Still Fighting

We are closing in on 5 months since our baby girl took her life.

Most of this time I recall almost nothing. April and May are huge blanks. I think the brain does this to protect the body from the stress of such a traumatic event.

One thing that amazes me is the strength I see in Tim. He suffers too, don’t get me wrong. He has been a pillar of strength. He picks me up when I fall which is often. He listens to my pain and the outpouring of tears I manage to produce daily.

I would like to move. I have been looking at several homes lately. I think I just want to move on. I would never forget our sweet Mali but I find coming home just starts up our pain all over again.

Noticing all the back to school events have been hard. It feels like splinters in my heart. Mali would have been a sophomore this year. I feel her loss more acutely during this season. The barrage of school supplies and clothing sales I try to avoid.

I think I am starting to accept she is not coming back. That is a mess of soggy bog I do not want to cross. Unfortunately it is part of the process. The guilt I feel is searing. Figuring out how to cross that barrier without leaving her behind just plain hurts.

Her smile and genuine gentleness is missed. Nothing will change that.

There are so many days that I struggle to get out of bed, get dressed, feed my dogs and fish and go to work. The last month I have managed, sometimes not so gracefully to do this everyday.

I wish I could say everyday gets a little better. It doesn’t. This has been, by far, the longest uphill hike I’ve ever done.  Frankly I’d rather hide in my room and ruminate on Mali.

I think I have said this so much I’ve sickened myself to death with it.

There are so many things a person can do to deal with grief. You can take the therapy/psychiatry route and dope that shit up. You can take the physical route and exercise your demons away.  The ice cream route doesn’t sound too bad sometimes if I could eat like I enjoyed it. How about boozing the pain away?

Is grief something that needs to be dealt with?  Isn’t grief part of the human experience?  At one point or another, each of us will lose someone close to us. A friend, parents, siblings, your child. It is heartbreaking and raw.

I have heard many people dismiss their own experiences with loss in deferrance to my losing my child. In examining this I think all loss is painful and one type is no more painful than the other.

Is it how we grow from the experience that matters?  Is the amount of tears we produce what matters?  Is the pain in our hearts and how deeply we feel it more important than someone else’s experience?

I am going venture a guess and say no.  It all blows.

I will never forget my ducky princess.  Her big beautiful brown eyes and her amazingly wide smile always brings a smile and tears to my face.

The fact that she is gone is still unreal. If I could give her a rez or trade places with her I would gladly.

I hope you will wait for me on the other side sweetheart. I can’t wait to be with you again.

Little Things

And the truth is I miss you.  Coldplay.  I listen to many songs.  They all remind me of you.

We used to drive in the car, errands, school, adventuring.  We always changed the lyrics. I’m wide awake became, I’m fucking baked.  We could always add something about toilet habits.  It was the little things that made Mali and I close.

Everywhere I go in this town reminds me of her.  The routes we drove.  Waiting for her after school. Hanging on the second floor of my work.  The house we lived in and made a home in. Church.  I used to belt out hymns just to make her laugh, off key

When she was a baby, the nutcracker suite was a sure thing to lull her to sleep.  As she got older it was the Beatles.  She moved into boy bands as an grade school child, then hip hop in junior high.  As a high school student she loved Beyoncé, Drake, Rihanna.  She was starting to grow away from me.  She still made sure I was behind her watching over her as always.  There was always time for a duet of Bohemian Rhapsody.

These things cause me great pain where once the brought me such joy.  The loss of Mali is nothing short of a life sentence.

The affirmations have changed from survival quotes to positive quotes . “I’m ok”, “I can choose to have a bad day”.  Deep inside I’m throwing the bullshit flag.

How does one believe in a life after Mali?  I don’t want to.  I am being dragged along a current I don’t care to paddle in.  So I don’t. I am definitely into drifting at this point. I don’t care where the current takes me.

Is there any reprieve from this anguish that consumes me every single fucking day I wake up?

I find myself not caring about much. I think a lot about checking out.  Driving my car into a bridge, a ditch, Pills, axphxiation.

I try however, to stay in touch with the world around me. I go to work. I don’t allow myself to leave early or take I can’t do it days anymore. I force myself to socialize in limited amounts. Why?  Because I am not sure what I want.

Sell the house, leave this town.  Break into her niche at the mausoleum and clean it out taking her ashes home with me.

Most days I am in a fog. I miss my girl. I miss my friend. I miss our life.  Somewhere under the veneer is a boiling pot of rage.  I am angry at the loss of her.

The loss of watching this wonderful young lady grow into a woman.  There will be no graduations from high school or college.  No more Arsenal games.  No more sports or debates for her.  No wedding. No grandchildren.  No singing,

How does one replace any of that?  You can’t.


After Mali died I could barely remember the last 3 months. I remember bits and pieces of the day she died.  My two children Tim and Mandy were there as they were taking Mals out on a stretcher. I remember my Son Christopher being the first one here. He flew in from the west coast.

