foggy

Fog.

I feel like I am living in a fog  .. Like is this all real? Sometimes it feels like I am looking at somebody else’s life..and so hard to admit “out loud” sometimes it even feels like its somebody else’s daughter. Like it cant really be that my daughter died.

I don’t know how to explain it or even what to make of it. Frankly it scares me…

Maybe it just shows how  disturbing all of this is… that my mind pulls back…lets a fog roll in to blanket this tragedy.. ..am attempt to protect my mind and save my sanity. Its incredibly disorientating. Because then all of the sudden…the truth blasts me. Something will happen that allows me to see with a clarity that destroys me.

Today one such occasion was the butter. When we lived at my parents, throughout her radiation, we brought butter her own butter. With celiacs you have to be so careful about cross contamination so she had her own container. I had written “Jennifer” on it.

Today I came out to the kitchen and saw it sitting out…emptied. Tony has used the last of it. And it was like I was forcefully DSC_0291pulled up above the fog. . Jennifer…my daughter…she is gone. I will never again need to buy her her own safe butter. The ache was so palpable… Tears pouring down my face.. no sound…just my heart emptying itself.. I wanted to reach back down to that gray haze and pull it up over me…

. . . it doesn’t work that way.

It takes time to settle back into the false reality again. But its that natural state of confusion that allows me to function I realized. It allows me to take care of the other kids without curling up into the fetal position with her dresses all day long.

I often wondered how parents that lost children survived. I think this is how I am. Existing is this alternate reality.

Or maybe its just so damn easy to run from. I control our environment. She had only just started Kinder. 6-8 weeks into the school year. So I am way more used to not getting up to get her to school . .these lazy mornings  seem normal. Since she was our oldest I am not faced daily with girls from her class.. not forced to see 6 yr old girls running around in her uniform everyday. We are insulated from a lot of those in your face pains.

. . well for now. I wonder if its just on hold for two years. If when Jonathan starts at her school if I will be forced to come to terms with a whole new level of grief looking that those girls… who should be her…By then “JLK” will have been mostly forgotten and I will be some creepy lady staring hungrily at those 2nd grade girls. That feeling… of simultaneously wanting to watch and wanting to run, happens already when I scan through my FB feed…I can’t imagine the voracity of it when its in person.

I still wasn’t feeling too hot this morning so I would come out then lay down again. One time Jonathan asked me to come to sissy’s room with him. He wanted to read books in there. So we did. Then he got a urge..it looked like a need rather..to go play with one of her dolls. I am glad he moved so fast because I might have stopped him. Cleaning up her room the other day I saw she had laid a doll to sleep under her sweatshirt…her favorite sweatshirt. There was just something so touching to me about it I didn’t want it to be moved.

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Jonathan grabbed it and started to feed it. Jennifer showed him how he said.

 

A little while later I knew the tears were finding me..I heard Tony and the kids out in the backyard so I got into the shower. It turned into a bit more than I bargained for..I found out later from Tony that they could all hear me. Jonathan has no fear of my pain. He walks right into the room….into the fire. I heard him coming and forced myself quiet. He tells me he heard sounds like I was crying and I am honest. He tells me when I get out and dressed he is going to give me lots of hugs til Auntie comes to get him (she was coming to take him to a cousins baseball game) I said sounds great..go wait for me…He simply replied

..no I am staying right here.

 

 

What an incredible little boy he is. What a husband and father (please God please) he will make.

Jennifer loved to dress up. Often in princess costumes. Crowns…purses and heels galore. I don’t want to get rid of them, but I don’t think I can handle having other kids come play with them yet either. So while Tony was at his solo session with our grief/marriage counselor Jonathan and I went through the dress up bins in the playroom and pulled out her things. He didn’t see me crying. But he pulled out a necklace and said he had made if for her… and he… well he was his “sissy sad”  he doesn’t exactly cry, but he chokes on the emotions swirling.. So that one was up to him what to do with it. The rest we put into a box and brought to her room.

On a spree I went through all the books in the house and organized. Putting a bunch in a box in the garage to rotate in and out. Looking through those clothes and books. So many memories. So much has changed. We also have a music toys storage box in the play room. It used to get daily play. But not once since she has been gone have the boys touched those things. It made me so sad…these changes that have been thrust so unnaturally upon our household. I would have thought, one month ago that those were some of the kids most beloved toys…but now they go un played with. …It made me so sad to be aware of the changes in these mundane details.

.. Is it too sad for them? Did they never like them and just followed what she did?

I hurt for them.

