Learning to deal with the loss of a loved one.

I sit here and stare at this screen, without knowing how to put all of my thoughts into this post. I am exhausted, overwhelmed and absolutely heartbroken.

These past few years have been pretty emotional. Death is a horrible, rotten, final moment. Death is an emotional roller coaster that you can never just get off of. No matter how many times you try to leap off it's ups and downs you are stuck. There really is nothing you can do emotionally to fix it.

My very first death experience was when I was eight years old. My Grandpa whom I loved very much passed away. We lived with my grandparents for a few months when I was little while my parents built their house. I am so grateful for this time I had with my Grandpa. This was when he was healthy. He moved well and could run around the yard with me. I really bonded with him. After moving away we still got to visit him. After a while his health started to go. In and out of the hospital. I remember the day vividly. I was running up the stairs to find my sister, brother and mom all huddled in the kitchen crying. I knew he was gone. That heartbreak was a defining one in my eight year old little brain. It hurt so bad. Like someone had driven a truck through my chest. I don't even know what I last said to him and that hurts the worst. Did I say goodbye? Every time I read something on the internet about these horrible people on the Earth I think, why are they still alive and my grandpa isn't?

I was pregnant with Aria and I was so so sick. I remember feeling my Grandpa there with me. I know he helped me through that horrific part of my pregnancy. After Aria was born I was so so emotional. I wanted so badly for her to have met him. He's the only great grandpa he has and he wasn't there. I was lying on my parents couch one day napping with Aria. She woke up looked up at his picture on the wall and said "Hi Pop pop!" I almost lost it. It was so comforting to know he had already met him and knew who he was. No one ever referred to him as pop pop, that was just something she knew him by in a previous life I guess. That moment comforted me and made me feel more at peace with his death than I ever have. A week after that I had a dream where we were are an aircraft museum looking at fighter jets. Brandon was there talking to a gentlemen I didn't yet recognize. As the man turned around I knew who he was. The joy I felt was overwhelming. He came over to me and gave me a hug and he told me what a good guy Brandon was. That again was so comforting, because these two would have gotten along so well. Brandon has a lot of qualities my Grandpa had.

I thought this would be the end of this stupid roller coaster, but no.

A few years ago my sister and I were playing Mortal Kombat together. It was cold and snowy out so we were just in lounge mode. My mom was vacuuming when she got a call from my cousin. She told my mom that her sister had been life flighted. We thought everything was going to be okay. We got a call back that she was gone. That moment seeing my mom's eyes when she told us. It felt like someone pulled a rug out from under me and there was no bottom to that fall. Just a few short months I had the strongest feeling that I needed to go with my mom to visit her. My sister, mom, grandma and I all made the trip down south to visit her. I am so comforted that I got to see her, hug her and say goodbye to her one last time. My heart was broken for all my cousins. I love them very much. I was especially heart broken for my youngest cousin Talon. I never had a little brother, and I feel like he was the closest I would get to have one. This was a weird experience with death for me. It was eerily comforting. I was not as mad with this one I was my grandpa's. I just felt peaceful, heartbroken, but oddly at peace.

At my wedding my cousin Tenille made me cry. I walked into the room where Brandon and I got sealed. I didn't know she would be there but I saw her sitting there and her mom was right there next to her. I started to cry, it was again that eerily creepy comforting feeling. I was so happy to have them both there. I know that sounds so weird and crazy, but it was as clear as day to me. I will love that little memory forever.

The roller coaster continued..

My sweet uncle Bill. He was the uncle that I grew closest too. I got to see him a lot when we lived with my Grandparents. He had always had health issues. He was the sweetest man you would ever meet. For Christmas each year he always gave us those lifesaver Christmas candies. It came with a book, a sleeve of candy, and an ornament. Such a small but sweet gesture. He taught us so many things about computers. He was incredibly smart. That man could do anything with his mind. He had always been in and out of the hospital and I remember knowing in my heart this one would be the last. I am glad I got to say hi and bye to him, but I kind of regret it because he was hooked up to so many machines, he looked horrible and I just wanted to remember the uncle Bill I knew and loved. This uncle was sick and I didn't really feel like he was there. His body was but, he was already gone. I was freshly preggers at the time, sick, and so sad. I was so happy for him to be out of that body. I am sure the minute he crossed over to the other side he just ran. Something he really couldn't do in this life. That was the thing that comforted me the most. That he was so much happier on the other side. He could be so much happier, healthier and do things he could never do here.

Just as we reached the smooth part of the roller coaster there was a devastating drop. With no bottom in sight.

When there is a loss of a child in any shape of form you lose your grounding. I have not lost my own child, but between families there have been some devastating losses. Losing a child is senseless and depressing. There is no rhyme or reason. This is one I have not been able to over come. I feel like society makes it so hard to talk about. With miscarriages, or stillbirths, this is a baby we are talking about. We should talk about them. It's the loss of a life. I think about one baby in particular every day. I look at Aria and I think about this mom and her sweet baby that was ripped away from her. I struggle everyday with the huge question mark hanging over my head. This part of the roller coaster has been that dreaded drop. The one that puts a knot in your stomach. It is such a sickening feeling that won't go away. I can't even imagine the nightmare this sweet mama must be living. I do know that she will get to see that baby again. I do know that all these moments she missed out on will be made up to her.

This may sound silly, but we had a cat recently pass. He was no ordinary cat. He adopted us, he was pushing 23 years old, and he was beyond the sweetest cat you would ever meet. I was actually lying next to him when he died. I can honestly say I know what people mean when they say death can be beautiful. Ghost was sick, he had been sick for a little while, losing weight and not doing much but sleeping. He was incredibly old and we knew it was time. We had set up a time to go put him down, but in sweet little Ghostie form he was going to do it on his own terms. He was lying there panting and all the sudden he was running in place as fast as he could go and then his eyes glazed over and he was gone. I was so grateful to be there for his death. He got to cross that rainbow bridge running. Something his little arthritic body hasn't been able to do for a while. That to me was beautiful. That cat was such a big part of our family. I know he's just a cat, but man you sure get attached to these little fur balls.

What this long post is trying to say is Death is hard. It's a sickening roller coaster that never ends. You think your to the ending where it is all smooth and your about to get off, when a drop comes out of no where. At first you loose your breath, the air gets knocked out of you, you get whipped around , you get sick. You think that parts over but you go around another corner and feel those waves again. Over time the space out, sometimes they don't show up for a few days, months, years. Something will trigger that roller coaster and down you go. Down that gut wrenching drop. I can't say it will ever end, this is life...it won't. Surround yourself with the people you know that can help you through it.

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