Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What Would I Change?

Dear God this is hard....

This has been the worst week of my life. I'm moving as though through Jell-O, yet I see myself doing the things that need to be done -- writing the obituary and the memorial for her in the church program; scanning in photographs of her for the memorial slideshow (embedded below); selecting music and a photograph for the program; burning discs to take to the church so they can test everything today; picking up family at the airport; greeting family and friends showing up at the door; feeding people; washing clothes; cleaning; feeding the animals...How am I doing all of this?

I have some very good friends who are pouring their love out on us and a very powerful God who won't let me just curl up in the bed and die myself. Stephanie asked me bluntly one time - which was her manner - "What would you do if I died?" I said, after recovering from the shock, "I would die, too." But I haven't. God knows my journey isn't finished here. In some ways, it is just beginning. Right now there isn't much that matters to me. I'm holding it together, sure, but I feel simply hollowed out and tired. My soul aches. My heart fights to keep beating. My brain won't stop replaying everything, looking for a loophole that would let her live again, let me turn back the clock and change things. I know exactly when I would go back to. I would go back to the day when I thought about making the decision to move us all to Seattle for a year so that we could be together while I was working (before that I was traveling heavily). I thought it would be best; I missed the kids, missed my husband. It was in Seattle that my innocent girl was attacked and raped. The course of her life changed. We saw the light change in her eyes, and though we tried everything to get to the root of the change, she didn't let the secret go for 5 years.

Oh, how we mourned. We tried so hard, so hard. Nothing worked. Nothing made a difference. I only hope that the little girl who lived deep inside her knew - how very, very much we loved her and wanted to save her.

A friend sent me this poem, which is beautiful. I wanted to share it with you.

Tis like a homing dove.
How could I long for a place unseen
and feel His endless love?
Homesick and worn,
I strive each day,
A broken soul to love.
But my broken heart aches to join
My Savior up above.
How long must I fight the battles,
On tearstained fields for Thee?
"Until your task is finished here,"
He firmly says to me.
"I've covered your scars with my blood.
I've washed your hands and feet.
I've taken the sins of your soul,
To the mercy seat."
What love I feel in His voice,
His hands outstretched to me.
I'll serve until that moment,
His loving face I'll see.
- Anita Corinne Donihue


37 comments:

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

Good for you. Keep on keeping on. Rome wasnt built in a day..

The Fountain is a good film as well
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDp-F3Y97ZQ&feature=related

Syd said...

Doris, take care of yourself in all of this. I've seen this happen in which there is a whirlwind with no time for grief and then there is the time after the service when people just crash. I read On Death and Dying by Kubler-Ross and it was spot on for me. I guess that I would hope that you will be gentle with yourself and give yourself time to grieve. Thinking about you.

Leslie: said...

Oh Doris, I feel your pain so deeply because I've been so very close to having the same thing happen to me re my daughter and also having lost my husband to suicide. All I can say is that God is keeping you going and numbing everything right now. Take it a day at a time but be prepared for later - it will hit you even harder. I hope you have a good support system there, people who will understand that you will need them even more in a little while and for a long while. My hearts breaks for you and your family. God bless you as you go through this terrible time.

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

I cannot even pretend to know what you must be going through right now. I can't imagine.

Kim said...

My heart hurts for you. God bless you for getting what you need to get done. You are in my prayers.

Annette said...

I agree with Syd. Take good care Love. My heart is with you and you are in my prayers.

Hilary said...

Allow your friends and relatives to take care of you. That was a lovely and touching slide show. My heart aches for you.

Daryl said...

Please take some time for yourself, sit down with your husband and just let go ... know those of us who cant come in person to the church will be there in spirit and will keep her in our hearts/thoughts along with you and your husband and son ...

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Doris, know that we are thinking of you and helping to lift you through this, and your faith will hold you gently as you do what you must do to stay and hold on to this life, and your great loves...

You have done your dear daughter great justice with the slideshow - So beautiful and warm. And please try not to blame yourself for your move - What happened was to your daughter was indeed terrible, but also random, and not of your doing...

...Just a thought - I found that watching What Dreams May Come helped me a little bit with some of the lengthy, lengthy grieving for my much-loved dad.

I wish you and yours great peace, Doris x

septembermom said...

