Wednesday, September 20, 2017
The Sudden Loss of a Loved One
Yesterday about mid morning, while trying to get things caught up around the house, I could not shake the feeling that someone I loved had passed away. It was that little nudging that I have felt many times before. I kept waiting for the phone to ring with bad news.
After I got everything done that I needed to, I checked the local obituaries online and the local news sites to see if I could find anything there. There was nothing. I still could not shake that feeling though. Then came the phone call. My son Chris called and asked if I had been on Facebook yet. I told him that I had not. He then delivered the bad news...our dear friend M, who is part of our hanai family (and is actually a distant relative of mine we discovered while discussing genealogy), had been killed just hours earlier, mid morning, in a car accident. 😪 M and his wife C, are like grandparents to my kids. Their daughter R is like a sister to me and her girls are like my own kids and sisters to my boys. R is a second mom to my boys. C is one of my most beloved friends and so is M. I was devastated. Then came the second call within minutes of Chris' call. It was R and she was clearly in shock. As soon as I heard her voice I told her that I had just heard about her father and that I was so very sorry. R and I have been through so much together and have always been there for one another. I reassured her that I would be here for her through this too. She told me her plans to drive up here from California and to pick her oldest daughter up in Oregon along the way and that she was getting ready for her and her youngest daughter to leave. I told her I loved her and would see her soon. I then called C, her mother, to check on her.
Grief is a strange thing. While R was in shock and numb, C was also in shock, but was filled with nervous energy trying to take care of all the details and let family know before they heard it from others. I asked her if she needed me to do anything for her and she asked me to tell my boys about what happened. I did what she asked, letting my boys know and passing on the information that she gave me. She had other family with her, so I know that she would not be alone. I suspect that last night, when she was finally able to sit down, that it would sink in and she would then fall apart.
My boys, Chris and Josh, started changing plans so they could be here for the family and for their "sisters". Chris cancelled a fishing trip and Josh made arrangements with my parents to borrow their truck and drive directly over here after he landed tomorrow in Kalispell, MT while on leave. My mom even offered to drive Josh over if he was too tired. My mom loves R and the girls and they hold a very special place in her heart. I was not able to talk to Jaysn, who was at work, but I did talk to Rachel and she said to let them know what they could do to help. I messaged both of R's girls telling them I was so sorry, loved them and was waiting here with open arms to give them both big hugs and lots of love. I got a reply back from one of them...she said "Thank you Mama".
Late last night, I could not sleep. I got a message in the early morning hours from R. She and her youngest daughter had made it to Weed, California and were stopping there to get some sleep before heading up to Oregon in the morning to pick up her oldest girl and then head home. My heart ached for her. She is exhausted and is not dealing well with the loss of her father. I don't think I would be either if I were in her shoes. I am trying to be strong for all of them and not break down. My sweet Rachel did hear me break down once though when she asked how I was doing. I cried and asked her to please keep everyone in her prayers.
This morning I am the one running around with nervous energy. I have so much to get done since R and the girls arrive later this afternoon or evening and I need to be available to them. Josh is coming over Thursday, so I need to have his room ready. I still have my normal "to do" list with lots of produce that needed to be processed and laundry to be done. My fibromyalgia is flaring and my neck and shoulder muscles feel like they are on fire but I need to just push through. This is family we are talking about and if you know me, family always comes first. You do whatever you have to do to help and then you can fall apart later. We are still planning on going over to Montana on Saturday to spend time with my parents and brother, along with Josh, but the timing on that depends on if the funeral is that day. If it is Sunday, then we will not be able to make it to the funeral, but will spend time with everyone before that. It is also important for us to spend time with my parents and M's sudden passing away just drives that point home more and more.
I don't know if I will have much time to blog for about a week. Between this, going to Montana, then returning home and spending more time with Josh before he and Chris fly back to Washington DC so they can spend a week together there, I just don't know how things are going to go. Right now I need to take care of my family and spend time with all of them. Our tomorrow is not guaranteed and every day is a gift.