Our lives were forever changed the day we lost Corey. He was an amazing man who loved the Lord and his family with all that he was. The pain of losing him is like no other. Our only comfort comes from knowing we will see him again someday.

I have moved the slideshow played at Corey's service to it's own post page above, titled "Corey's Memorial Service - August 10, 2010"

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

One down, many more "firsts" to go...

     Well, the girls and I made it through our first major holiday without Corey. I remarked to a friend how ironic it was that the first holiday without him was Thanksgiving...a holiday all about being thankful.  There sure are plenty of things in our life right now that are hard to be thankful about.  At the same time, it was good that the holiday provided me, in the midst of my loss, with the opportunity to be thinking about what I am thankful for.  God has poured his blessings into my life, particularly over these last 4 months.  I have been so blessed with wonderful family and friends who have supported me in ways I couldn't have asked for.  Let's see, a typical week for the girls and I involves about 4 to 5 people coming into our house to help me keep up with laundry, cleaning and to give me a break from the girls (as much as I love them!).  I even get foot rubs sometimes!  During the months of August through November there were only 2 weekends when I didn't have someone visiting (other than a couple of weekends when the girls and I went away).  I have had numerous family and friends travel from VT and elsewhere to visit the girls and I and to help keep us busy, as the weekends are the hardest point in the week for me.  Some of our visitors were friends from my high school and college days who I had lost touch with for several years.  Then last month a group of about 10 people from church descended on our home to help get the outside of our house ready for winter.  They cleaned up my flower beds, raked, washed windows, and lots more. The church also sent over a contractor to finish up various carpentry projects that Corey hadn't had a chance to get completed.  All of this makes me feel very loved and not so alone in this journey.  I am also grateful for all the emails I get from you all reminding me that you are thinking and praying for us.  I know I have not responded back to many of you.  This is something I have had a bit of trouble keeping up with (along with my blogging  ;)), but please know that your notes are ever so helpful in reminding me that the girls and I have not been forgotten.
    My grief is still very present as is the girls'. I suppose this is to be expected, however, given that we are in the midst of the holiday season and winter is setting in. At least a couple times a week Abi or Ali will tell me they miss daddy. They have been watching home videos a lot over the past week. I woke up to hear Corey's voice on one of the videos they were watching one morning last week. It was really nice :) Hearing a loved ones voice sure isn't something we think to appreciate, or at least it wasn't for me until it is now no longer a part of my life. I continue to have moments where I just can't hold the tears back thinking about how much I miss Corey.  I've had my cell phone ring a couple of times thinking that it was going to be him on the other end, forgetting for a second or two that he is no longer with us. I often get sad at the thought that he is never going to walk through the door into our kitchen after a day at work. Despite knowing I will see Corey again in Heaven, the finality of death is so hard to accept some days here on this earth.
     From everything I've read about grief, what we are experiencing is very normal (so please don't worry about us). Abigail and I have been seeing a wonderful counselor who is helping us to work through the loss and adjust to life.  She is so knowledgeable and is trained in a variety of therapies which are benefiting us greatly. Allison will start going to see her sometime after Christmas just to be sure she is on the right track with how she is processing everything. It amazes me how much a 3 year old understands.  One day last month she just randomly asked her teacher while they were on the playground, "Is my Mommy okay?"  Her teacher told her yes and asked her why she was asking, to which Ali replied, "Because she misses daddy." It surprised me when her teacher shared this with me because I hadn't been expressing my grief in any real visible ways that week...it had been a pretty typical week for us.  Somehow kids are aware of more than we think.
     The state medical examiner's office sent me a package a couple of weeks after Corey's death. It was a compilation of materials for survivors of suicide.  They had included a 4-cd set of songs written by people who wanted to express their love for family or friends who died "before their time" as the set is titled.  I've grown to like a few of the songs.  One of the songs is called "Go East."  It was written by a mother to her daughter after the loss of her lifelong friend, Jessamyn, who died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 18 from cardiac arrest. She wrote it to reassure her daughter that "if she let herself fall into her grief, she wouldn't fall into an abyss. Though it was a great and frightening darkness, she would be held and carried by the great arms of love."  I know that it is God's great arms of love that are holding fast to the girls and I through our grief. The songwriter goes on to say, "The four directions came to me as a reassuring way to envision aspects of the path of grief..." The lyrics are below. Unfortunately the song is not on playlist.com so I couldn't include it for you to listen to here on my blog page, but if you click on the following link: http://new.music.yahoo.com/nadine-laughlin/tracks/ and then click on the play button next to "Go East" it should play the song for you.  If it doesn't, you can always go to www.rhapsody.com, sign up for a free trial membership and listen to it there. If anyone knows of any other way I could get it on my page, please let me know. I'm really only familiar with the basic, most popular gadgets.
     I share this song with the hope that it will help someone else who is grieving the loss of a loved one. It has helped me to better accept my moments of sadness and to be patient with myself. They say the grief will get less intense as time passes...I hope "they" are right.

Go East by Nadine Laughlin

you should go east into the day
there's nothing left to do, nothing to say
but go east into the light
there's nothing in the world to make this right

you should go south into the heart
to the love that brings us here and tears us apart
go south, right into the fire
let the ashes fall and the smoke go higher

and I will walk beside you as far as I can go
let your tears baptize me as they flow
let this path of sorrow let me know
we are always together, and alone

you should go west into the dream
you don't have to know what it means
go west, right into the dark
look into the night for a guiding star

go north, into the cold
find a mountain stream and look for gold
go north, right into this loss
climb up to the top and look across

and I will fly beside you as far as I can go
let these winds baptize me as they blow
let this flight of sorrow take us home
where we're always together

let this flight of sorrow take us home
where we're always together
we are always together

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