While cleaning  today they were sitting out … and the boys played with them. Differently then before.. But happily they played.

..now I hurt for me… Somehow them playing and being ok was hard too.

But I went with it. I need to allow the changes to occur.. even embrace them. I can safely, through my protective blanket of fog, remember Jennifer while giving them a chance to recreate themselves with our toys.

Jonathan left for the baseball game and Nicholas, Charlotte and I went outside to play with the water table. She loved everything water. Nicholas enjoys it too…and Charlotte seems to be following in her big sisters “fins”. I forced myself to IMG_4047take pictures of Charlottes first time playing with the water table. I kept thinking how Jennifer should be here with us.. how much she would have loved seeing her baby sister splashing happily.. How this would have been the perfect friday after school treat..

I persevered though.. able to function through it .. because..  . it still doesn’t seem real. . well not really  real anyways. And I think not having Jonathan here helped too. Having only 2 kids with me.. feeling that it was ok..still safe.. to be off balance made it even easier to live in my land of pretend.

Writing this I realize its harder to run from the truth of her death when our living 3 are up and together. Naptimes and bedtimes make it easier for my conscience to hide. After my doctors appointment yesterday we were at my sisters for a bit. At first it was ok…then this creeping anxiety came in… I think its just that realization that she is really missing…I have this urge to keep “counting noses”.. even though on some level I know the first nose I ever counted.. or kissed.. is gone.

I miss her perfect little nose…and right now…

I miss my fog.

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50 Responses to “foggy”

  1. Lots of Love and Hugs ♡ May she be with you in your dreams and may you feel her and be surrounded by her love when you wake. We love you ♡

  2. I pray, I cry tears, I try to understand…I ask for a way for you to go on and face life without Jennifer’s physical presence. I pray and pray….

  3. I think of you and your family all the time since I first started reading your blog a little more than month ago. Your words have had a profound affect on me and I feel for you from a depth I can’t explain. I pray for your family and wish you peace.

    My 11 month old son is scheduled to have brain surgery in 12 days, without any guarantees of course. Reading your posts helps give me courage to face this. Thank you for sharing your strength…

  4. Libby, she will never be forgotten. Thinking of you … and hoping you may continue to find the strength to power through.

  5. A mother instinctively protects her child

    A grieving mother instinctively protects her child’s memory.

    Libby

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Another stranger still reading and praying for you and your family. I can’t help but think as a I read this that Jennifer taught Jonathan so much, and that he is channeling her now. I pray for healing both physically and emotionally. Know that we are all here, trying to help make a difference, and it is because of you. Let that hold you up through the rough days.

  7. No one in that loving community (or the wider community you’ve built here online) will *ever* forget JLK. My God! Never. And you will be treated with tenderness and understanding in those future years at the schoolyard.

  8. Jennifer will never be forgotten Libby.Of that I am sure.Keep writing.Keep doing whatever you have have to get through the day.

  9. I don’t personally know you or your family but I am so touched by your journey and your courage to walk through and share the depths of your pain and darkness. God bless you and your beautiful family. So very sorry for your loss.

  10. I read your blog everyday . My heart hurts for you Libby. Im always thinking of you and Tony and your lil ones.♥

  11. No words. Just sending prayers to you that God will continue to give you the strength you need through this. Your an amazing woman with so much love for your family. May God continue to comfort you and give you the strength to get through each and every day. You will never be alone because we are all here for you Libby. I am a different person since I starting reading about JLK. She has touched out hearts and so have you and we will always be here for you to listen, to help and send love to you. Love you Libby for the mother and wife you are.

  12. I’m still here, reading your every word. Still praying for you to find a way, to live without Jennifer. So much love to all of you

  13. I’m so sorry for your loss. I don’t know you, but
    I have friends who know you. Reading your blog this
    Morning I was completely brought to tears.

    I understand the fog as I too lost a daughter. You
    Explain everything I felt especially living in a dream.

    I pray for God’s peace and comfort
    to get you through one day at a time… You are
    Truly an amazing Woman.

  14. Hi, I understand everything you are going through at this moment. I lost my little girl right after her 7th birthday! My Courtney sounds just like Jennifer, the fog you describe, I wish I could say goes away, however, it does fade for a while, and sometimes it comes and goes, at least that’s how it is for me. On Friday March 21st would have been my daughters 15th birthday, and I miss her more today than ever. Just know you’re not alone! If you ever want to meet for coffee, or you just need somebody to listen, I’m here!! I’m praying for peace

    Love
    Dionne

  15. She’s not ever just going to be forgotten, Libby. I think of her every single day, and I’ve never met you. I think of her all the time, whether I realize I’m thinking of her or not. I think of her when my son runs through the living room and stops briefly to give me a hug. I think about her when my little girl asks if I can read her a book and I say yes instead of no, even though I’m busy. Even if I don’t realize that it’s Jennifer pushing me to do these things, to make these changes daily, it absolutely is. Always will be.

