Saturday, April 4, 2009

How do I go on?

This morning I wrote my daughter's obituary. It gave me no pleasure that the funeral director commented on how clear and precise the obituary was.

Tomorrow her death notice will appear in the paper. These aren't things that should happen in the life of a parent. It is unnatural to be living through this hell.

I chose a funerary urn that was so Stephanie. It is ebony with gold engravings all over it. It borders on gaudy, but instead it appears exotic, as she was. Pete will have a smaller version of the urn with some of her remains in it to have on his desk or wherever he wishes to carry her. I chose an ornate cylinder pendant which will hold some of her remains. I will always be able to wear her next to my heart. Her urn will have a special place of honor in our home.

Even her grandmother, the last surviving grandparent, will have a tiny urn filled with Stephanie's ashes.

Maybe I could not make her happy in life, but I firmly believe that in Heaven, where she now resides with all of our family members who have gone ahead of us (including her beloved Grandpa), she looks down on us and knows - just knows in the clarity only those who have become one with God know - that we love her with an intensity that knows no bounds.

Our phones have been ringing unceasingly. People want to know what they can do. Can they bring her back? I only wish I had one more chance to try one more time to bring her out of the darkness in which her heart always lived.

The outpouring of love and support from all of you has been such a blessing to my family. Thank you.

We are asking that if you have it in your heart to make a memorial donation (because for a memorial service, flowers would be one more thing for us to deal with that we just can't), please donate to the Lupus Foundation of America ( or the National Alliance on Mental Illness ( And if not, please just keep praying for her soul.

Thank you - D


Ruth D~ said...

I will send a donation to the National Alliance on Mental Illness . . . for reasons you know.

Here begins the hardest thing you have ever dealt with, I venture to say--living on after the death of a child.

It can be done. It has been done many times before you. But it will hurt! Forever.

Sending love.

Bob Sanchez said...

Doris, I am so deeply sorry.


SOUL: said...

OMG Doris---
i am so sorry. i'm sorry of course for your loss-- but also that i have not taken the time to swing by here and visit you. i feel awful that i didn't hear about this sooner. i am at a loss for words i think...and that seems odd for a person who has been where you are. my prayers are so with you and all of your family.
i am with you in spirit through this and always available if you want to talk , text or email. if you need anything please let me know. and i know-- those words aren't much when you face this ... because i know-- the only thing you need is to have your baby back.
just remember -- her suffering, in so many ways, is now over. she is in Heaven, and now she watches over you.
love, and Gods peace to you

gail said...

I am deeply, deeply sorry..... you are most certainly in my prayers.

big Jenn said...

I came over from Syd's blog. I lost my daughter a year and a half ago. I'm sorry for your loss and am here for support if you need to "talk". Feel free to email me if you wish. jeNN

Mike Golch said...

Doris,even though I never had children,I had a feiend out in California that did lose a chile.He was in pain for days after.the best thing I could do for him was lend a shoulder to lean on. In the cyber world Please know that you have mant virtual sholders out here.

Drowsey Monkey said...

I am so sorry to hear about your daughter. I was just looking at the photos in the previous post and she was lovely.

I love how you describe the urn - and it sounds perfect for her. I like the idea of how loved ones will smaller versions of the urn - that's very special. We did something similar when a loved one passed.

Not being a parent I can only imagine how you're feeling right now - and my heart goes out to you. I do sense that you're a very strong person with lots of support around you.

I'll be thinking of you, your family and especially your daughter.

Childlife said...

Oh, Doris! I just now saw your last two posts in my reader -- I wish there were words, something, anything I could say or do that could make what you're living right now even the tiniest bit easier.

I know there isn't, but I want you to know that I care. Oh, how I care! I read that line you wrote about people asking if there was anything they could do and your silent question, "Can they bring her back?" and the tears are still falling.

I know it isn't much, but I hope there's a little comfort in knowing that another mother is grieving with you this night. You're a beautiful soul, D, and it hurts to know what you're being asked to face right now.

So in the absence of any material thing I could give in a vain attempt to ease your heartache, may I just sit and grieve with you awhile?

My soul keeps company with yours as the tears fall.

Much love and even more prayers,


Cloudia said...

You are in our thoughts & prayers!!


Woman in a Window said...

thinking of you and not knowing anything right now -

Lorna said...

Oh Doris....... I'm so sorry. Words cannot say, but you are in my thoughts and my wishes for you now are for peace and a new start in a new life.


TraceyBaby said...

Doris, I have never read your blog before. Syd sent me over. Did your daughter have a drug problem? Was she mentally ill or both? (Don't take the time to answer).

My sons are both severely bipolar and one is a very ill drug addict. I wonder how long his life will be on this earth. I wonder it often. He is 22.

I am very familiar with NAMI. They are awesome.

Recently I have felt that I need to use Al-Anon to make me even stronger in case I have to deal with his death some day.

I can't imagine, but I kind of can.

I don't want to.

My heart goes out to you and you will be in my prayers.

The only relief that I think I could feel if I lost my son is that I would know for certain that he is in a better place.

Much love and support,


Maggie May said...

I have just been reading the comments from the last post and everyone is so genuinely shocked and feels for you and your loss.
Take one step at a time, Doris.
There is no easy way. ((hugs)) x

the walking man said...

It is all I can do Doris...I am sad with you.

