As parents, we all worry every time our kids leave our sides that they might not come back. Yesterday I wrote about how Death stole into my house in the middle of the night to snatch my baby right out from under my watch.
People are telling us how well we are doing, but I think that may be because it really isn’t real to us what has happened. Human beings only function well when we have hope. Take away hope and we simply cannot go on. This tragedy has taken away all hope of having Shayna with us in the flesh again. Facing that is more than we can bear. I did not use the word incomprehensible in the title without thinking about it. Incomprehensible means not able to be understood. While you think you can imagine what it would be like to lose one of your children, I can pretty much assure you cannot. I have lost my daughter. It’s been two weeks and I still do not understand it. I cannot comprehend it.
Just when we think we have our heads around it, it hits us again. I got up, did my workout, worked some and got ready to meet a friend for coffee. I was standing in the shower, when the moments after Ty screamed for me came flooding back. Me running up the stairs. Me giving CPR. But, this time, Shayna took a quick breath and came back to us. When I realized that was only a fantasy the sobs, the tears, the moans came pouring out of me again.
Today was not a good day for Ty. She said she felt weepy all day. Yes. That is going to happen. Has to happen. Kayla worked a full day. She made it through! Yay, Kayla. Left the house at 10:00 and didn’t get back until 9:00PM. We had dinner, relaxed together. I was looking at pictures on my iPad and saw recent selfies Shayna had taken. Old pictures of Shayna bring back happy memories. I love looking them, but recent pictures just kill me. I know they are the last of her I will ever see. I break into sobbing right there on the couch.
As we retire, Ty and I congratulate each other on one more day. We are now like the alcoholic who has to make it a day at a time without drinking. We have to keep drawing breath one day at a time.
People have told me I might dream about Shayna. I wish for it. I long for it. Shayna comes to Kayla in a dream. They are happy together, but it’s a cruel joke. Kayla thinks Shayna is alive and goes to her room. I awaken to terror as Kayla is by my bed, on her knees, hysterical. I ask what’s wrong? What could it be now? She tells me of her dream. I hold her while she sobs. I feel terrible. What can I say to comfort her? What can I say to make it better? How can I take this terrible burden from her? I want to cry with her, but I have to be strong right now. I whisper over and over “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry… This isn’t right. You’re 18 years old. You shouldn’t have to face this.” What Kayla doesn’t know is the “I’m sorry.” has a double meaning. I’m sorry this has happened. I’m sorry she is dealing with this. I’m also sorry I let the family down. For 18 years, since the day I strapped Kayla into the car to bring her home from the hospital, I’ve had one job- protect this family. Now, not only have I let Shayna down, I’ve brought unthinkable tragedy into the lives of Kayla and Ty. I am crushed. I want to die there on the spot, but I cannot. I have to do what I can to pick up the pieces.
I say a prayer over Kayla and Ty. I pray for peace. I pray for strength. I pray for comfort. I pray that we can just keep moving forward one day at a time.
I hope the depression that is hitting Ty and me, the display by Kayla- I hope those are signs we are coming to grips with the fact this has really happened. I don’t know.