I am trying so, so hard not to let depression take over. At night when I lay awake for hours, I make plans. “Tomorrow, I will get up and go for a walk, and then I’ll have to shower and my day will be started.” But when morning comes around, I’ve barely slept and there’s just no way I’m going to sweat on purpose.
I want to just lay in bed, but I have responsibilities. Everyone is understanding but they have responsibilities, too. “We’re so sorry about your friend…will your article on home refinancing be in on Thursday, or will you need an extension?”
I feel like I’m moving in slow motion, but I have a child who needs love and attention and she demands it right now. She wants to role play, and dress up, and she says, “Mama, will you dance wif me?” I don’t want to dance.
But Jackie would love to dance.
So I twirl my girl across the floor, and her giggles bounce around in my head.
I have deadlines. You don’t get bereavement leave for a friend, even when they feel like family. I have to keep moving, working, playing. Going through the motions.
Because if I stop, the depression will take over.
Becca Masters says:
Heather, do you get vacation time? Could you perhaps take a few vacation days?
In sorry it’s so hard. Much love x
That’s what I was thinking. Hang in there
Grief is such a frigging fickle, false friend.
I know you’re getting all the support in the world, but if you want to watch my son act like a complete nutcase and expose your little monkey to the pure insanity that is Finnegan Capen… please let me know.
One day at a time Sweetie, one day at a time. I wish the love and care we all feel for you could pick you up during this difficult time and protect and shelter you from all that hurts you…..blocking the hurt and sorrow and only letting joy in but that isn’t life. Life can be cruel. Life hurts…BAD some times and bereavement or not, we all have to deal with the impossible….somehow. You’ll get through this Heather and even though it probably feels impossible right now…YOU WILL BE OKAY b/c we all love and care for you and just like Jackie….we wouldn’t have it be ANY other way!! xoxo
Thinking of you and yours. I hope you find some reprieve soon.
You’re in my thoughts, Heather. I’ve never tried this myself and I’m not sure it would help….I’m not even sure if it’s safe, I’ve read good things and bad things about it. But maybe you can ask your doctor about hypnotherapy? I’m sure you can trust what your doc says. I know it’s hard to even get the strength to make that call. Maybe Mike can call if you can’t if you think that’s anything you’d want to try. I really wish you weren’t going through this. (((hugs)))
I’m so sorry about your friend. And you know you’re supposed to feel like this? Of course you do. Doesn’t make it easier, I know.
One day at a time, one foot in front of the other. It’s all you can do.
Thinking of you.
I am so sorry, Heather. You’re in my thoughts.
I’m so sorry. xo
That’s gotta be tough, the not sleeping on top of everything. Not sleeping alone would drive me nuts.
Fake it ’til you make it….don’t let the darkness win.
Much love to you all.
In the military, each branch has a saying…in this case, the Marines have a great one. It wouldn’t matter what event was going on what happened to use it. As Moms with little children, we are conditioned to drive on because who else will do it? No matter how much support we have, somewhere we’re always pulling ourselves up by the boot straps to getter done!! Thus, we “embrace the suck” so we can keep moving forward and it will catch you off guard when you realize it was the best thing you could do….for everyone. Jackie! is smiling because you danced!! You can do it!
I am so very sorry that you’ve had to become so familiar with grief. Jackie was probably dancing with you both. I’m sure part of her spirit can help protect you from letting the grief turn into something else entirely.
Beth Mariel says:
Hang in there, Heather xx
Nothing really to say that will make anything better so xoxo from NJ. Hoping better days ahead.
As sucky as it is, sometimes the deadlines and the have tos are what keep us going. Without them, we would curl up on the floor and just let the world go on. That’s not to say that you don’t give yourself time to grieve for Jackie!; you definitely need to let yourself do that.
Keeping all of you in my thoughts as you make your way through.
One day, one hour, one minute – whatever it takes. I have been trying to keep busy ever since my sons died. Constant motion is the only distraction that seems to work (pretending/acting sometimes keep the depression/grief from taking over). I wish I had magic words to make this easier. Since I don’t I am sending hugs. Take care.
Momma, PhD says:
Wishing you peace and healing at this time of grief.
I wish we could lift you up a little bit. So sorry, Heather. You’re in my thoughts.
I always say the same thing becuase I just can’t imagine how you all must feel. Virtual hugs and good thoughts are always with you and yours. Much love to you and the family.
Debbie in the UK says:
I amso sorry Heather, I have read all your posts about Jackie and she seems as though she was a great person. A radiator, who gave out sunshine. Take your time and be kind to yourself.
First time commenting, but have been reading for a while. I lost my father 10 years ago when I was 25. It just so happened to be during my first year of law school, towards the end of Spring semester. Time off wasn’t an option, or else I’d have to re-take the entire year. Um, no. I didn’t want that and it would have p*ssed my dad off. So, I pulled up my pants, went to class like a zombie and buried myself in my studies.
Honestly? Staying that busy kind of saved me from one hell of a life-altering pity party. You know better than anyone that the grief will be there. It’s not going anywhere. So, for now, keep yourself busy and push on. Deal with the sads moment by moment. When you can, take time for yourself. Maybe have a grandparent come and get Annie and go for a drive. Cry. Oh – and go on that walk. I promise, you’ll feel better. You know all this, but sometimes you just need to hear it from someone else.
I just always wish we did get bereavement here in our country for those we are closest to, or to support them in times of loss, whether they be most immediate family on paper or not … titrated per situation I guess. Time to openly grieve, time to recover from the immediate shock, time to balance emotionally again.
