Friday, January 31, 2014

You Spin Me Round, Round

This is your brain. 
This is your brain on grief.

I know our class starts at 6. Dave called yesterday to ask me what time our class starts, I told him 6. All day I was thinking I had to be there at 6. The first time I was there...I was way too early, so I didn't want to be that early again. I don't like to be late to places. For something like this, I leave with enough time to get there about 10 minutes early. Dave is always running late. So yesterday, he called me at 6. I assumed to tell me he was running late. He said, 'are you here?'

All day I knew the class started at 6, since the flyer was mailed, I knew the class started at 6. At the last minute, I thought the class started at 6:30.

This kind of thing happens all.the.time. 


I drink water like a fish. I'm talking ridiculous amounts a day. Once home from Mexico, I thought my taste buds changed because our water tasted awful. Turns out, because of our severe lack of rainfall they put us on well water. I have this thing about the plastic and also wasting bottles for bottled water, especially with the amount I drink a day. So my neighbor and I talked, and we thought we would try to double filter it. We have one in our fridge already, but thought we'd get a Brita too. I got to Costco yesterday. I chanted, "Brita, Brita, Brita" throughout. I had it on my list as a back up. 

I drove away without a Brita. Hand smack to head!

This kind of thing happens all.the.time. 


These are just two examples from yesterday. I know there were more! I used to do this type of thing prior to the accident, but I can't even explain how much it has intensified since grief was introduced. It occupies living space, and I am left set on re-run. I often wonder how much of my time is spent in circles. 

At first, I used to get frustrated because the old and the new me were in direct comparison. Over time though, this became me. I have come to accept when these things happen, and most times, can just laugh or shrug them off. Being late is very difficult though, especially to a class, but for a grief class...they understand. While it can still be annoying it's just part of my make up. At least now I know I'm at a point where I can finally start to get better.

Aren't the circles of grief wild?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Strange Brew

A variety of flyers and pamphlets intermixed our holiday mail after Aviana died. You just never knew what one simple key-turn to the right would result in for the day? It was a strange combination of -

Sorry Your Child Died - Top Ten Ways to Grieve 
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

One in particular really caught my eye though. It was from our Hospice department; an eight-week Bereavement course for parents who've recently lost a child. I sometimes tend to have a short attention span though, so I quickly looked it over, almost threw it away thinking we were okay, but then at the last minute - stashed it in a drawer for further contemplation. 

About a week or two later, the back of my mind knew the December 20th registration deadline was looming so I ran around trying to remember which drawer I buried the grievies papers (another bad habit I've been working on for...oh, about 12.5 years!) I finally unearthed them, gave 'em a once over, really thought it through for a day or so, and then talked to Dave. I told him I thought it might be a good, proactive so we don't get bit in the butt in the future. He agreed, and off we went. 

Our classes are once a week. Sadly we had to miss our second one because we were in Cabo. There are only five parents total, including the two of us. Dave is the only guy. It's okay though. It's nice to meet other parents - face to face. It's nice to talk, or not, about all of this. It's really nice to just sit and listen.

What's interesting about the class is...they take you there, whether you want to, or not. What I quickly realized is this - everything I've done thus far - in my own counseling, in conversations, and every word I've written on here, it's all in my own time and space.  In bereavement, it's more structured and with homework, which means it forces your mind and body to go places you might not have wanted. They pose the material and questions. To me, it's in your face reality. It's not as if what we went through isn't, but I know you understand what I'm saying. I didn't realize it would be like that. I guess I didn't have any comprehension of what it would be. Truthfully, ever since that car made contact with our family, every new step along the way has been uncharted territory.  No matter, after one class I'm happy with our decision. We are completely ready and up for wherever they want to take us.  

We have homework, which is due for tonight's class. I procrastinated because we were soaking up the sun and such, so now I have two weeks worth. I have to say, some of it is okay, but some...well, it hurts in the worst way  - but it also hurts so good. All the things I planned to put a post together about have a name with a face in bereavement class. That in itself is such a beautiful thing. The post I promised was to include some of the bad aspects of all this with Avi (some of which I have talked already talked about). Some of the ailments, and anxieties I developed - which thankfully have mostly subsided since she passed.

Okay, I've been out of school far too long. I just realized what time it is...I've gotta get on my homework. I'll be back ; )

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

From Cabo with Love

We just returned home Saturday at midnight from a week long trip in Cabo. To say our time there was much needed, and arrived at the exact right moment is an understatement. 

Me...flat out, and happy as a hippo!

...right there with us...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

This Week...

I just miss her.

Despite the love,

The laughter,

The blessings,

The friendships,

The smiles,

The warmth of everyday people.

Despite our health,

And all of our good fortune,

This week...

I just plain miss her.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Come Back to Me

By nature and at first, we were physically looking everywhere for Aviana. It was one sort of void when she was loud and vibrant, and a whole other when she was silent and didn't move.


