A Letter to Darrian

I honestly don’t know how I’ve gotten here.  Aside from good old fashioned “Sisu”.  I know I want to see you, but I know the right way to see you.  It doesn’t exactly help the hurt that I’ve been feeling, or the guilt either.  Everything is so much more difficult since your death.  Seeing the things you had liked, the people you knew, thinking about significant points in your life that you’d never see again.    Or that we’d never see together again.

Infrared 100%

Infrared 100%

I heard the buses this morning and was reminded of you going to school.  I know you didn’t ride the bus, but I remembered how you would disappear in the morning for many weeks before you passed.  I would wake up around the normal time and you’d already be gone.  No doubt meeting your friends before school.  I figured around this time of year, you’d probably be using the swings before you got to school, since there is a park nearby to the school.  I also thought about, even if you did go swinging, maybe you would have brought me lilacs before you left for school.  You always brought me lilacs, since you knew that I loved them so much.  Speaking of which, I still have that candle that you and Randi Jo got for me some years ago.

Depression has been a foe of mine.  It comes and goes.  A few days ago, I just laid in bed and cried off and on.  It’s easy to miss you.  It’s hard to move on.  It’s been five months since you died and I feel like you should still be here.  I get angry that other people’s children are still alive and they get the privilege of raising them.  Sometimes a little too much.  I never really knew how short of a time in life we’d have you for.  That your fear of turning 18 years old or fear that you were not going to make it to 18 years old had any merit.  Why would I acknowledge it?  You were supposed to have a long life like many other that came before you.

Sparkle 100%

Sparkle 100%

I laid in bed and thought about just that.  The last holiday I’d ever had with you was Thanksgiving.  What I didn’t know what your conversation with your dad.  That you were afraid about our not giving you a religion, that you were afraid of what would happen to you when you died.  I had no idea that I did that part wrong.  I wanted to avoid having you tell me that I pushed you into something and that wasn’t fair.  The part that wasn’t fair was the losing you.  That wasn’t fair.  And isn’t fair.  But who said life was fair?

Sparkle 100%

Sparkle 100%

I miss you like the sun misses the rain.  I miss you more than clever misses me.  I just miss you.  Your presence in my life did help me though.  You helped me, instead of me helping you.  You helped me be open to people and new ideas.  Just yesterday, Dad and I were talking about how we were grateful you introduced us to “A Thousand Ways to Die in the West”.  That movie was brilliant.  And probably the only movie we’ll remotely like Seth McFarlaine in. But that’s okay.  I never would have picked up that movie if it weren’t for your insistence.  And I’m watching Red vs. Blue and enjoying the premise so far during the 14th season.  I do miss you sitting next to me.  I imagine that even if you’re not physically sitting next to me, that in spirit you are.  And I hope that no matter how long the depression lasts, that in spirit you will always be with me.  I may not always feel you, but I will always hope you haven’t fully left me. Maybe that’s selfish of me, but that’s how I feel.  You will never be forgotten.  You will always be loved.  And I will always miss you.  My darling angel.  My Darrian Amber.

Mothers Day & Mourning

This entire day, I’ve been dreading for weeks.  The day where Mothers are revered, if you will.  This day doesn’t exactly bring forth excitement or joy.  Not that it ever really did.  All I ever wanted for Mothers Day was for quiet and for my kids to be healthy and happy.  Now it seems, I have one daughter left.  One that I have stopped talking to because of her taunting.  My eldest daughter has recently started talking to her biological father, the man whom I haven’t seen since Ashleigh was three years old.  I’d like to keep it that way as well.  We didn’t part as friends.  And according to Ashleigh (three days ago), he was trying to destroy my credibility and trying to create his own.  False accusations and twisted statements.  So, with that being said, I said goodbye Ashleigh via text message and haven’t spoken with her since.  Her response was “LMAO”.  And that was where the straw on the camels back, broke.

