Survive. Breathe. Repeat.
Today is a hard day for us all. My beautiful girls. We all miss you so much, Heather. It has definitely been a tear-filled year. So much has changed and nothing has changed at all. I mentioned the other day that I missed the old me. A friend told me that the old me was still there. She was wrong. The old me, the me before Heather took her life, is completely gone.
Losing my beautiful daughter to suicide changed me completely. Last year at this time, it was just another day for me. Heather, and Heather alone, knew that this would be her last day with us. Her last day, forever. I never knew the pain that would rip through my very soul could be that intense and not ever leave me.
In the past year, I have learned to survive. I have learned that, at certain times, I just have to remind myself to breathe. I am learning, still, that I have keep repeating those two. I have to keep surviving and I have to keep breathing. Last year, I looked at memories. Now, I look at memories - before and after.
We had a year of firsts with Heather. Now we have a lifetime of repeat. No more firsts. No more lasts. Heather's life will never change for us. We will think of all the things that she will never do. Still, Heather will never change.
I have heard from a few others that have shared their story. One thing remains consistent across so many of the stories. On their last day, they tried to make sure that those they were with would remember it as a happy time. It was a great day. I have to say that. I remember feeling so at peace after Heather's visit.
My baby, my beautiful 22 year old daughter, had a great visit with my grandson and I. I remember thinking that she was really getting there. She worked in a group home for developmentally disabled adults, she was starting her classes so that she could be an EMT, and things were really starting to go her way. She was usually tired. (Working the overnights is not always easy!) Heather cleared out all the things in her car, cleaned her room, left like she would be back. Instead, she ended up getting a room, drinking copious amounts of alcohol, and took her own life.
Then. I was a Mom with 3 great daughters. Now. I am a Mom with 3 great daughters, one that chose to end her life by suicide. Before. After. Never the same. Always the same. I love you, Heather, always! I miss you, Heather, always!