After the loss of my daughter there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to live in the same house that she was hurt in. I made one visit back to that place to grab a few things and that was the last time I was ever there. Fortunately, I was able to get on post housing almost immediately after deciding that I was not going to be able to live there anymore. I had an extremely supportive group of people that I worked with. They did everything they could to make sure I was alright. I was given a lot of time to get my mind together and well enough to go back to work. Once I did return to work it was for only a few hours a day and some days as little as an hour just to get me back into the swing of it.
When I did return back to duty my family could not fathom me living 2 hours away from them and having no one there with me. My brother, who at the time was a senior in high school, decided that it only made sense for him to move away and be with me. (Josh ,I will forever be grateful for what you did for me… I know it wasn’t easy)
As I mentioned in a previous blog it took all the energy I had to get to work each day and when I did return home I didn’t want to leave my couch, not even to eat. I did go to the restroom though… My brother swears that if I had a bedside commode I would have NEVER left. I was awful. I was slipping into such a deep depression and it felt as though I was never going to get out of it…Here I was living in this hell hole with cinder block walls that the Army says is adequate housing, trying to just make it through each day. I had NO reason to keep moving on. Other than making sure that my ex husband never got to see another day of his life as a free man. The grief was over taking me in every aspect of my life.
My brother, who was and still is a social butterfly, begged me to just get up and get out of the house at least long enough to go to dinner. I finally decided that I would go. We went to dinner with a few of my friends from work. We knew it would be best if there were others there with us. It was actually nice to get out of there and just live a little bit. It wasn’t easy seeing all the happy little families, but I survived. As time went on, a couple of people I worked with would come over every day to either watch a movie with me or wash my clothes or just sit and cry with me. Going out to dinner started to become a regular event. Even during horrible snow storms… At that point there was a routine of people I could count on being there. They encouraged me and sometimes forced me to breathe in order to take little steps forward just in getting off the couch and out the door. I began to trust these few people. Trust… to this day isn’t something that comes easy for me, but that’s a blog for another day.
I gradually, with the support of these people and my brother, started to venture out a little bit more. Each new activity became a milestone. Going to the grocery store... going to the mall... going to get a pedicure… Every aspect of everything I did turned into a monumental occasion, bringing me hope and comfort that I would be able to survive this. I began looking forward to tackling each new adventure. This became my outlet from the grief. It wasn’t always easy, but it was worth it in the end.
When this horrible tragedy takes place our entire lives are turned upside down. Even little things that we sometimes take for granted, like going out to dinner, become such overwhelming things to do. We just assume not do them sometimes, but if we don’t face these challenges head on, we have allowed the pain and the hurt to become who we are. My little steps were facing all of these challenges with all the faith that God would get me through it... Pretty sure that none of them were easy. Then again, no one ever said they would be. They just said that it would be worth it~