I have always…

had such a heavy heart when I would hear about parents who have lost their children and have always said to myself I couldn’t imagine what I would do if I lost one of mine. Losing my sweet Bri has changed my life in so many ways.

Our house is empty…Brandon is working and spending time with his girlfriend. Joshua is living in Minneapolis and doesn’t have the chance to come home too often. Not only are the boys not around but BriAnna’s laugh would fill the house and she would yell at everybody everyday for the things that we were doing wrong. I sure miss that now. I miss the picking and fighting… the things most parents hate hearing every day. Enjoy these moments when you can!

This tragic event has robbed our family of the holidays. Our holiday’s are not joyous anymore. I looked forward to the holidays and surprising the kids with their special holiday gifts. BriAnna loved all the holidays and celebrating with family and friends. Imagine your life without your child on Moher’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Easter… take that void and multiple it by 1,000 or more. The emptiness will be in our hearts forever!

Everyday I get up (yep still after 284 days) and hope that all of this has just been a nightmare. Imagine every morning starting off with disappointment and trying to put a smile on your face. The pain has never gone away and still can’t imagine it getting better. The only place that I feel like I get away from the pain is at work. I put on my imaginary work hat and when I take it off at the end of the day I am still the same grieving mom. Days and nights are filled with so many questions but the biggest question of all is… Why? Imagine not being able to say one last “good-bye” or “I love you.” If only I had one more chance… AND had the opportunity to know why she was taken from our family!

The boys are both thinking I am a pain in the ass… this stems back to not ever imagining that something like this could happen to me. You see I know the pain of losing a child and know I could never survive this pain more than once. I hover over them more than normal. I check in with them more than normal. For months I checked if my grown boys were breathing at night. I worry about the unexpected… what if the unknown event happens to them? I worry and carry that with me all the time. Imagine carrying that kind of worry everyday.
My relationships with everyone have changed….because I have changed. I am a Debbie Downer and know that everyone struggles with what to say and how I will react. I have grown apart with some and have become closer with others. I have learned this is pretty normal when I talk to other mom’s that have lost a child. People don’t understand that it is okay to ask me how I am doing and give me a hug. If I cry it is ok. The tears represent the joy of knowing that you are thinking of me AND my Bri. I need to know people haven’t forgotten her…or our family. I miss those that I have grown away from.

I received this message from a high school classmate “I’ve been thinking about you and your family so much. We sent our 13 yr old daughter off to camp for 2 weeks. It’s not been the same. She sent one letter the day she was dropped off. I get to hug her come Friday. I can’t fathom not doing that. It really brought home everything you feel day to day. I look forward to giving you a hug and hearing about BriAnna! See you in a few weeks.” Thank you for the kind words (you know who you are) … and for thinking of me. You can’t imagine how much this meant to me.

Thank you for listening to me vent and hearing about the difficult times that I go through on a daily basis. Thank you for understanding that grief doesn’t end in a week, a month, a year… it lasts a lifetime! That means I need your ears and shoulders for a lifetime! With your support I WILL make it through this…I hope!!!!