I refuse to be taken down by a kid who knows very little about the facts that tore Rich and I apart.  I refuse to be made into a mockery AGAIN on yet another Mothers Day.  And I refuse to cry because of her absurdity.  So instead, I cry because I have a lost child.

This morning I cried because I could remember what transpired while Darrian was in the hospital.  How she looked, how she breathed, and the concept of what we were facing at the time.  The gravity of the situation was nothing more than grave and bleak.  I wanted to escape it at the time, and I wanted to escape it today.  But there is still such a sad silence in the air.  A silence I never imagined would happen in this part of my lifetime.  So I say…. I miss her.

My husband tells me to do whatever I have to do to survive the day.  And I say:  That’s the unfortunate thing.  Because I have to.  And I cry.  Because I cannot be with my dear lost child.  I have to exist in this nightmare that is my life.  One child that I wish I could get through to, the other exists only in pictures and in my dreams.

I miss her…..

I miss her…. I miss her spirit and her joy.  I even miss her sadness.  I could help ease it back then.  I know where she is, she’s happier than she had ever been in this life.  And that makes me jealous and angry, yet satisfied.  How does that happen?  Right?  How do you feel jealous and angry, yet satisfied.  One part for me, the other part for her.

I miss how she used to smell like cupcakes.  That was the perfume type she would wear.  I miss her choice in hair.  I miss sighing when she would tell me that she wanted something when I couldn’t afford it.  Or how she would call me out for rolling my eyes at her.  I miss talking to her.  She and I were worlds apart, but so close in so many ways.  And I know now that she loved me, that she loves me.  And that will never change.

I wish for a moment I could tear the pain away from my heart and replace it with the joy I feel for her being able to not feel the earthly suffering and agony.  That wouldn’t make it real for me.  After all, I still lost someone.  Someone dear to me.  That will never change.

At the end of the week I’m hoping to hear from the genetic testing lab, to hear whether Darrian and I both share the RYR2 gene that my brother Brian was diagnosed as having. The gene that links to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) and Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD).  If he does, and I do, then he will be surgically operated on to insert an ICD (Internal Cardiac Defibrillator) And if Darrian did, then I know that I passed that gene to her, unknowingly of course.  And I will have to live with that for the rest of my life.  But for now, I don’t know what caused her to fall, initially.  My brother Tim said Brian, Dianne, and I all has febrile seizures.  So maybe that is a link that we all share – that would link to the RYR2.  Maybe since Darrian didn’t have seizures, let alone a febrile seizure – that she would be granted the genes from her biological father’s side of things.  Then it would be more questions, I suppose.  What would the medical examiners office say then?

For now, I’m tired of waiting for an answer.  I would love to know what the cause for all of this is, since we haven’t gotten a death certificate in the mail.  Part of me thinks that since we haven’t gotten it, it’s better.  I don’t know how.  I guess maybe it just doesn’t seem as real.

I would go out to the cemetery today, I just can’t drive myself to go out there, today of all days.  I’d love to lay on the ground and wish to hear her heart beat.  I know that’s impossible.  Why would that happen, other than my own delusions.  Delusion of what I want to hear, not for what is.

So today I am not overjoyed with what I have.  I am rather angry for what I don’t have, on both parts.  I don’t wish for anything to happen to Ashleigh and I hope that her biological father doesn’t pull her so far in that she gets hurt in the process.  All I can rest assured is that I know the truth.  I know what happened between Rich and Ashleigh, or at least what I witnessed.  And I know what I feel Ashleigh deserves.  All good things.  However, she has a lot of work to do in order to get to that point.  Please God help her see the potential in her.  Or whatever exists out there in the universe we call home, sweet home.

She’s Never Coming Home

After sixteen years of raising her, sometimes I get this jolt to my system reminding me that she’s never coming home.  It’s impossible to explain the gravity of that thought, aside from what it is.  I can watch Red Vs. Blue when it comes out for the next season, but she won’t be with me in life to watch me react to what’s going on.  She might be there in spirit, but what does that mean to me, exactly?  I can’t touch her, I can’t wrap my arms around her and know that she’s there and to feel the love flow through our connection.  There is just simply, emptiness.

