The thing that I was completely not expecting after Jackie’s death was to feel like Maddie died all over again. I told a friend that I have a compartment in my head that I keep all my sadness in, and it’s been ripped open. All of the emotions are flooding me, and I am surprisingly unprepared.
At Jackie’s service I told her sister Stephanie how appreciative I was that they’d included Maddie in Jackie’s tribute. I said that it had made Mike and me both cry, and what a feat that was since we were both “dead inside.” I was joking, of course, but since Maddie died I really don’t cry much anymore…it was almost as though I used up an entire lifetime’s worth of tears and I didn’t have any left. But since Jackie died 20 days ago, the tears have come much easier. I walked into a well-decorated child’s room last weekend and my eyes filled up. It’s a little ridiculous.
I just wasn’t expecting to so closely associate Maddie and Jackie’s deaths. I’ve lost other important people in my life and it wasn’t such a trigger for past losses. But I guess it makes sense – both so young, and both so important to me, and to each other. It’s so wildly unfair that they are gone. They had so much to do, and see, and I had big plans for both of them.
I lately get no comfort from imagining them together. It makes me feel left out and more alone than ever. I don’t know if I’m thankful that my sadness compartment was ripped open…the release was good at first but now I feel so emotionally out of control that I wonder if it’s even beneficial anymore.
I want them back. I want to laugh at new memories, not cling to old ones. I want to grow old with Jackie, and watch our kids get older with Maddie leading the way. I want this to not be real and yet, with every passing day reality rears its ugly head. I am so tired of the bad stuff. So, so tired.
The amount of loss you have experienced, that your heart has to deal with, is ridiculous and totally unfair. Both Maddie and Jackie had so much left to do/give/be. It sucks in every way and I wish so much that your most special people were here still. It is wrong that they are gone. My heart hurts for you.
Stephanie Precourt says:
I am so so sorry, I hope for a reprieve full of peace and rest for you. It has to get better. Much love.
I just wish I could take it all away. All the sadness and grief. You have had enough- and it’s not fair. Sending you love and strength.
Wish I could do more.
I know Sweetie…..I know and I wish they were both here too. Holding you close to my heart, while praying you will get through all of this sorrow sooner than later!!! xoxo
I’ve been a dedicated reader for years, never missing a post, and commenting nearly just as long, and usually when you (or Mike) are down I have a bit of a routine for my comments. I attempt to go for uplifting, acknowledging sadness, and I always try to dredge up a good quote from somewhere in the interwebs.
But all I have right now is anger. Hot, boiling, livid anger, and I’m not going to try to change that or find a good quote. Screw this! Screw the universe for taking away your precious daughter Madeline. Screw that! Screw the universe for your miscarriage. Screw that! Screw the universe for taking away your best friend Jackie from her family and you. Screw that! Screw all of this!
I’m known for having a mouth to make a sailor blush so I’m really trying to tone it down here, but honestly, I am holding both middle fingers waaay up at the sky today for your Heather. Screw. This.
Yeah. What she said. I’m so sorry, Heather. It’s all just too damned much.
I’m with Kayla!! Sometimes you’ve just gotta let out a primal scream!
Beth Mariel says:
Its hard to make it better, I wish I could for you.
I am so sorry for your losses Heather. I wish they were both here with you. It’s not fair.
Thinking of you.
No words, just (((hugs))).
Losing someone you love so much is devastating. Losing a young person you love so much adds that extra element of UNFAIR that makes it unbearable, and I doubt it ever goes away. You’re forever thinking of what should have been, and it’s easy for bitterness to take over. And that’s why I admire you and Mike so much because I don’t see that in you at all. I’m so sorry for all you’ve been through. It’s unfair, and it’s far more loss than anyone should ever experience, and it just sucks. I’m praying for you during this very difficult time.
Ugggg, Heather, nobody should have to go through what you are going through. Take it minute by minute and go easy on yourself. You guys are always in my thoughts.
I too have a compartment where I have kept my sadness for our son Jake since he died in 2005. It was ripped open 4 years later when our youngest son, Sawyer, died. Sawyer’s unexpected death opened up all my wounds from Jake. I have been trying to keep all the sadness in a bigger compartment but it does not always work.
Grief is exhausting. I wish I had the magic words to give you strength and ease the sorrow. As always, since I don’t have the right words, I am sending you and Mike peace and hugs. xo
Lanie, I’m so sorry to hear of your losses as well. Much love to your family and to Heather’s.
I agree with everyone else–no one deserves this much grief. But you do need to let yourself grieve. Don’t judge it (being either good or bad), just let it happen. I’m so sorry for your losses. Life is sometimes so unfair. Big, big, big hugs to you.
Very sorry you’re doing through this
I’m too am so so sorry… This is horribly unfair and that word doesn’t come close to covering it. My thoughts are with you, your family, Jackie and all those who loved her.
The cruelty of it all just makes me so angry. That you should be going through this all over again breaks my heart. I wish I could say something or do something to take the pain away for a moment, to make you feel better. All I can do is tell you that you are always and constantly in my heart and in my thoughts. Much love and many hugs sweetie.
The cliche saying of “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle” is really bullshit as far as I’m concerned (no offense to God at all).
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It just isn’t fair. I will NEVER understand why children are taken away from their parents due to horrific illnesses, injuries, etc. It shouldn’t be this way. And it just pisses me off.
