I think Jillian’s brother, Josh, has it right. "There is no sugar coating what happened to Jillian. It should not have happened. It sucks, and I’m not okay with it".
Yesterday the reality of losing my daughter, my children’s sister, smashed me to my knees. I remember telling a good friend of mine a few months before Jillian died that I was afraid if I let go of that tight grip I had on myself, I’d fall into that deep, dark, hole and never find my way back out again.
Jillian is everywhere in this house. I have always had tons of pictures hanging on the walls with the kids photo’s. She is in every room. She’s in my freezer, in the bathroom. Constant memories are flooding me where ever I turn. And that’s a good thing. Until it hits me once again that I won’t be able to touch her, to kiss that sweet forehead goodnight. Our relationship has always been a tactile one. Especially the last few months. Helping her walk, her every day care. Rubbing lotion on her face, arms, hands and feet. There is something so comforting about that touch. An expression of love when no words are needed. I so miss that.
The emotion’s change quickly however. Now I’m mad. I’m mad at the person working the register at the grocery store who wants to know if I’m having a good day. “No, not so much you see, I had a memorial service for my 23 year old daughter who died of Melanoma Cancer the other day, and I had to force myself to come here for milk”. I’m mad at every single person who is going on with their life, while mine has come to a screeching halt.
And then I’m not mad, because I want life to go on for that person at the grocery store, and for everyone around me. We live in a vibrant, exciting world with so many possibilities, and opportunities to explore. I want to be a part of that world too.
What I am realizing is that I will grieve in my own way, in my own time. Just like every person that was touched by Jillian in some way. There is no right or wrong way. These are uncharted waters and I’m going to do it MY way. I’m going to embrace the feelings I’m having in the moment and remember all I need to do is get through this minute the best way I can. And pray.
Yesterday I had several text messages from friends and co-workers. Today I had a beautiful bouquet of flowers delivered to my home from a very dear friend of mine. God sent in His angels for me. I think He’s going to be busy with me for a while.
But, I’m still standing, Jillian. Still standing.