  16. I think of you all the time, Libby. We’ve never met, but as so many others say, my life has been changed by you and your sweet Jennifer. My parenting has been deepened, my patience has grown and my appreciation for my children has been transformed. Thank you for changing my life (and my children’s lives) in such meaningful ways!

    Keep loving all your children by doing the work you describe Jennifer doing so well….cuddling, nurturing and mothering the little ones. They are beautiful babies! I can’t even look at Charlotte’s delicious little thighs without smiling! So dear.

    So much love to you, my stranger-friend. xo

  17. Jennifer will never be forgotten- no matter how much time goes by. Still here & reading all your blogs. Still sending you love xoxo

  18. I hurt for u Libby. As a mom I truly hurt for u but i thank u for sharing ur life about jennifer and children with the world. Ur daughter is always right next to u it will take time to know that in spirit she exists because we are so use to having physical connections with our loved ones. I have lost ones I loved in this world as well. I know ur pain. Love to u . My prayers always.

  19. It’s been 4 months since I lost my dad. And I think losing a dad is simple compared to losing a daughter. In 4 months I find that in many ways it’s getting harder. The shock seems to be past, the fog is gone, now I’m so raw. I didn’t think I could be more raw than I was in the beginning. Maybe it’s just different raw. I guess in my rambling way I’m trying to say that there are so many different places in grief, so many different levels and spaces. The fog will shelter you a bit for now, later maybe it won’t. But maybe that’s because later you will, somehow, be more able to function and even begin to thrive without the fog. Your blog is so real, so honest. I guess I always want to say something that will help. I guess that’s a silly feeling. I’m so amazed that you are helping so many people right now, from your depths. I wonder how you do it. I wish you didn’t have to. I worry about saying the wrong thing, then just hope saying nothing out of fear is worse than saying the wrong thing out of a place of caring.

    1. Libby, I agree with everything you said.. I helped raise my niece she was taken from us at 20.. I lost my best friend in the whole world my grandpa.. Then held my Dad as he passed with Cancer and many other issues… My niece I still see from time to time, My grandpa visits in my sleep…. My Dad, wow – that one I am still not dealing with well… The fog comes and goes.. The last 10 seconds are so haunting I cant let them go.. For me I run!! I just run!! When anyone makes me feel to close, pushed around or unable to understand me.. This auto pilot comes and controls the hidden pain and I run… I cant explain it mostly because I do not understand it… Your not going crazy, your not loosing your mind – you lost a huge investment of you… Now trying to replace those pieces feels wrong or disturbing… Your used to the routine but right now its all over the place no “normal” for you.. What feels Normal for a brief moment makes you feel guilty because she isn’t in it.. Your world crumbled so fast with all the quick rushed planning you never really got to soak up the REAL pain it could cause.. Your a Mom – putting you on hold and planning holding everything together is the Norm but now your broken and cant repair yourself… Your instinct is to fix repair heal but I cant Im to broken inside… I will tell you a secret – Tony feels a lot the same way! He may not have been there every second for her as you were but he felt every second of your pain and feared if he missed to much work how could he be a good father/husband he had to carry these loads with you… This was his first too.. As we feel more and more worthless before we can climb back up to healing we tend to push others away because we feel worthless to them… Please at that very second reach out and hug Tony cause he is feeling it too…. Im praying for you and love you hunny!!

  20. Libby… I have met you once with all four of your beautiful children at 5th street music in gilroy last year and my son ran around with your little girl playing … I think about you everyday and my heart hurts … There are no words but just so much love … I will continue to think about you and your family everyday and even though I don’t know you personally there is not a day that goes by that I won’t be praying/sending love your way.

  21. Two years or twenty years from now I don’t see JLK being forgotten! I also don’t see anyone looking at you like a creepy mother looking at second graders or seniors in high school thinking wishing your JLK was in the crowd. You and your family are in our prayers…daily

  22. This absolutely takes my breath away, tears, tears, and more tears…your writing is amazing and I am praying for your family daily

  23. JLK will never be forgotten… Not two years from now, not ten years from now… Not ever. She will always be in our hearts. Sending more hugs and prayers.

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