the day after..

The 13th is actually the worst day for me I think. .

That whole day after thing.

When Jennifer died.. that first 12th.. I tried to stay up until midnight .. but I physically couldn’t do it. I knew that after that day was done would be the start of a lifetime of days of not holding her.. touching her.. knowing her..

And I think these two 12ths we have survived are much the same. Because this 13th is the first day I have to say 2 years.. its been 2 years since I lost my daughter.

Then there is the whole day after thing. Like an big event in your life the day after is hard.. almost like a let down. We are so busy on the 12th. A mixture of remembering. . and running from the memories I think. We are so incredibly blessed to have had so many remember her and us that also keeps us so busy. . And I wouldn’t change a thing..

But the day after the silence that naturally comes is deafening somehow.

No way around it though.. Nothing different that can be done. There will always be a day after ..

Today we honored her in a whole different way. We honored her struggle.. the pain she endured and the battle cancer waged on her little body. How hard she fought and tried. ..

She suffered 10 more days.. You can see her lips here. Dry and cracking from lack of hydration.
She suffered 10 more days.. You can see her lips here. Dry and cracking from lack of hydration.

I ask all the cancer parents I now talk to if they work out. If they are able to be physical.. in particular if they would ever try CrossFit. It truly is incredible therapy. I wrote here about how it mimics the struggles we go through.. Of trying with all our might to save our child from the horrors of cancer.. but being unable to do it. And for those of us that have lost our children.. The tremendous and unrelenting weight of that. ..

Not from today.. But a day I kept adding weight until I couldnt lift it any longer..
Not from today.. But a day I kept adding weight until I couldnt lift it any longer..

My gym (this incredible place) did whats called a hero WOD (workout of the day) in honor of her. I wish I could properly express the graitide I feel for these people, another time I wrote about,  that don’t have to care.. choosing to care so deeply.

Allowing us to honor my daughter in what ended up to be an incredibly powerful way.

The numbers for the movements all symbolic of her fight. Which is exactly what I needed. Not to honor her life.. but to honor her fight.. the one she was sent into completely unarmed. Terminal upon diagnosis. No options. Something 300-400 parents in this country learn every year when they learn the letters DIPG.

She never lost her hair.. chemo isn't even a viable option for these kids.
She never lost her hair.. chemo isn’t even a viable option for these kids.

It was the hardest workout I have ever done in my life. But that was exactly right. I decided early on that I wouldn’t stop. That I would just keep going until the last person was done with the WOD. . Because she was mine. Because the battle is now mine to take up on her behalf. And I think.. in truth .. because I wanted to hurt .. I wanted my body to hurt like the desperate ache in my heart. Everyday inside of me there is a piece that wants to just quit. Lay down and never get up. But I don’t. And I won’t.

I wanted to feel that pain physically. .. And I did. In every single part of me. My emotion poured out of my body.

That first full day two years ago that I faced without her was the only day I really did come close to quitting. I think it was the only day Tony was truly scared for me. I stayed in bed.. refused to shower since I didn’t want to wash her off of me.

..then I did. And I remember wailing in the shower. Uncontrollable. I still have the shirt I wore. I will never ever wash that shirt.

Today was shockingly similar. I really didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to have face the start of another year without my daughter. But I got up.. because I knew I had someplace to be..

Then the workout began and I didn’t want to stop moving .. because I knew when I did … well then it was done. Just like when she left us.

..but then it was. I had to eventually stop. And a tide of emotion swept over me. ..

I didn’t realize until I started to get in the shower, many hours later, that that was the same too.. I didn’t want to wash away the sweat….my physical remenats of her battle off of me. This time though.. A house full of innocent ears I quietly wept. Salt meeting salt under the shower stream.

I cried for her. For how hard she fought an impossible battle.

I cried for me.. How hard I am fighting now.. And how much it just hurts.

And then I cried grateful tears. Because so many people still care. So many people help us navigate these choppy waters .. people that knew her and loved her. They took care of our surviving kids.. they texted and emailed and they worked out along side us. And those that didn’t know her.. . those that choose to care. To step in the muck with us and fight and remember and honor. .

 you.

this baby girl

this was all about

you.

DSC_0943

..until there is a cure..

 

 

10 Responses to “the day after..”

  1. As always Libby, I thank you for sharing your story/Jennifer’s story/your family’s story. Always so eloquent in your way of letting us know that real, raw pain and how the aftermath of losing a child affects so many. None of us can take this pain from you but we can hopefully carry on her fight, and name and honor Jennifer in a way that lightens your load, if just a tiny bit.

  2. I pray every night for Jennifer and your family. We will never forget her. She was part of us too. She was so loved. Every night I ask Gram to take care of Jennifer. I know she is because she too loved her so much. We are always here for you and Tony. We love all 7 of you. 🙏👼💖

  3. Inspiration, to work out, to let go of the fear of physically feeling the pain and being able to release it…. that’s what you have given this Momma today. Thank you as always for the ‘real’ stuff in your heart, it is so helpful to not feel alone. Peace as you begin year two……….. remembering sweet Jennifer.

  4. She is so pretty in every picture you post and your love shines through💗 I pray each night for angel visits🙏 Jennifer is so very proud of you Libby- you are a warrior mama…LOVE4JLK

  5. Jennifer is on my mind and in my heart always. I think about her alot. For them because of her. Thankyou for sharing her beautiful struggle with us. ♡♡♡♡♡♡
    We love you Kranz family. Today I will hug my daughter a little tighter. A little longer and tell her I love her just one more time.

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