If I were the one driving, I would constantly look in my rearview mirror for her. If I were in the passenger seat, I would continually turn around to talk to, or check on her. 


Many times we made quick stops so one of us would stay in the car with Aviana. After she died, often times, one would have to remind the other that it was okay for the both of us to get out of the car. It's such a strange shift in our family dynamic.

Around the House

If we were cooking, we would constantly look over to make sure Aviana was okay. I would find myself walking over to give her some love, or a kiss. Every time we would do something we knew was likely to cause her a seizure, we would look over to check on her as well. 

Game Day

Aviana was Dave's favorite game day buddy. He claims her favorite team was The Kings...Aviana and I beg to differ. They watched every single game together - she on his lap. And if you're a fan of basketball you know there's a ton of games. Aviana is also a huge 49er fan, and I guess likes some other teams too ; ) Every Game Day, Dave would take her little arm and chant "Fooball! Fooball!' So now…he's stuck with boring ol' Rainey and me, and it's just not the same because we are loud, obnoxious and opinionated ; /


It's a strange thing to never have to shop for the child you've been shopping for since before she was yours. I had to finally go through every list on my phone and delete all items from every store, as they just kept appearing as I was shopping. They were each so very personal to her. 


When I used to put Aviana in her wheelchair in the morning, and wait for the bus, I would envision the day when it would one day be empty. This single thought would bring on instant tears and I would hug and cover her face in kisses. I thought the vacant sight would tear my heart to pieces. For some reason, not one of her empty wheels caused me any tears. I think it's because they were the very things that bound her. 

Last week, I took her wheelchair and bath seat up to be donated to people in 3rd world countries who are in need. As I was saying goodbye, I started to cry, but it wasn't for the equipment - it was for the people who were always so loving and helpful towards us, and especially Aviana. This week her stroller, her hi/lo chair, and carseat…will all go to a family in need. Yes, it was strange to look over and not see her in them, but moreover we felt happy to no longer see her in need of all this equipment. I was surprised by my reaction to these items - especially given the way I reacted with every thought before she died.    

Aviana's Room 

At first it only felt right to shut her door every night at the time she would normally have gone to bed. We would then open her door every morning she would have been awake. That only lasted for one week. Now the door stays opened all the time. 

In yoga this past Saturday, I realized I was ready to completely change her room and had a full vision for the transformation. I came home and excitedly ran it all by Dave. He agreed. I'm sure it will be underway sometime in the near future. 


Surprisingly, I thought all of the above would have lingered for a very long time, but they didn't. They dissipated fairly fast. The only thing which we tend to forget sometimes is that we can both leave the house to go out at the same time. When Dave says he will be out say Wednesday night, my brain's first reaction is sometimes still that I need to be here for some reason. It's almost a second thought that, I too, have an option to stay or go. It's such a strange concept. 


I've always heard of people who've lost a loved one experiencing signs from them after they've passed. I have always believed in this, but I felt I would be a tough sell and it would have to be a pretty significant sign for me to know. I promised to have an open mind and heart though. When Aviana first died, although I felt her physical loss - I still felt unbelievably close to her spiritually. I can't tell you how comforting that was for me. Not only did I feel a warmth and closeness to her, but I was actually seeing signs not only from her, but from both her and Kama. I couldn't believe my eyes and ears, because I wasn't expecting anything. 

I honestly feel I have gone on expecting nothing, but the sad part is…I haven't seen or felt anything for what seems like the longest time. She comes to me almost every single night in my dreams, but I have to say…it's definitely different. It's by no means the same. I don't feel the spiritual connection with her I had, and so desperately want back. I know I cannot push for these things, and I won't. I think maybe I have been drifting off lately. Maybe I need to become centered once again. I'm not sure of exactly what it is, but I've been searching. I have so much more to say in connection with Rainey too. 

I know Aviana will come back for me, they both will. They are my girls; they won't leave me to wander this earth without them. They will find their ways - as they already have. They will reach back and pull me through.

I just know it : )


Tuesday, January 7, 2014


A headache took hold of, and broke our plans for the majority of New Year's Eve. When headaches barge their way in, all I'm left to do is lie flat on my back, arms crossed over my eyes, and try not to think. But you know how that goes ; ) 

Ten years ago, 2003
We had just finished our last 'single selves' year. Complete with a trip to Paris and Amsterdam. I guess we were going out with a bang and an unsuccessful attempt of a baby to boot!

Ten years ago, tonight. 
We had a big party - formal and filled with all of our best friends. Silver and black balloons covered ever inch of our front room when you walked in. Extra long hanging strings, making sure everyone could drift their way through to the pumping, bumping beats.

Ten years ago, midnight. 
Ringing in 2004! How exciting! That was to be the year of the baby. Unbeknownst to us, the universe whispered back, 'I don't think so.'