Touching slide show. I especially liked the picture of Stephanie on the bench swing. God bless you and your family.

Maggie May said...

Doris, glad I caught this post just before I go away till next week.
Felt privileged to look at the slide show.
Glad you are not curling up and dying and that God is looking after you.
Will be thinking of you and wishing you well over the next few difficult days ahead,
Take it in bite sized chunks. Don't look too far ahead.
Love, prayers and hugs X

SandyCarlson said...

I just watched the slideshow. Surely, she was a beloved girl. I hope she is at peace, and I hope you and your family find peace. I am so very, very sorry.

Marty said...

I will hold you all up in my prayer tonight (right now too!)

Marty said...

I know that you already know this but I wanted to say, your daughter was a beautiful girl.

Mental P Mama said...

Holding you all.

San said...

Doris, that is a beautiful montage of moments in Stephanie's life. Clearly, many of those moments were very happy ones spent with her beloved family.

My hurt hurts for you.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

You will get there. Absolutely. I promise you that one morning, you're going to wake up and realize that you didn't think about her at all the day before. That you were so busy, the requisite thought didn't cross your mind. And you will cry from guilt when that moment happens. But at the same time? That moment is the first step in your healing process.

Take it one second at a time. You will make it. I know you will.

I love you, hon, and wish so very much that I could be there.

Robin said...

I just heard of your loss through another blog, and came here to check in. I don't know what to say. I can't know what to say.

I'm so so sorry for your loss.

Keep writing. Just keep writing.

SOUL: said...

i think of you all the time through this.
don't forget about you. ok.
i'm wishing you rest and healing of your soul. that deep pain is unrelentless.
i'll pray for you. and your family.

soul.

ConverseMomma said...

This is not your fault. Please tell me you know that. Please. I am so sorry your daughter suffered that attack. So very sorry.

the walking man said...

Courage Strength

Moannie said...

All I can do is wish you the strength to carry on and know that all the love in the world could not have changed your beautiful daughters path. Now your goal must be to cherish the good times you had to trust in your belief and know that you are loved, that His hand is on your shoulder.

ɹǝƃƃolquǝʞoʇ said...

Oh, my God. I am so sorry for your loss.

Burgh Baby said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I'll be thinking of you, and hoping you are able to find some peace.

dawn224 said...

I'm really sorry, know yet another person is trying to carry a piece of your sorrow today -

Real Live Lesbian said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Sending up prayers for you and wishing you peace.

Priscilla said...

I am sorry for the loss of your daughter. I will pray for your family and may you find peace and comfort in God's love.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Perhaps it's better to keep busy for now. You will need to rest though, once you have tranquility in your heart.

CJ xx

UBERMOUTH said...

Your strength & faith in God after such tragedy is admirable.

RachelW said...

I am so, so sorry. From one mother to another...

Employee No. 3699 said...

Peace...it's what you wish us when you sign off in your comments; it's what I'm wishing you and your family.

I know you are a strong woman, but don't be afraid to lean on others. I hope you know you are in my thoughts.

Linda~

Akelamalu said...

Thankyou for sharing your beautiful daughter with us in the slides. My heart is breaking for you. You will get through all this, because you have to. I'm thinking of you. x

Not Afraid to Use It said...

Grieve in every way you know how. Do your best not to shut out the help and offers of love that come your way. You may want to, and sometimes it is okay to lock yourself away in the dark. But don't do it for very long. The world needs your light in it. Let us help you shine it brightly.

shrec said...

Doris - that was a beautiful slideshow of your daughter. I'm so sorry that you're going through all this - but please don't blame yourself. If you hadn't moved to Seattle, things may not have turned out much differently. Remember that it's not so much what happens to us that determines our happiness or equanimity, it's how we deal with it. You did your best, but with the best will in the world you could not - and should not - have lived Stephanie's life for her.

Take care of yourself. And take care of Mr River Poet too.

xx

annoyedangel said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss. Your slideshow was amazing. Please keep posting and sharing your feelings about what you've been through - you never know who it can help. And it will probably help you through this as well.

Woman in a Window said...

Ah, geez, I morn for you and I mourn for her. Love, I can do nothing else. mend.

TSannie said...

Your montage was beautiful. Haven't stopped keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.