Saturday, October 13, 2012

Capture Your Grief- Day 11: Friends and Family

Day 11: Supportive Friends and Family

This is a really emotional thing for me to talk about- even think about... In fact, I've been avoiding this post for days... So here it goes...

Of course, there were a few people that completely disappointed me in the way they handled things after Ellie died. But the majority of people surrounding us were amazing. More than amazing.

The day Ellie got sick plays in my mind like a slow motion movie. Some parts are hazy, some parts I have no recollection of, and some parts are crystal clear- like they just happened yesterday.
I can remember sitting in the PICU waiting room while they intubated Ellie and texting my friends. To be honest, I thought I was overreacting. I felt almost silly getting other people involved...
I can remember calling another friend on the way to the next hospital while following the ambulance. I remember the words spilling out of my mouth and being in just as much disbelief as she was...
I can remember seeing our moms for the first time when we got to the second hospital...
I can remember our dads seeing Ellie for the first time...
I can remember not wanting our siblings to come to the hospital because I didn't want them to have the memories of Ellie looking the way she did...
I can remember the sadness in my grandparents eyes...

I don't remember who called our friends and family- I don't really care to know... I may have called but I don't really know... But after the doctors said it was time to let her go, we told them to keep her alive until they all got there. When we called, they all came. Of course, we expected that our parents, grandparents and siblings would come. They needed to be there for themselves too. But our friends didn't have to come. They could have said it was too much. But they didn't. They showed up in the middle of the night and walked into an absolute nightmare. I still can't think about that without crying.
Ellie didn't need them there that night. Dave and I did. I hate that our friends and families will forever carry around memories of that night. I know some of what they felt that night but very little. I've never been brave enough. Selfish, I know. I just don't think that I could handle it. Words can't even express how grateful I am for our friends being there that night and that they were willing to carry part of the burden for us.

Even in all the anger and sadness I've felt since Ellie was ripped away from us, the love that we've been shown has been so overwhelming. Our parents just took over for us. They directed us and made sure Max was taken care of. I can definitely say that I would not have survived without our parents. One friend called me nearly every day for almost a year, and she never forgot an important day. Our friends have helped us get Ellie's Light going and remember her on anniversaries and birthdays. They kept us distracted and realized when we needed to just have a drink!
What has really amazed me is all of the support we've received from complete strangers and people with whom we'd lost contact with... People that I had been friends with in middle school and high school but hadn't talked to in years suddenly reappeared in our lives to show their support.

Losing Ellie is, by and far, the worst thing that has ever happened to me. But even in all the darkness, it's been a truly amazing thing to see the light of Ellie's love shining through all of these people around us.

2 comments:

LauraJane said...

Reading what you wrote about thinking maybe you were overreacting... I so felt the same way. When Jack was having his spinal tap done, Scott called to find out where we were (bc we had just gone in for a lactation consultation) and when I told him he asked if he should come by... I remember hesitating and telling him I just didn't know. It's paralyzing to remember those moments...Thinking and loving your little girl as the two year anniversary approaches.

Jocelyn said...

I have never had a loss such as you have. I am so sorry for your loss.

I was thinking about the friends part. Maybe your friends knew that you would need support in your darkest hours and that's why they came too. What amazing friends you have.

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