Memories... Like Mom Made!

Memories... Like Mom Made!
Out of dark moments, flowers grow.

Friday, February 11, 2011


When I was 15 a friend of mine passed away.

It hit me pretty hard. I think a big part of it had to do with the fact that that girl and I had drifted apart when we moved to high school and my new group of friends weren't very nice to her... But I had known her my whole life, so her death was hard on me because in addition to saying goodbye to a longtime friend at such a young age, I was put face to face with my own mortality.

And that is never easy for anyone.

Especially not a hormonal teenage girl like I was.

So I joined a grief counseling class offered by my high school. It was kind of cool because we got out of part of 4th period every week, but more than that I was given the tools to handle my grief.

We talked about a different step of the grieving process every day...

Shock and denial, pain and guilt, anger, bargaining, depression and loneliness, reflection, reconstruction, and acceptance.

There are a million different books that talk about grief, some with these steps in this order, some with different steps and different names, and some that follow a completely different grieving process.

I remember feeling comfort as we worked through the "grieving process" in that classroom. There were about 7 other students and they all had their own multitude of feelings they were sifting through. A few kids had lost parents, a couple lost grandparents, one had lost a sibling.

Day after day I listened to their stories, shared my own, and slowly but surely I started to hurt a little less.

I mean, let's face it, I wasn't even that close to this girl when she died... It was really my mortality that I was more upset about than losing her friendship.

Harsh much? Yeah, that was pretty harsh. But don't think I didn't grieve over her - I did. And it was heartbreaking when she died...

And now I have even more understanding of just how heartbreaking it was.

Her mother. Her mother had to do something no mother should have to do.

I have lost a lot of people close to me over the years, several friends, my best friend, an old "sweetheart", many acquaintances, handfuls of obscure relatives that I didn't really know, my great grandma who I loved very much, my granddad, my uncle... you name it, but my family tree has lost a lot of good apples over the year.

When updating the line that says " Died:_________ " you usually look upward in the family tree... You aren't supposed to have to fill in that line just days after the line was even created. You aren't supposed to have to write it below your own name.

You aren't supposed to bury your own children.

You just aren't.

So you probably wonder why I am writing all this?

I do too.

I have no idea how to grieve this tragedy. I have no idea how to pick up the pieces and move on.

I keep looking at the stages of grief and I can't quite move past anger.

I am SO angry.

I am not an angry person. In fact, I am the person that will let someone insult me to my face, completely stab me in the back and destroy my trust, and then I will still be there for them.

I am a happy person.

I WAS a happy person.

Those two sides of me are fighting these days: the happy person I have been my whole life is in a wrestling match with this unhappy shell of a person who is angry at the world and everything in it.

I hate having so much anger. I don't know what to do with it. So instead I just sit on my couch or in bed and cry. I beg God to change this. I bargain. I bargain with God a lot. I beg him to give her back to me and I will change whatever I can to make Him happy with me. I beg him to take my life and somehow bring her back.

I get mad at Him. That is the hardest thing for me to admit. I get mad at my Creator... When my best friend took her own life I was mad at her. I could place my blame where it belonged: she had chosen to leave.

But my daughter didn't choose. Her body gave up on her. Who can I be mad at in that situation? As much as it hurts me to admit it, I sometimes feel angry with God. And then I feel worse.

When I was holding her in the hospital, after they had taken her off life support and the nurse was manually breathing for her, I begged God to take the breath from my lungs and the beat from my heart and put it into her. I begged him in my heart and out loud and I shouted up to Him. And nothing happened. I screamed for the doctors to put her back on life support. I wasn't ready to let go. I am still not ready. One of the hardest things for me is facing her urn, which sits on the book shelf across from our bed. When I see that I am forced to face the reality that no miracle can bring her back to me. She has no lungs left to fill with air... Her heart is a pile of ash in a box.

My precious daughter, the one that was supposed to drive her brother crazy, have daddy wrapped around her finger, and argue with me when she was a teenager, well she is in a box. A box.

A damn box.

So yeah, I can't move past anger yet. I am going to be angry for a long time. And I am perfectly fine with that by my own compass: I don't need a book or anyone else to tell me that "that's fine" or that what I am doing is "perfectly normal".


There should not be a standard or normality for burying one's child.

It is not normal.

And if one more person that barely knows me tries to tell me how to handle my grief, I will slap something. Maybe not them, because goodness knows I don't want a law suit on my hands. But I am just a 24 year old mother trying to come face to face with the fact that I will never get to tickle my daughter. I will never get to see her dance, or walk around in my high heels, or take her to Disneyland.

And that makes me so very angry.


  1. for an angry mother...your words flowed so smoothly and yet still managed to cut through me like a knife. They took me into the pain you are feeling and brought tears to my eyes ...again. Your sweet, sweet Leila. You have managed to accurately put down in text what so many people feel. Every one is different and everyone feels different and everyone grieves different. As you say, those are just the stages someone says people go through. They don't have to go in order and they don't have to all come about. No matter what any darn book went through this. Not the book, not the author. YOU are the one who suffered this horrific loss no parent should ever have to go through. .. no parent was meant to go through. YOU have a right to feel any way that you feel. Although someone else may have lost a child too...they are not you. They do not feel your pain and the ache your body goes through for your little sweet child. They do NOT know how you feel.
    I still pray for you every day. I pray for your soul and heart to heal. I pray that soon you will be able to forgive God for taking that precious gift away. I pray that soon you will be able to forgive yourself for your body not holding on to her longer. I pray that soon your body will not ache so bad to hold that precious baby. I pray!

  2. The last line of your entry brought a tear to my eye: "I will never get to see her dance, or walk around in my high heels, or take her to Disneyland." These are exactly the types of moments I have cherished with my little one who is now 20 mos. old.

    I am so sorry for your loss. My mom lost her first born child at two days old. I can't imagine the pain. I hope you find peace.