Ten years later, tonight. 
Laid flat out on the floor. What a ride. Another full circle moment. Here we are - back at square one - just the two of us, and our kid…still the doggie love variety = ) I think of myself then. I can't help but smile - to actually laugh a little. I think life must be laughing with me too! I was so naive. I honestly thought I could control the universe. Actually, I can't help but cry a little too. I want some of that girl back. I would love to crawl into her for just a moment - to feel what it feels like to be her - for just a second. So fresh and wide-eyed, unscathed. A girl who hadn't a clue what was waiting in the distance. 

But then I'm reminded of so much, and I step back out. That girl had so many qualities I wish not to possess now. She was too rigid, much too planned and predictable. Everything had to be just so, and if it wasn't…she was often times, disappointed. If people were late, couldn't make it, or the worst offender of all…couldn't come as time dwindled down to the wire - she had a really hard time understanding. That girl was just too meticulous about too much. She wanted to control everything in her world, and the worst part was - to a degree, she thought she could. I guess it had worked for a long time. She had a lot to learn about life.

The funny - sometimes not so funny thing is - I have now morphed into the person I used to be unable to understand. How's that for comprehension and compassion! I laugh about it now, because I think it's the most ironic thing ever! I think of that almost each and every time it takes me days, and sometimes months to return an email! How embarrassing! Something I'm working on, by the way. Or when I can't make a plan to save my life, or when people change plans on me at the very last second and I don't even bat an eye, or when I can't make up my mind for anything, or when I have the attention span of a gnat, or when small to pretty big things things happen around the house that used to freak me out and now I laugh, because it all just doesn't matter anymore. 

There are bad traits I've picked up along the way too, but I will save those for another post. My real hope is to take the good of each, the old and new me, and somehow create one. I am thankful to finally have the opportunity to work on me, and not further destroy myself. 

I feel this odd combination of the most blessed, bursting, energetic, alive person on earth in conjunction with the most exhausted, beaten down, dazed and at times confused individual. It's a strange existence. It must be weird to watch because even though I just wrote those very true words and feelings...I think I'm pretty even keel, but maybe I'm not because sometimes I'm dancing like a banshee to my favorite song and other times I'm zoned out staring at nothing on the computer screen…paralyzed. Wanna come over ; ) 

All I can say is no matter what - I'm so happy and excited for the opportunity of this new phase in our lives. We are all exactly where we are supposed to be. I don't know if that sounds sad to anyone reading, but I don't think so. It might. I mean it's sad to me on a deep down level because of course I miss Aviana and will everyday of my life, for the rest of my life. We all do, dearly. My heart is finally settled though, even if we are divided. I know we can finally move forward. 

So I am grateful for a new beginning. I love new beginnings, but for me each moment is new. You can always start over in my world. I know I've told you all and if you are a real life friend of mine you know since the accident I can only handle very small increments of time. I say I have 'commitment issues' and I truly do. So I go from moment to moment. Rebuilding each and every.  Minute by minute, day by day as that's all I can handle. I have been conditioned this way through our life with Aviana. And yes, I talked to my counselor about it a few years ago because I didn't understand what the heck was going on with me? She explained that it made perfect sense. Because of Aviana's accident, I learned that tomorrow is not promised, so I get anxiety if plans are asked or made too far in advance. This is why I feel more comfortable day by day. Because of who I was before, I still see this personality trait as kind of a negative. But, I choose to look at it as a positive, because it's living in the present! I have the best friends and family, ones who understand what I've been through and work with me and and my brokeness despite how annoying my need for last minute plans must be! I hope with time and healing, I'll get better ; )

Thank you all so very much for being here for us. I am so grateful for this little space. I never planned it, and only started here as a means to guard my heart and relay information all at once about Aviana and Gary's condition in the hospital. My plan was to stop very early on. This has become a place of great therapy for me, as well as connecting with some of the best people I've ever known. 

I wish you well in 2014, but when I say well I don't mean that everything is going to be perfect, because that's just not we all know. My wish is that if things happen, or are currently happening - big or small - they bring you closer with your family and friends, rather than drive you apart. I wish for you to share your stories, to open your heart, to be vulnerable and realize that so many others are going through or have been through something similar. Pain, loss and hurt of all kinds are everywhere, just like the antithesis! We are more similar, than different. I wish for people such as yourselves to come out of the woodwork and find supportive words for you when it seems none can be found. I wish for good, kind-hearted people to show up in your life and carry you through when you feel you just can't for one more moment. I wish for you to know in your heart to hold on, even when everything in you says let go. I wish for you to be open to all the beauty this life has, and I mean within the light and dark moments. I know, in the dark it's different, but the rewards are that much greater. You have to pull from deep, to look, to seek, you have to find them, but my gosh - they are there. They are everywhere, and once you discover them - they shine brightly, more brightly than in the light. And once you grab them up, you know how, and will never forget. You hold tight and know, they are yours for the taking - each and every time. 

More than anything, I wish you love.