Meanwhile, life continues for other people and they have babies… or go on with their lives with their children as normal.  And granted, I still have Ashleigh.  But it’s not the same.  She’s 20 years old and lives on her own.  Granted, I’m still her mother, but… we don’t have the same connection Darrian and I had.  I don’t think we ever will.  That could be short sidedness coming through there.

Ashleigh tries to say she’s acting like Darrian.  I am not sure if she’s trying to help me by saying it or what?  Or if she’s saying it to help herself.  You cannot replace a child like that.  By trying to act or say the same things that she once did.  It just doesn’t translate the same way.

Grief has its own language.  Unfortunately it’s an impossible one to grasp for many.  The words come out as a jumbled mess.  There is no fluidity to it, it’s just like jumping up and off of boulders as high as the eyes can see.

Her room is still somewhat the same.  The way her bed was remains the same.  I haven’t changed that.  The sign she had on her door is still there announcing “Darrian Seppanen” LMAO on it.  Her own handwriting.  I haven’t taken that down.  Does it make sense to leave it that way?  Probably not.  The bed will probably stay the same for quite a while.  Because I cannot conceive of it being any other way.  I know she’ll never sleep on it again.  Hell, she barely slept in it while she did.  (Yea, a good investment on our part, spending over $1000 on the sucker)  I digress….

The language of grief is weeping, speaking through the midst of all the tears.  Sometimes unintelligible, and eventually it becomes fluid… maybe.  Unfortunately I haven’t gotten to that part.  I miss her in ways I cannot express.  I miss her probably in unhealthy ways.  I am trying, nevertheless.  The burning sensation in my heart (not physically, so don’t worry) lingers.  The knowledge that she’ll never be what she once was.  She’s dust in the ground miles from where I live.  That doesn’t sit well with me.  She has an amazing headstone though.  One I think she should be proud of.  At least I hope so.  With both her last name and my husband’s last name on it.  He intended on having her take his last name when she turned 18 anyway.  Unfortunately we couldn’t do it since she wasn’t alive long enough for him to adopt her.  Either way, the love remains.  The grief and the sadness still.  Nothing is ever simple in grief.  Just pure unadulterated awful.  Filled with only memories from the past that only help in part.  Because the memories may live on, but she does not.  And there is no price to pay to get her back.  It just is.  And nothing is fair about that.  Nothing.

Rest in peace my dear sweet child.  I miss you like the sun misses the moon.

 

Grief Therapy – And Headstones

I’ve been taking part of the Unity Hospice grief therapy group.  I have to say it’s going well, albeit awkward.  I’m the only one who’s lost a child in the group.  The rest of the group are people who lost parents or spouses.  Not that grief still doesn’t coexist with them, it’s just that our grief is different in some ways, I suppose.  Plus, I wasn’t really sure how people would react to me.  I guess I’m still very afraid of being judged unfairly – or that people won’t “get me”.  That I will always be the black sheep of the group. My unhealthy fear of not being accepted, I suppose.

A lot of being a part of the group has helped me in some ways.  I’ve been able to communicate my feelings about Darrian’s passing, and what they say seems to ring true with me.  There is a lot of sadness that goes with anyone’s passing.  It’s nice to be around people who understand what I’m going through – because going through the grieving process is in no way, shape, or form the same.

I mentioned last night about how Eric isn’t grieving in the same way as I am.  He is staying strong and the group said that I should appreciate that he is taking care of things around the house while I am down and feeling weak.  That it’s okay to do that, and it’s okay to feel weak.  Because at this point, it’s understandable.  I know men communicate in different ways, and experience things differently.  I guess I just anticipated that I would have someone to cry with me.  And I don’t have that.  I’m not blaming him.  I think he’s being incredibly brave during all of this.

