I grew up in the funeral business. Quite used to death being around me, but not affecting me. I was eight years old the first time I remember being afraid of death. I found out that after we die, our nicely embalmed bodies still decay. That we too can be like dinosaur bones. That a spirit is not necessarily in the shape of our body. It was YEARS before I could deal with that information.
I’ve seen it. I’ve smelled it. I went to college and drove used cars from the financial gain of it.
I’ve seen people of all ages after they die. People I have never met. People I would never have known about, had they not been laying in, essentially, the downstairs of my house.
I’ve seen my great-grandmother, both grandfathers, a grandmother, and my father all after they died. Most before they were all “prettified” for viewing. I’ve watched the ashes of a friend’s father be poured into the ground – held my breath because I was terrified of inhaling a puff of Richard. I’ve seen clients I’d grown to love – age 9 and age 79. The wooden urn holding a sorority sister being carried out of the church.
Three of my closest friends were plowed into by a drunk driver* – -broken bones, faces, shouldn’t have survived, and they did. That was the first time I truly realized I was not immortal. Innocence was lost that morning when I heard the news.
Anniversary dates are rough. The span of March 29 through April 6 was just designated ‘teh suck’ because that whole stretch of time marked a collection of days that stole pieces of innocence.
Six months ago – exactly six months ago right now, I sat on Skype with my girls and we celebrated April 7. Celebrated the end of the suck and the beginning of a new year.
Shortly after nine am on April 8th, I learned that April 7th was in no way the end of the suck.
It was the end of innocence. The beginning of the rest of my life with the blinders off. The beginning of me watching Alex a little more closely – Praying a little more often for his safety … Â because I’ve seen it up close – I’ve seen … I see …
In the last six months, I’ve noticed my temper flaring less often. Because srsly? Perspective? I can haz it.
The loss of innocence brought a loss of fear as well. A balance of “you wanna mess with me punk? do ya?” and “doesn’t matter if I worry, sometimes I’m just helpless”.
The loss of innocence brought the beginning of me learning to love my friends out loud. Partially because we’ve tightened our arms around each other these last few months. Partially because DAMN sisters – I want you on MY side. (You know who you are – I’m not naming names.)
I turned my blog purple on April 7th. I’ve gradually faded the purple out to a less in your face kind of purple. It’s still in the header – but it’s letting new colors in. Over on the sidebar – that’s my Maddie place. It links to my Maddie posts. I’m keeping her here, I’m just making room at the table for the little girl who is coming into our community
As an aside – to my troll – you aren’t wanted or welcome here. Go away. You don’t belong here.
*Jennifer – this was the wreck in Sep 1995 in Springfield out on Battlefield by the theater
It’s a time that touched a lot of people, not sure if I could ever have fully understood prior to being a parent.
I actually just sent Heather an email about tomorrow. Six months is particularly difficult.
This is a lovely thing you did here. I love when you post.
Love you, friend.
Definitely touched a lot of people. I don’t know if I can fully understand, but I think I understand pretty damn well for someone who is not a parent.
Ever since Maddie, I have cared less about the small stuff, and tried to really emphasize the important stuff.
I knew, before, that life and health were the most important things. Maddie put an exclamation point on that.
Sarcastic Mom / Lotus
B still asks to see Maddie.
It is not hard to find her if I am in the right places.
Love you! Great post.
Thinking of Maddie today and ALWAYS!
I’ll never forget that day.
Or how much we support each other. XO
Each day I think of Maddie Moo. I lost a surrogate niece. I truly did. Our daughters were supposed to dance together.
Heather / The Mother Tongue
You have such an amazing perspective on loss and living mindfully, Dawn. Beautifully said.
jennifer, playgroups are no place for children
Beautifully said, Dawn. Perspective is something that I’ve gained through Maddie’s passing, because you’re right…srsly.
And I don’t recall a bad car accident…I’ll ask my mom. She remembers everything.
the planet of janet
yes. just … yes
Serenity Now Sunday – October 11, 2009 | Room 704
[…] years brings a LOT of history. I almost lost my best friend, once upon a time. She was in that car that was slammed by that drunk […]