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Open House Heartache...

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I cannot believe how much time has passed; it seems like forever since I’ve heard his bounding footsteps on the stairs or felt the pull of his unrestrained energy…  I often wished to harness some of his exuberance for later use…  Time continues to confound me…  That dreadful day is so close and lurid…our pain still intense and unrelenting…it could have happened a day ago…  

The open house at Butler was excruciating; I really had to talk myself into going.  John couldn’t overcome his aversion to the place and purpose, and I didn’t push him on it…  I walked these same halls recently to pick up the cards from the memorial contributions, and it was no easier today than it was the first time…  I can only imagine the toll that starting school will take on Grace, and by extension, us…  

Brian and Grace had it all figured out…him driving, his car, his junior year spent as the chauffeur of her sophomore year.  I shudder to think of the schemes they hatched…  Parking stickers and spaces, breakfast stops, gas money, grades, homework, departure times, arrival times, unapproved absences, covering for each other…  It had all been carefully contemplated, discussed in great detail, nothing left out.  All for naught…  

I know that Brian’s accident was over two months ago; it was actually the week school ended.  And I don’t expect that because we are unable to forget, that everyone else at the school should remember.  But what a nightmare.  Some of her teachers knew nothing at all, and those who vaguely recalled something made no connection between the names.  I explained who Grace was, what happened, and what I am concerned about, asking for their eyes and ears.  It was very awkward and difficult to articulate the specifics…trying not to get upset, trying to keep from upsetting Grace, trying not to attract the attention of others to what I was saying, trying to convey the urgency of our situation…  Granted, they don’t know her yet, or me either for that matter, but I need all the help I can get right now.  I wonder if there is any protocol within the school system for dealing with bereaved families; as large as CMS is, surely there is something in place…  I know of three Butler student deaths (enrolled and graduated) within the last year, and of at least one student who lost a parent.  If there isn’t a plan, there needs to be…  Teens process grief quite differently than adults, and bad things can easily follow in the aftermath…  

After we finished our meet and greet, Gracie left for the beach with her best friend; one final escape before the latest bite of reality hurts her, adding more sting to her wounded existence.  This will be her only legitimate vacation of this wretched summer; between weekly appointments, working at the lake and fulfilling our job duties, there’s simply nothing left…no time, no desire, no budget…  While I hope that Grace will gain strength on this retreat, I doubt it...  I have a tremendous sense of foreboding, like the eerie calm experienced before a violent electrical storm erupts…the air is charged and heavy…the sky above is leaden…the hair of your neck stands on end…the wind picks up speed…you can’t really see anything happening, but you know it’s on the way, all the same…  Another squall is coming, I just know it…I pray I am up to the test…  

Original blog posts have been re-posted under the month of March, identified as Archive-Part 1, etc.    

Informal support group…meeting at Panera Bread, Matthews, NC on Saturday, April 25, 2009 @ 10:00 am.  Please send a message if you plan to attend…  Wishing you hope… TG  

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator 

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