I was asked yesterday at grief therapy the meaning of Darrian’s name.  That there had to be a story behind it.  My memory wasn’t good, so I didn’t recall the whole thing.  However, in Greek, the name means “Gift”.  And Darrian was that.  I will have to remember it for next time when I go to group.  I feel bad that I forgot that Eric said that to me.  I remembered the meaning once I looked it up of course.  Duh!  But she truly was.  As much as I was irritated over things that she did or didn’t do in life, I miss her quirks, her goofy moments, her frustration and sadness, and everything else that went along with it.  I miss hearing her voice and wish that I had more things recorded of her… but i don’t.  Which makes me incredibly sad.  I have lots of pictures, but not a lot of video.

I wanted to go to the grave site yesterday, but Eric was asleep after I found out.  I didn’t want to go without him.  I wanted to be respectful and make sure he was with me.  By the time he did wake up, he was saying that he was concerned about the time and how much light we would have once we got there (we would have had plenty, by the way).  I also had to remind myself that I had grief therapy last night by the time he did wake up – it would have been close to conflicting.

Anyway, today around 10 am I am going to see (for the first time) Darrian’s headstone.  The company installed it yesterday.  I’m so excited to see it, yet extremely saddened at the same time.  I’m glad that there will be a name to the location, NOT just a empty plot by a tree.  Which, by the way, I’m glad she’s by a tree.  That makes me incredibly happy!  To me, it still symbolizes life.  Which she had a tremendous amount of while she was alive.

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Grief is Disorganized & Yucky

First of all I apologize.  The theme of my page seems to have changed due to the most recent life altering change, the death of my daughter.  I’m (I guess), in part trying to deal with it through words on a screen instead of just wandering through life wondering what the hell happened.  And granted, some of that I’ll do here anyway.  Just because it is part and parcel.

I’ve been going to a grief therapy group through the hospice organization “Unity” in our neck of the woods.  Granted, I’m the only one that has a daughter that passed on, but grief (in many ways) is very similar to losing a parent or husband.  They are still significant parts of your life and you miss them no matter what.  The first night I felt like an outcast, probably in part because that’s how I feel about myself anyway.  That no matter where I go, I won’t be accepted.  But I think my experiences are starting to seem valid as to why I’m there and I’m happy about that.

Losing my daughter has left me in a variety of different states of mind as of late.  And none of the thoughts have been pleasant, of course.  Who thinks of grief as pleasant.  If you do, I wonder what the hell kind of person you are.  Or maybe you’ve evolved to a different place in your grieving process than I have.  I’m not there yet.  It’s only been a little over 3 months since Darrian passed away.  Her gravestone isn’t even in the graveyard yet.  I can’t wait to see it thought, to be honest with you.  That way it’ll truly show where she lies.  I digress, however.  My mind, as I continue has been going through missing her at every turn.  Something triggers an emotion, or memory.  Either through food, or through pictures, or going into her room for one reason or another.  Honestly, I avoid her room most of the time.  I’m tired of going in there because of the fact that she’s not there and she’ll never be there again.  I’m angry for that too by the way.  There is nothing okay with me about losing her.  And again it puts me in a serious head butting position with this deity we call “God”.  I say it that way because I don’t know if he/she/it is called God, or if he is a collective of all the good deities that have been present and peaceful representations of love, life, and living.  So I’m not certain as to where my loyalties lie in that direction.  Either way, I have this tendency to feel like, I’ve worked hard in my life.  I’ve struggled more than anything.  With mental illness, with my children and husband, with monetary issues, etc… I have loved and lost, and I appreciate that I have loved – but the losing part sucks.  There is no delicate way to pose that.  AT ALL.

