Friday, September 2, 2011

blog and release!

This weeks Fridays Confession Booth is going to be a bit serious, so if you're looking for a laugh or want to read a light post about how I taste out of the pot while cooking and don't wash the spoon, well this isn't your lucky day. Come to think of it I do do that really, I confess.

Thanks again Kristen at a little something for me for letting me bare my all in a safe place. This little bit of something has been on my chest for five years actually. I rears it's ugly head every once in a while so I thought I'd take a page out of you're book Kristen and write about it; air it in a public forum and see if I can let it go then.
Blog and release!

Five years ago my daughter Gretchen 30 yrs. who I had the privilege of raising from the age of five when I married her father and my son Eric 22 yrs were killed by an inattentive tractor trailer truck driver.

Gretchen and Eric

The death of a child is a horrible nightmare but somehow those words don't seem to do justice to what that loss does to the world of a mother. But there were blessings too, my family, my husband who was a rock, my loving children, my mother, my brothers and their strong a loving wives, my Aunts and Uncles and my cousins who are so close that sometimes they feel like siblings; especially the girl cousins since I don't have sisters!

Their funeral was a blur the grief and pain of their loss was incredible and yet numbing all at the same time. Most every family member attended and were incredibly supportive even though they all live in different states some as far away as Hawaii and New York. Their presence was such a comfort, I needed them and they too were feeling the loss and shock of the suddenness of their deaths.

The ( I think three cousins) who were unable to come because of work or child care issues called, sent Mass cards and beautiful notes of love and condolence. And that support and love was endless and continues to this day some five years later.

BUT THERE WAS ONE- I have one cousin who never called, never wrote, never acknowledged the death of my children. My mother called her on the morning of the accident and told her about their deaths and  I never heard a word. NOTHING till this very day.

How do you ignore the death of your own flesh and blood? She is my mothers niece, her father my Uncle Joey was my Godfather, our mothers were sisters.

We had just seen each other the year before when our mother's other sister passed away and she hung out with my son, me and my husband at the funeral. And although she didn't know my children really well because of the generational differences, we were close as children.

As we moved into adulthood we kept in touch, seeing each other from time to time, family functions, weddings, funerals (never as frequently as my cousins on my fathers side of the family) however there was never a harsh word passed between us.

As you might imagine, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about my children. Then every once in a while I think of my cousin and I wonder why. The reason remains a mystery and calling her after all this time to ask I'm just not sure I can or even want to.

I confess, I don't believe I could ever forgive her for ignoring the death of my children for forgetting to care; it hurt me to deeply. And I now know it's time for me to let this go.


  1. Ok. I confess - I cried through your whole post. What a brave and powerful post. I don't know if I would be able to forgive either... And it would haunt me too. Bug hugs my bloggy friend - I'm so glad we connected. Kristen

  2. Thanks Kristen I appreciate your sympathy and understanding, this is really a hard one for me, really!

  3. Jen- What a powerful post. I am so sorry to hear about your loss - two children is unimaginable - in the depths of my heart I don't know if I could ever forgive or forget but I think I would try. I've gone through some tough things in the past few years but you wouldn't know it by looking at me so..I always try and remember that people are fighting silent battles and we don't know what they are or how they are causing to act - maybe she just didn't know what to say, my mom is like that and it can be hurtful sometimes - your story will stay with me a long time.

  4. Thanks Jennifer even after five years it still is painful when the subject of my cousin comes up. I guess in my own way I have been trying to forgive since then. I will certainly think about what you suggest as the reason for her silence.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. You live in Va right? I believe I remember this being on the news.

  6. Thanks Terri and your right it was the 4th of July weekend on I-295 in Richmond. I don't think I picked up a paper or watched the news for a year after that they just saturated the news with it.At the time all that exposure was traumatizing.

  7. Jen,
    Thanks for being so open with the things that hurt. Kristen has also encouraged me to do the same, although it's simply how she writes. I hope that this was what you needed.

  8. Awm,

    I've become fairly comfortable sharing more as time has passed.