I remember my crew of women who I love so much, grew up with, all fly into the Midwest within the next day to take care of me.

Our dearest friends from Arkansas dropped what they were doing and drove for 9 hours straight to be here.

My Parents and Brother and Sister in law came in from New Mexico and San Francisco.

My work family banded together to help with food, anything we needed.  They were here  Amy, Jodi, Jamie, Ross, Julie, Deb, Barb,  Bob, Brandon, Camden, John, Amy, Tessa, Sam, Nick, Jason, Scott, Mike, Lana, Emad and Bev.

My church family, Fr. Morgan, Joe, Laura, my confirmation class, their parents, the parishioners.  So many people and I only have blips of them coming to the house and services.  Autopilot.

I did not plan Mali’s funeral.  I couldn’t.  I was paralyzed.  I couldn’t get out of bed. I don’t remember buying a black dress for the wake, Funeral or Interment.  I don’t remember Easter or even Holy Week.

The people above all planned her funeral and took care of all of it.

I can never repay the kindness and love they all showed me and still do to this day.

Fast forward 4.5 months.  The thick heavy fog has faded into a thin grey haze.  I am still broken.  I have a mask I put on at work.  It’s a combination of crabbiness and fake smiles  I try to show I have it together.  I don’t.  I am still on autopilot.

I cry everyday.  My broken heart is never going to mend.  I believe this.  You cannot lose one of your children and ever expect anything to be right again.

I long for a reprieve from this excruciating pain.

I made a promise to my Battle Buddy Ginger that I would call her before I did anything stupid  I promised Tim I would never check out on him.  Making and keeping those promises are the hardest things I have had to do the last 4 months.

There are many times I wish I had something clever to say.  Something that would make sense of this.  I realized that when your 14 year old daughter completes suicide, there is nothing sensible about it.

i have found out who my real friends are through all of this.  They are ones who let me cry, hold me up when I can’t, listen to me endlessly about Mali and haven’t gotten sick of me yet.

To these people I can only say Thank you and I love you very much. God blessed us with you.



Life is rolling by

Life did not stop because she died. The bills keep coming, the sun rises, it sets, babies are born, other people die. Vacations happen, friends come and go and I find myself a watcher most days.  Not participating but at least watching.

Lately I have been telling myself that everything happens for a reason. Lately I find myself not giving a shit about that last sentence that came out of my mouth.  I feel nothing.  That emptiness that left my heart bleeding and broken when Mali died has morphed in this cold, uncaring, nothing really matters lump that has replaced my heart.

From being someone who gave a shit about the world and the people in it to being so detached from it is kind of scary. I don’t know this person I have become in the last 4 months.

What I do know is I need a change. I need to change my surroundings. I need to un-nest. I want to throw off this mantle of darkness that surrounds me and find  a different way.

It pisses me off when people don’t get that.  My nest was destroyed and I don’t care to live in a wrecked empty nest anymore.  It is killing me to walk into her home when she is gone and not coming back.

Today I choose to rant.  Temper tantrum as a grownup, followed by what could turn into an all out rearranging the furniture kind of day.  I need a new space and if I can’t have a new one right now because I am a chicken shit, then I will damn well make one.  Once I know I can do that then making a new home somewhere else might be easier to do.


Cleaning up the mess

Seeing a shrink…  It is such a misnomer of a word, shrink that is.  For the last few months I have been not only sharing my grief with this blog but, have enlisted the assistance of medical professionals in the field of mental health.

I see a psychiatrist and a therapist. I’ve done the whole 30 day program for grief and loss, an inpatient  madness stay, CBT, DBT, art therapy, psychotropic medication therapy and blah, blah, blah.  All in the last 6 weeks.

The question that sits behind my teeth is “is all this helping?”.

It’s an expensive way to use cry therapy when all I used to have to do to get a good cry on was find some gut wrenching drama on the tv.  Usually involving some poor woman who got dumped, develops cancer, figures out what life really means and ends up dying in the end, all the while the guy that dumped her realizes his mistake in leaving her, only to find out it’s too late because she’s died.

My life has turned into 2 distinct phases. Before Mali died and life after Mali’s death. I cry about both phases. I’m not talking a sniffle here or there.  It’s bonafied oceans of tears.  I didn’t know that a person could even produce that many tears for such a long time. By a long time, I mean 4 months and a day.  That’s how long it’s been since my Mali left us.

Back to the shrink thing and my original question. “Is all this helping?” (the therapy that is)

The answer is I’m not sure. You see, Mali completing suicide was horrific enough but I have a lot more crap in my closet than just the extreme grief of losing Mali. All of that grief intertwined with the shit I am hiding in said closet has really fucked me up.

I see the psychologist (and since I am a snob, it had to be a Phd psychologist) once a week. I have discussed ad nauseum about how sad I am.  What seeing my daughter post suicide has done to me. My brokenness.