Five Stages of Death/Grief – Humor  – Adult Swim – adult content.  I try to find humor wherever I can so I can keep with the idea that I can still laugh, but it’s not easy.  Sometimes finding an in is hard when you’re going through this.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making fun of or eluding to the idea that grief is just about laughing it off.  It’s not. Laughter is one of my coping mechanisms.  I’ve had to stay away from drama (which is what I normally have a tendency to drive towards) in the movie section.  I have to have humor right now, otherwise I’m likely to go a little bit more towards taking a vacation at the psych unit.  Maybe that’s not a bad thing.  Either way, it’s become something I’ve thought long and hard about.  Either through diversion or through the psych unit.  The only prerequisite that I have?  That Ashleigh not be there during the same period of time.  Otherwise things will go very badly.

One direction I tend to go in is why?  Why is this happening to me? Why not someone else?  And it’s not like I want malicious things to happen to other people.  If you know me, that’s one of the least likely things I am going to say.  But through this grief, I have asked it once because I feel like I am tired of hurting so much.  I can say through grieving for my mom and my sister, I have been incredibly angry that my time got cut short with them.  My mom didn’t die until I was an adult, but she was in a vegetative state and unable to communicate in a way you and I would do on a normal day.  So, essentially I lost my mom when I was 14 years old.  My sister, when I was 11 years old.  And with the similarities to my daughter and my mother intially – I experienced both my mother and my father’s pain (to some degree – especially the loss of a child part).  I never really felt like I had any commonality with my father – and granted, this was not me telling life – OKAY!  Time to pay attention!  It’s one of those challenge accepted moments!  NOT flippin hardly!  There are other ways I would have liked to relate to them.  Not this.  Not this kind of a hard lesson.  Since I was 15 years old, I thought that I was bad for some reason.  That I was the common ground for everything that happened.  And since then, I’ve gone through some brainspotting therapy and found that you know, maybe I’m not the problem.  Maybe it’s just certain events that I have to go through.  Why?  I’ll never know.  But if there is this higher power, deity, etc?  We’re gonna have a mega sit down meeting to discuss why in that crossing over period.  Because I’m pissed off!

Grief is ugly.  It makes you question your sanity, your ideology, your everything.  And depending on the relationship you have with the deceased, it changes your desire for life.  I can honestly say I have questioned mine.  Especially after that episode of Supernatural that I watched a few weeks back.  (I mentioned it in a previous post, if you don’t know and wish to look back.)  I don’t enjoy things anymore, not like I have for a long time.  I’ve always felt that me enjoying things was somehow wrong.  And it’s especially wrong without my kids (especially Darrian).  I know that is something I will have to go through.  Every once in a while, I find nuggets of things that belonged to her that I didn’t realize were in the place that I looked – just to go through things.  A sort of spring cleaning if you will.  And it brings me back to that moment of… yea, she was here.  Mind you, it’s not like I feel like Jodi Foster in Flightplan.  I know she was here – but everyone else says – lady, you’re nuts.  She was never here.  No, everyone knows she was here.  And I do also.  Whether it be a drawing, her handwriting in a book, or other belongings of hers that I know where they are.  They are her.  And it’s hard.  Because every time I gaze upon one of those treasured/not so treasured items, I feel myself pulling my grief into myself.  And I hurt, all over again.

I didn’t know when I’d be ready, but I think I’m ready to donate Darrian’s clothing to either the Golden House or The Freedom House, which – both are very worthwhile organizations.  I think it would be good to find somewhere that could donate clothing to a teenage girl in need.  I’ll probably check with the Golden House first, then ask The Freedom House.  We’ll see.  I just wish it was as easy to wish her back again and into those clothing.  But I know it’ll never be.  So I can only hope for the next best thing.  For Darrian’s spirit to live through my memories.  In and of itself, that frightens me.  Because my memory sucks.  So I just do the best I can with what is left.

I know I have to get rid of some of her stuff anyway.  Because when we do move out of this place eventually, I don’t really want to take it all with us.  It doesn’t change anything.  And as much as I know that she wore these items, it doesn’t bring her back.  And that kills me.  So I have to remember, it is just stuff.  It’ll never be more than that.