Mother, mother; don’t weep for me.
The time for tears is well past
as my spirit soars perfectly free at last.

no more cause…too
no more trouble…for
no more bubble…to
no more pause…for

Father, father; don’t let me go into dark night
remembering only my failure in living;
hold instead your love for me close in memories sight

no more cause…
no more trouble…
no more bubble…
no more pause…

Brother, brother; I have to go now
to a place I never knew
hold my hand before I leave, good bye to you.

no more cause
no more trouble
no more bubble
no more pause

Family, family; It is easier to say now from this shadowy world
If you could believe it so; I loved you as well as I could.
Forgive me one last time, comfort each other; think on the good.

Written for Stephanie Nicole Pavlichek (1/12/84) - (4/3/09)

justLacey said...

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there; I did not die.

Stephanie will always continue to be with you. Her soul surrounds you everywhere and every day. My heart breaks for you because the pain you feel now is so inescapable. It will lessen in time, but never go away completely. You will feel happiness again someday. I know it seems so unlikely now. I read some of your blog and noticed you are studying to become a grief counselor. How sad for you to have to feel this grief now.
I came over from Writing From the Inside Out where Barbara mentioned you in her blog. I felt that even though we don't know each other I had to say something. Sometimes the most comfort comes from people who we think will provide the least and the people with think will be the most comforting are not. It's always been so ironic to me, but I have found it to be true.

justLacey said...

Excuse my errors, I couldn't see through my tears.

Mental P Mama said...

Dear Doris,

Your strength and grace are an inspiration to me. And I believe in my heart that Stephanie knows just how much you love her, and how very much you did to help her heal. I am sending light and peace to you all.

Akelamalu said...

I have buried two grandchildren so I have some idea of what you are going through m'dear. My prayers and thoughts are with you. x

ConverseMomma said...

I am sure you made her very happy many, many times. Oh, please tell yourself, remember all those times that you did.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

I am very, very sorry for your deeply tragic loss, dear Doris.

There are no words to express our feelings for what you must be going through at this horribly sad time...

Only know that there is no right or wrong way to grieve - Do what you must to get by - Scream, rail, shout in the shower while the water helps you heal, weep in public, do not make any big decisions at this time about your life, but try to celebrate your daughter's intense spirit and love for you all. This is all one can do...

I wish for you the courage to endure, and know that you will feel our warm embrace from afar in this place. Bless you.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

I love you, hon. I so very wish I could make this go away, to make it all better. I absolutely ache for you. And I'm hugging Amelia really hard.

I keep small pinch of my dad's ashes in a pendant that I sometimes wear when I need him close to me. I think keeping your daughter with you is a wonderful idea.

Please know that we're all here for you whenever you're ready.

Daryl said...

I wish there was a way to bring some comfort to you now. Time and good memories ... dont focus on what you think you could have done but focus on the things you two did that were happy and loving ... find comfort there...

Cynthia said...

I am deeply saddened by your loss. It's so hard to absorbe. How can such a loss happen? I'm new to your blog and do not know the details but I will send love and light to your dear daughter. May her spirit be in peace and her soul soar. And may you be able to assimilate this pain and again make meaning in your life. Such a shock.

May all love surround you.
May the light that shines within you guide your way on. <3

Scott W said...

Prayers offered for your daughter, you and your family.

ShuttlePilot said...

D --

The news of your daughter's death so saddened me when I learned of it last night.

I wish I had words that would help, unfortunately words always seem to fail me during times like this -- as my mind immediately moves back to it's Artist's roots.

Therefore, picture the two of us with tea, quiet conversation, and shared tears.

With much love and deep sadness,

PS -- the word verification blurb to allow this post is: anogizes. An anagram of agonizes. There's something a bit profound in even the mindless computer generated garble, understanding that you're in such deep pain.

SOUL: said...

just checkin on you.
please don't let this destroy you-- or cause you to leave your blog---too many people care about you.

when i faced this-- i wrote-- a lot. maybe writing will help you too.

i am thinking of you today--

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

You have been in my thoughts for days now, since your last post. There are no words. Just thoughts and deep feelings.


Not Afraid to Use It said...

I love that you will all be able to have her ashes in places that mean the most to you. And on a personal note, that funeral director can suck it. I don't know if he meant that as a compliment or not, but you would think in a profession such as his that tact would be a requirement.

Ask Aunt B said...

I can not fathom your loss, I just can't. I can only pray for your loss, pray for your calm assurance, pray that your faith sustains you and pray that Jesus holds your hand throughout. Jesus weeps for you.

You will remain in my prayers. I am at such a loss for words, a rarity for me but simply know that your daughter is jumping for joy and finally feeling that joy which eluded her. She misses you already but awaits your arrival."She'll be the one with the floppy hat." <--(I don't know what that means)She said to stop crying it's OK. Trust in that.

TSannie said...

No parent should have to bury their child. It just isn't right. And you have to. I am so very very sorry.

Jay said...

The funeral urn sounds perfect, and the idea of giving smaller ones containing her ashes to people who loved her is a beautiful one.

She herself was beautiful. But clearly, she was very, very troubled. You did all you could, but sometimes troubled souls simply cannot be helped.

We must each make our own way through this life, and I've always held the view that we are here to learn lessons. Maybe Stephanie learned all hers and was released from her troubled existence?

Both my mother and my mother-in-law lost adult children. It is such a painful thing. Many hugs to you, Doris.

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Dear Doris,
I have already left you a message on your previous post...
I am extremely sad to hear your terrible, terrible news.
My thoughts and prayers are with you, nothing prepares you for a shock like this, I hope you find peace and strength to carry on.
Keep strong Dear Friend.
Huge Hugs and Love
Donnie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I am so sorry for your loss.