    But I try not to focus on the sad times, I've had enough to last a lifetime.

    Sometimes however something heavy just needs to be said (like today's post)!

  9. That is what I thought Jen. I believe we lived in the same subdivision also. Across from Longdale Elementary School. I just can't imagine how hard that was for you. It really truly broke my heart when I heard about it. You are a brave woman to talk about it and share your feelings. I know when tragedy happens sometimes later on sharing your feelings can help. I will keep you in my prayers that you will heal with each passing year. I know you will never forget. (((HUGS)))

  10. :( I can't believe how hard this must be for you.. Both of you kids.. You're such a strong woman! :( I really don't know what to say, I am still crying..

  11. Terri,
    If that's the school right down the block from the Trooper barracks then that's the one. She just lived on block up from there.

  12. Marina,
    The first few years were truly painful and isolating but now we are back to as normal as we can be without them. Honestly it took a lot of time and a lot of therapy.

  13. I'm new to your blog, having picked it from the weekend link-up. What can I say about your post that has not already been said both in comments here or in the last 5 years? I do not know what it is to lose a child this way so I cannot even begin to express my sympathy. Still, your healing journey is worth applauding. And your bravery for putting it out 'here.'
    Without minimizing the pain of your cousin's silence, yet without knowing what is going on in her own world, death does such strange things to people... we all process in such different ways... I went through a horrible divorce years ago... and it was like a death in someways.. the death of a marriage and a dream certainly. And I was amazed at the people I lost in my life because of it. People who still won't acknowledge me today. We do have to at some point forgive and let go... not because they asked my forgiveness (they didn't) but because it was the key to my experiencing another layer of healing. Thank you for your transparency in sharing and I commend you for letting it go!

  14. Robyn,
    I guess I'll never know since it's like she fell off the end of the earth, never to be heard from again. Weird doesn't even describe it! But it's time to let it go.

    I'm so sorry that people turned their backs on you and made it more difficult for you to grieve over the ending of your marriage.

    Although I have never been thru divorce I couldn't imagine; I do understand the turmoil and emotion of change and the intense pain of grief.

  15. Many people are so scared and awkward about death that they ignore and avoid it because they don't know what to say. It's like procrastination, except that now that years have gone by, it's even worse. Now she's actually done something wrong, rather than avoiding pain, which is what started the whole thing. She probably feels horrible, and procrastination is the main thing that has dragged this thing on for so long.

    Me, I'm the opposite. I run towards people in pain, and I'm not afraid to enter their pain. I'm not afraid to cry. I'm told that this is the gift of mercy, and that it's supernatural, and that most people don't have it. We can't expect people to desire to enter pain. Only God does that. We display God's character when we do the opposite of what's comfortable.

  16. I'm like you Susan that's why this whole situation is so difficult for me to understand.

    This is a true Aunt Marie was so upset and couldn't or didn't even know what to say to me the day of the accident she was so overwhelmed.

    My Uncle Doug called and we talked then she got on the extension of the phone and we just cried together, that was as good as any word or card or hug.

  17. Yes ma'am we are right behind the police station.

  18. I am so sad for you and your family. Losing a child is unfathomable to me, and my heartbreaks for those that have. Family is such a tricky thing, much like grief. Sometimes people don't know how to respond, I think. My mother's sister passes away a few years ago and we had one aunt that never called her either. It was the strangest thing too.

  19. Thanks for the kind words Emily and for sharing your families story. It's really is rather sad for all isn't it? I think we all think our families can be a bit weird from time to time but I can't help but think; what was she thinking?

  20. I don't think that I could forgive either.
    I have no words...just virtual hugs. Xoxo

  21. Thanks sweetie! Was just over at your blog wrote a whole big comment and then blogger decided to crap out and wouldn't let me post it; oh well not mean to be I guess!

  22. I'm so terribly sorry for your loss - that sounds unimaginable. I hope you let go of your anger at your cousin, for your own sake.

  23. Thanks Megan- that was the plan when i wrote this!


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