad to be back in touch again where I can speak how I feel and someone understand what I am feeling keep praying for me and I will pray for you.
ELAINE,MY SON AND DAUGHTER DO NOT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT I SAY ABOUT MY SON BECAUSE THEY KNOW I AM STILL HURTING INSIDE,I AM GOING TO SUPPORT GROUP IT IS HELPING ME OUT ALOT.OTHER PEOPLE KNOW HOW I AM FEELING TO.ELAINE MAYBE YOU COULD DO THAT WHEN THE KIDS ARENT HOME,OR WHEN THERE IN THERE ROOMS.I DO BRING MY SON UP IN A FUNNY MANNER BECAUSE MY OTHER SON IS GETTING JUST LIKE HIM AND I SAID YOU AND EVERETTE ARE THE SAME AND HE IS EVEN ACTING LIKE HIM MORE AND MORE.AND WHEN I HAVE A BAD DAY HE COMES UP AND HUGS ME AND STUFF.THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING FOR HALLOWEEN AFTER MY SON IS DONE TRICK OR TREATING I TAKE SOME CANDY OUT TO THE CEMETARY,AND WHEN THANKS GIVING IS MAKE A PLATE AND TAKE IT OUT THERE.EVEN HIS BIRTHDAY.THEY SAY TO DO THAT AND A JOURNAL AND CANDLE LIGHT ONE AND TALK ABOUT HIM IN A JOURNAL.DO YOU HAVE A FRIEND THAT WILL LISTEN TO YOU OR FAMILY MEMBERS>ME I DONT HAVE ANY UP HERE SO MY FRIENDS HAVE TO LISTEN TO ME.TALK TO HIS PICTURE TO.I NEVER GOT A VIDEO OF HIS FUNERAL BUT I GOT ONE WHEN ME AND MY HUSBAND WERE ON TV A DAY AFTER.WELL TAKE I HAVE TO GO VOLUNTEER AT THE HIGH SCHOOL WERE MY SON GOES I VOLUNTEER SO THE KIDS ARENT AFAID OF ME.THEY PLANTED A TREE FOR MY SON THE 2 YEAR ANNIVESARY OCT 7TH AND ALL OF US GIRLS CRIED NO GUYS.NOW I SEE THEY PUT A BALLOON UP THERE.WELL TAKE CARE AND KEEP IN TOUCH KRISTI

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