What I realized is that losing Mali is just the last horrible thing that has happened to me in my lifetime. The myriad of crap I have experienced and ignored in my lifetime has just made dealing with this grief so much harder than I ever anticipated.

Our experiences as humans make us what we are, it builds who we are from the moment we land on this planet.

I think, until I can admit to myself, the experience of Mali’s suicide, coupled with the all the tragedy I have had before Mali was born and some before she died, has left my outside veneer of the tough, fearless, risk taking projection I lead everyone to think I really am, is shit. I am afraid.  I am afraid of myself mostly.

So either I grow a pair and really work on what is underneath all these layers of scar tissue, I don’t think I can ever come to terms with the death of my daughter.

It leaves a metallic salty taste in my mouth.  Jump into that chasm or fall into it.  I’m afraid to do either.



The last few days have been a mix of good days and bad days and sometimes somewhere in the middle.

Mali has been gone for almost 4 months now.  Our quiet house has settled into an strange daily routine.

Going from the former routine of school, softball, adventuring with my daughter through the summer to only having to get up for work and sharing the day with my husband seems awkward.  We have always been best friends. Sometimes we chat a lot and other days the strain of grief in our home leaves long hours of silence.

Trying to figure out again where we fit into our life and the world again is confusing.  I am caught in a balancing act of rage, constricted acceptance and despair.

I find the words Mali, Mali I miss you always on my lips. I am not angry with her.  I am angry at the world and still in love with it at the same time.  Sometimes it feels like watching a movie.  I’m in it but not totally present.  I look at Tim and I am comforted that he is still rowing the boat.  Amazed really. I see his sadness and pain but he keeps going.

He told me the other night he promised to never check out on me. I felt such a weigh lifted knowing he would always stay no matter how despondent and needy I may be at times.

That is the definition of love for me at this point of my life. Thank you God for sending me this man who will always be with me, holding my hand through all this madness.

A New Normal

Finding a new normal.  That phrase must be the politically correct phrase to say, get off your ass and move forward.

I don’t know about the rest of you but finding ‘something’ like a new normal, infers it was lost.  Duh right?

I hate to think I lost my daughter. To me it feels like I was a bad parent or irresponsible in taking care of my child because I’ve ‘lost’ them somewhere. I’d like a new non politically correct phrase. Perhaps life change or tolerating a different perspective?

This whole topic started with my going back to work full time today.  Getting back to my routine, getting in the saddle again, pulling myself up by my bootstraps.

The problem with this is, I didn’t say goodbye to my daughter this morning. We didn’t go school shopping or getting her uniforms together because she outgrew them last year. I won’t see her when I get home.  Instead I got an email from the lunch company asking me to fund her lunch account for the coming school year.

I went from full time Mother to empty nester overnight.  My daughter died.  She made a choice and hung herself.  She won’t be needing her lunch fund, thanks.

I know I have repeated this ad nauseum. I even get sick of myself going over the same crap over and over.

I miss you Mali. My heart feels like it will never heal. I guess I’ll just go back to work and try to keep my head above water.  Day 1 – day 120. It makes no difference. I hurt everyday and nothing is going to change that.


Summer is in full swing. The days are long. The sun doesn’t set until close to 9pm.

That makes for a long day.

Recently Tim and I went south to some friends of ours home for a long weekend. I thought the change of scenery might be helpful.

Arkansas is full of trees and wildlife. The rivers are cool and full of fish. Mali loved going down there exploring with me.

This trip was bland. Don’t get me wrong. The company was great.  However, everything looked dull.  The green was dull, the river less sparkling. Most of all, it was my eyes that took everything in that was dull.

I guess since Mali died, I have found everything has less color and meaning to me. I don’t see things as I used to.

Supposing this is part of this purported grieving process, I say fuck it and fuck You grief. It sticks to me like cigarette smoke clings to clothing after leaving a bar.

A large part of me has died along with that child.  I want to feel better and another part of me wants to stay dead.

Is that selfish?  I don’t care what anyone else thinks about it. I just want my kid back  I am still trying to bargain with a God who does not hear my request.

It’s his will be done right?  I try so hard to muster the strength to abide by that through prayer and contemplating what I know of Catholic doctrine.  It’s just not there.

How did this happen?  I was a faithful, devoted Catholic.  I am choosing to not be.  I gave up all I knew for nothing.

All I see and feel is her.

Coming home from our mini holiday made my pain worse.  Numbness doesn’t even cover what I feel.  Rage, anger, dislike.  That’s what I feel.

I long for some recompense from this torture.  We are 112 days in to this lifetime sentence.  I would like to be off this roller coaster.

Home is not home.  It is a house.  Just walls with stuff inside  Frankly I prefer to pick strawberries and sleep on crates.  It would be no different then coming home to this house of emptiness.