I also understand about your getting no comfort out of Maddie and Jackie being together in Heaven. They shouldn’t be there in the first place.
My rant for the day. Heather, I wish you had a magic wand to make it all go away.
You lost your best friend who you shared all your happiness and sadness.Mike is your husband and very good friend but Jackie’s role was different because she was your best girl friend. We share most of the things with our husband but with best girl friend we share everything. You are feeling very empty inside right now and I feel it with my heart. You told us that you talked to Maddie all the time so you can talk to Jackie too. Yes, she is not going to give you any response but you can pour all your emotion and happy feelings just like the way you use to do with her. Life is very unfair sometimes but we have to find a way to go with it. You don’t know how much power you have inside. We know, your readers ,you are very strong and you can do it Heather.
We all love you so much and love your family.
Diana Horn says:
My heart breaks for you. I wish I could do anything to take your sadness away. I am not nearly as eloquent as you are. All I have is prayers for your healing. xo
Kristin (MamaKK922) says:
Sending you so much light and love.
Heather Havins says:
So so sorry, big hugs from Texas.
prayers to you and your family. Please know you are being thought of everyday. There is nothing anyone can say that will take the pain away, just know how you feel and when you feel it is normal.
Thinking of you! of Mike! of Jackie! and her family and friends. It’s so not fair! It sucks! FUCANCER!!!!
peace & hugs!
I am so profoundly sorry about the passing of Jackie and Maddie. I wanted to tell you that this entry really struck a chord with me. I just lost a good friend, Steven, over the weekend. It was completely unexpected, one of those freak events where he went to sleep and didn’t wake up. He was a vibrant, young, talented, magnetic person that everybody adored, much like your Jackie, and your Maddie. His incredibly shocking passing has brought me right back to six years ago, when I lost another dear friend, Tess, to suicide — also incredibly shocking. It tore the rug out from under me like nothing I’d ever felt in my life (and let’s just say I’ve been through some shit). So today it’s grief on top of grief; mourning on top of mourning. I think about Tess every single day, but I haven’t let myself feel this intense sadness for her and this GUILT in so long. The guilt! I feel guilty for not being able to save Tess, and I feel guilty for my thoughts being diverted away from Steven. The emotions are overwhelming, and yet I also somehow manage to feel blank and empty inside.
In some hippy-dippy mystical way, I feel like reading your posts about Jackie were preparing me for this loss. Even before Steven passed, I felt like there was a deeper significance to my reading your words. I haven’t been able to concentrate on much of anything this week (writing this comment has taken me all day), but your blog entries are a rare exception. Thank you for being willing to share these parts of yourself with the world. I know it has made me feel a lot less lonely.
Light and love to you and your family.
I’m so sorry you’ve been through so much loss. I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose your child, your baby and your best friend. It just sucks and I’m sorry and thinking about you and your family.
I know what you mean about triggers. My dad died two years ago and I received an email from a friend yesterday telling me that her mom was given a year to live with pancreatic cancer. I was so, so sad for her and remained in a funk all day, thinking about my experience losing a parent.
Take care of yourself!
I’m so sorry for your pain and pray you’ll be feeling better soon.
Sending love your way!
I can see why having Jackie! gone ripped that band aid off your heart. If she was pivotal in constructing that band aid in the first place, her being gone would make it give way.
I don’t know what to say other than there’s nothing wrong about not finding the “they’re together now” sentiment comforting. I wouldn’t find it either. If I were in your shoes I’d also feel “But what about me? Why do I have to be the one left behind?”. We’re talking feelings, they don’t have to be reasonable (or as a friend told me once “if you could dictate how you felt, they would be called choosings, not feelings”).
I’m sorry it sucks so much. I can’t wave a magic wand to undo it, no one can. All that you can do is just work through the stages of grief at your own pace. It’s not a race, and you don’t get a prize to get to the destination before you’re ready.
Oh Heather—honey, I feel this. I am so tired of the bad stuff FOR you, and I’ll be damned if I could find comfort in anything at this point. You’re waking each day and surviving and honestly? That’s all I could imagine you could handle right now. Be gentle, my dear, and know that so many are on your side. The one you want so badly to text, to hear, to listen, to be, isn’t there. That’s acute pain, love, and I feel it too. It’s excruciating. Reach out your hand and know that so many would grasp it if we could.
Oh Heather, you have had to endure so much more of the bad stuff than most people go through in their whole lives. I’m sick of it for you…it’s just not fair. I’m sorry…
My heart just breaks for you.
Its not the same but I thought of the way I felt last night and wanted to share. http://abrandnewending.com/2012/08/22/the-thing-about-time/
My prayers remain with you.
So sorry for your losses. Not sure what to say, everything sounds so cliche… Just know that you have many people sending good thoughts your way.
It’s exhausting, this grief process. I imagine one day them being together will be a comfort, but right now, nothing will really help except time. Holding you close in my heart.
I’m a big believer in letting people know when you are reading their words, even if you don’t have anything in particular to add to the conversation. I just want you to know that I’m here, reading, thinking about you, and following along as you go through this miserable journey. And I’m so sorry about all of it.
Oh Heather! I wish I were as eloquent in expressing all that I feel about what you are going through as others have been, but I’m not. All I can do is offer you love & support and agree with you: this is not fair–your sweet Maddie should be here, with you; Jackie! should be here, with you. It’s not right that they aren’t and it makes perfect sense that the grief is whelming up within you.
Much, much love & understanding.