I love you Darrian and I miss you.  And some day, in your memory, I hope to start playing the violin again.  That is my one hope that I can do this again, in your memory and for my pleasure.  I know I deserve to have pleasure again – and not just through you.  It’s just going to be really hard for me to grasp.

I love you, Darrian.  And I miss you so entirely.  My heart aches for you, and I will always be your mom.  I just hope that you’re resting easy wherever you are.  That no matter what, you know how much I love you.

Darrian’s Last School Picture: Junior Year 2015-2016

This will be the last high school picture.  We’ll never have the opportunity to do Senior pictures, or see her graduation.  Or other growing up milestones.  But, at least we got these.  Lifetouch studios gave us our pictures for free, probably the largest package (including a disc – printed on it :  In Memory of Darrian Seppanen)  I am grateful for their company’s compassion and heartfelt sentiments for our family.  Companies like those really show that compassion is not dead.

Darrian 2015-2016.jpg

My Heart is in Pieces

Since Darrian died on December 15th, 2015 (my daughter, for anyone who doesn’t know), I feel like my heart has been obliterated on so many levels.  I really thought that I knew grief pretty well – especially having been through it with my mom and my sister. However, I guess I just got cocky.

I don’t know what it’s like for most parents who lose a child.  For me, it’s been awful because she was the only kid in the house.  And now, not only is it quiet – but so many adjustments are being made on a day to day basis.  I’m trying to figure out whether I can move on at all, forgive Ashleigh (that is hard), and trying to figure out how this all happened to begin with!  We have yet to receive a death certificate – at all.  And we’d already prepaid for 3 copies!

At times, my brain says, you can do this.  Other times, I just want to fall apart and not care anymore if I live or die.  Last night I kept thinking about how much I wanted to be with her.  But falling apart knowing that I can’t. One day I’ll see her again, just not as soon as I’d like.

There was an episode in season 5 of Supernatural where Ellen, Jo, Dean, and Sam are going to this abandoned town that had been hit hard by the end of times.  They all locked themselves in after hellhounds chased them and one basically near gutted Jo.  Long story short,  the Winchester boys built a bomb to go off and Ellen laid down her life to be with her daughter.  Because she just couldn’t see being without her in her life.  I’m sure many bereaved parents feel the same way.  If we could only be with our kids.  It’s still selfish, but not all being selfish is bad.

I’ve been more sad lately, trying to get back to a norm that I’m not used to.  I am still cleaning out Darrian’s room.  Regarding paperwork and things like that.  I still have her bed and clothing as well as a few other belongings of her.  We just got her school pictures back and I’ve been giving them out as I’ve seen fit.

Eric and I have been trying to move.  We got approved for housing and are looking into places.  I started making phone calls today.  It feels weird knowing that I may have to dispense of her stuff quicker than I’d like to, to make sure that we have room for whatever stuff we bring with us.  I don’t really want to downsize too much because I would like to make sure I can have the bed still in our possession and her clothing – until I am ready to let those go.  As much as I know she isn’t coming back, her room is still kind of a blast from the past.  Everything is still there, to a degree.  Her bed is still there, clothes are packed away.  We’ve cleaned and vacuumed and emptied out drawers and stuff… but still.

I wish I could say that things were going to be easier.  Nothing is easy.  Nothing at all. Regardless of whether it’s a tv show, or a food item, or just some triggering idea or game, whatever…. it’s all there right in front of my face like it’s mocking me. All I can do is go through the motions and try to stay sane.  I have even contemplated how to be with her, but of course I CAN’T.  I only say it that way because I won’t do it.  As much as I might be desperate, I am not that person.  I know I would hurt more people than help them.  So to me it just seems as though I would be creating a disservice.

I just hope that she’s okay, wherever she is and that she knows how much I love her.  I’m pretty sure I already know the answer to those questions, but still.  Life is just awful when you lose your child.  I know it wasn’t my fault, couldn’t have been my fault, but it still seems terribly unfair to lose a child.  EVER.