Tuesday, January 15, 2013

No Warm Fuzzies...

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.



  1. There are no words Susan. There just aren't any words. Sending so much love to you!

  2. You are an angel yourself. I so value our friendship. Together WE will fight THE beast and honor Jillian.

  3. Dear Sue
    Is it possible to know from one moment to the next how you will feel,how you will react? I can't imagine it at all-- not for some time. Maybe it makes you feel out of control or crazy,but you absolutely are neither of those things. What you are is a grieving Mom who has spent the last 2 years of her life loving and trying to rescue her beautiful baby girl.....Oh God I cannot know your pain.I can imagine it,try to feel it,and it's too painful to go there.
    I don't know how long your emotions will vacillate,but just let them out. Everything is raw right now and I am sure that sometimes even when it feels like the hurt is healing,it will rip open at the slightest provocation.
    I hate that life is unfair. I am sorry that you hurt so much. You will get to where you want and need to be. You may not be exactly the same Sue, but you will be the right Sue for you.
    I hope someday you publish the blogs of Jillian's and your journey . People should know your story.
    I am thinking of you all the time.
    Much affection,

  4. Take the days one at a time...embrace the memories of yesterday, and don't worry about what will happen tomorrow. Today is all that matters. Take care of you...Jillian needs to see that you will be ok. And you will be ok. For those moments you find yourself in that deep, dark hole, lean on your strong support system. We will help get you back up again. Fall down seven, stand up eight...And I know you will!

    Love you...


  5. I hear you ...

    Donna (Jaime's mom)

  6. Dear Sue,
    A number of years ago, when I was facing the loss of one of my "Angel Babies", a sister/friend told me something so simple...yet it had a profound affect on my life then and now. She said that I had a right to feel whatever I was feeling at any given moment. I came to understand that for me, there was no skirting the edges of grief...that I had to walk right through it until I came out the other side (wherever that led me). I also learned, for the first time, how to say "No" as a means to protect myself. So that now when I say "Yes" to something or someone, I really mean it. I trult felt you yesterday. I could not sleep after reading Jonathan's blog. And so I got on up and decided to check on you this early morning.

  7. Tears. Thank you for sharing with us!!!! I love you, Susan.

  8. Thank you everyone for the wonderful, loving, words of encouragement. I too, am not going to mask these feelings I have. It's okay to feel the harsh reality of grief. How can we not? I will honor Jillian by sharing her story and spreading awareness, and I will honor myself by embracing the raw feelings as the tsunami hits.

  9. you are going to make it, day by day minute by minute.
    many many prayers, and hugs sent your way.
    love Casey's mom

  10. Amen....and we have strong knees for a reason.

  11. I stand beside you... no matter what. Love.

  12. Love you so much. Always here for you my friend! We will always make sure that Jillian is never, ever forgotten, not just for her courageous battle against melanoma, but for the person she made all of us. Her light will shine on forever. xoxo