I’m so sorry, Heather. The only way to get through these horrible days is just…get through them. Thinking of you and hoping tomorrow is a little easier.
I’m glad you have Annie to get you to dance until you feel like dancing again.
Heather, what would Jackie want for you?
What our loved ones would want for us is not necessarily in line with how grief works …
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with thinking, “My loved one would smile at this” when you are genuinely experiencing moments of joy, laughter, and happiness.
But I think it can be unhealthy to think, “I HAVE to laugh and be happy because that’s what my loved one would want.”
Our loved ones wouldn’t wish pain on us, obviously. But they also wouldn’t want us to bury our emotions if those emotions are what are needed for healing. They wouldn’t want us to feel guilty for grieving them.
Grief AND efforts to move on (to do what those who have left us would want for us) are both tributes to those we’ve lost.
Kelly Driscoll says:
I can definitely relate. I lost a boyfriend almost 4 years ago now. You don’t get bereavement for a boyfriend. I ended up taking 2 weeks stress leave with help from my doctor. Honestly, no amount of time will ever be enough. Upon my return to work I got from a friend, “Girl, where have you been? You run off and get married?” Ouch. As you know with Maddie, the pain dulls slightly with time but you are forever changed. I remember in the beginning doing the same day planning, then I would hit the door and loose courage to actually leave. I feared I wouldn’t be strong enough to carry my 1000 pound boulder all the way to where I was going AND back home. I would look at passerbys on the street and think, “Can’t they see what I am going through?!?!?” while they argue with the girl at Starbucks. It amazing how painful loosing someone important can be. I just send you lots of love your way and understanding for the muck you are wading through. I have to say, just knowing that you were surviving after you lost Maddie helped me survive too.
Oh Heather … I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this loss. It’s so painful when the rest of the world keeps going when yours has come to a crashing halt. Be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Baby steps. Instead of a walk around the block, walk to the mailbox and feel good about small victories – they aren’t so small when you’ve got a mountain of grief in front of you.
Sending continued love your way.
I lost a best friend suddenly two years ago. Finally, at the two+ year mark I can look at her photo’s and not fall totally apart. I can talk about her without crying (eyes still well up). Still miss her every day ALOT. I was surprised how hard it was/is to talk about her without falling apart. I was pretty bad for awhile there. But now she is my guardian angel and I have come to accept that. Hang in there!
Jill Skurtovich says:
Hi Mama Spohr – I’m Keira’s friend and we’ve spoken on FB. I ran across this recently and it was exactly what I was feeling when I lost my baby Ryder.
“It is not the kind of sadness where you cry all the time, but more like the kind of sadness that overwhelms your entire body, leaving your heart aching and your stomach empty. Making you feel weak and tired, and yet you can’t even sleep cause the sadness is in your dreams too. It’s almost a sadness you can’t escape.”
I want people to realize that just becuase I put on a smile doesn’t mean I’m not still hurting.
Love – Jill
Yes! Exactly! That’s why people need to realize there is such a HUGE difference between the words “sad” vs “grief” and “bereavement”!
I’m so sorry for your pain. It is hard losing someone no matter if they are family or a friend. I lost my mother in a law a year and 1/2 ago, and it’s still so hard for me. I can talk about her now without crying, but it took everything I had to be strong every single day. My wish for you is that you get through this difficult time and think of Jackie with happy thoughts and good times. It gets easier but it takes a while.
I know you don’t like using medication in the long term, but it can be helpful in situations like this. I have clinical depression and anytime something significantly challenging happens (a death, severe injury, job loss), I have to adjust my meds. There’s no shame in it. I just don’t want you to feel weak because you can’t pull yourself out of the pain with good intentions. It’s a personal decision and I know you’ll make the right one for you. My heart goes out to you.
One day at a time, or one minute at a time, whatever it takes to get through. Sending much love your way.
You may not feel it right now, but work and Annie are truly a blessing in this situation. Well, we always knew Annie was a blessing, but you know what I mean. Keep on keeping on, Heather. It will get better day-by-day.
Sending light and love, always always.
Debby Pucci says:
I went back to read through you posts to see what happened. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. ((HUGS)) It is not easy to bounce back after something like this. Take your time and take care of yourself.
I read this somewhere & jotted it down: “Grief does not unfold in orderly, predictable stages. It is an emotional rollercoaster, with unpredictable highs, lows, and setbacks. Everyone grieves differently, so avoid telling the bereaved what they ‘should’ be feeling or doing.”
I would guess that it would also include you, Heather, when they said “avoid telling the bereaved what they ‘should’ be feeling or doing.” In other words: don’t put too many expectations on yourself…
So, please, be gentle on yourself…I know the world doesn’t stop for our grief and that timelines have to be met & that children need to be cared for…just don’t forget to care for yourself.
I know Jackie! & Maddie probably took great pleasure in watching you dance with Annie (to say nothing of how happy it made Annie) and one day, in the future, you too will look back on that moment with Annie with happiness.
In the meantime, as others have said, one day, one hour, one moment, one second at a time.
And remember: you too are loved & as vital to others as Jackie was/is to you, so handle yourself with great care.
that is exactly it: the depression will swoop you in a hot minute the second you let yourself rest, which of course is a necessity as well. I think its a good thing you have annie to take care of, so you don’t get swooped down to the terrible place you know you can get. I say this from experience. I’ve not lost someone close to me (unless you count a kitten), but i have been stuck in that depressed state and how easily it can suck you back in. Keep fighting it, Julie!
Love to you all. I am so sorry and I wish I could take your pain away.
Holding you close from afar, friend. (And if they say do you need an extension, just say yes). xo