Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Numb

Last year, I remember in the following days after losing Nolan my Mom saying to me...

"I wish I knew what I could do as a Mother to help you, but this time I can't because I don't know what your going through."

It hurt her so bad that she didn't know how to fix this for me. She couldn't give me a kiss and throw a bandaid over it. This was something I had to figure out on my own.

Now here I am, 12 months later telling MY MOM I understand. I am the one trying to give her the bandaid. I want to protect her. All the things she is saying, all the things she is grieving are things I remember saying myself. I just kept repeating, I just want Nolan home. I probably wrote it a million times on this blog. And here my mom is saying the EXACT same thing.

How is this?
A Mother & Daughter both grieving the loss of a son. I am grieving the future and she is grieving the past. How?

JUST as our family, especially ME was starting to feel a sense of acceptance with my new normal, just as I was starting to feel 'happy' again, just as we got past June and felt like a one layer of grief was peeled off. God throws boulders of grief on us. We're drowning in this grief.
He was 22 freaking years old! He had SO MUCH he wanted to do just like ANY young guy. He wanted to be a travel therapist, he wanted to go back to school, he wanted to remodel that ugly old BMW. He was so passionate about his job, his car, his family. How can this all be taken from someone with SO much passion?
I don't get it. I'm mad, I'm heartbroken and I am trying my best to hold it together for this baby I am carrying. Today I woke up numb. It pretty much felt like it didn't happen. I started my day out feeling empty but not broken. I didn't cry, I could talk of Charlie with a smile and I almost felt guilty that I wasn't more emotional. Was this my protective instinct to keep me calm? Or was it just the shock?

It wasn't until tonight, when Chris and my Dad went to get my brothers belongings out of the car at the tow lot. My Dad walked in with his iPhone that had 20+ missed calls from Mom (after she thought she saw his car) and Charlie's stethoscope. My Dad noticed a small amount of blood on it and asked me to take care of it. So I started, it was nothing big and could even had been from a patient. It was on the metal part of the scope and that's what I chaulked it up to. I handed it to my Mom and she handed it back to me. She said if there was any person to have that stethoscope it was me.

I was the one who encouraged him to go into Respiratory, I'm the one he would secretly battle for grades. I remember him coming home bragging because he beat me out on a certain test. It was our secret game. He wouldn't want that scope to go to waste sitting in a box, for crying out loud he just paid $75 for it weeks ago. I was honored and it brought tears to my eyes. But it wasn't until she handed it back that I noticed I had missed all the blood on the black/rubber part of the stethoscope and that did me in. I stood there at the kitchen sink washing my dear brothers blood off from his brand new stethoscope. I broke down and ever since that moment, it's starting to feel more real.
Tonight we sat around as a big family going through family pictures and watching family videos with Charlie in them. It's so hard to grasp that the little blue eyed blond haired boy isn't here with us anymore. His smile is only in memories, but I can promise you he had the same exact smile at 2 years old as he did just days ago.
I miss him. I'm scared to feel what I need to feel because of this baby. I need to go through the motions but I know I need to be strong for more reasons than I can list. I am positive it won't really hit until I see him lifeless and I am terrified of it. I don't want this to feel real. I want to go to work and talk to patients that had my brother before transferring to my hospital and talk about how charming he was. Patients ALWAYS remembered him. I want to see him walk out the door for work as we make fun of his scrubs. I want to see him get all excited when Glen Beck comes on and says something that gets Charlie's mind running. I don't want to go to a funeral home tomorrow and arrange his wake. I don't want to have to find a black dress I can fit into right now. I don't want us to have to think what to dress Charlie in for the wake.. because these are all things we shouldn't be doing again.

It's just weird. Maggie, Molly and I sitting there realizing tonight, it's just us 3 left. Our only brother is gone too soon and it's just weird. Too real and makes you miss him 1,000,000 times more.


I'll leave you with a quote Charlie had on his Facebook.

"Follow your Passion, and Success will Follow You."
-A. Buddhhard



44 comments:

LilyBear Photography said...

very well written ashley.....again i am in tears........charlie was such a great kid......and even though i didn't know him in his older years i am sure he touched everyone's life that knew him......i love you all!

croleyc69 said...

I'm praying for you and your family. Your brother sounds like a wonderful person. I'm so sorry , sending {{HUGS}} and prayers always.

Caroline

Ruby said...

Your family is in my prayers. i'm sorry for your loss may your family have peace during these difficult times.

Megan said...

We lost my brother in a car accident when he was 18, 17 years ago. I think about all of the things he should have done with his young life and it makes me angry. I am so sorry that your family has to feel the pain my family felt and still feels today. I am so sorry that you are having to deal with the loss of another very important member of your family.

kellbelle0618 said...

Ashley, you don't know me, but I came across your blog through a friend. I just wanted to let you know that I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my brother suddenly back in November (he was also 22)and it was devestating. It still is devestating. I am thinking about you and your family and if you want to talk about anything, I am here. I understand what you are going through and it's just not fair. It is unfortunate that we meet as members of the same terrible club. I am praying for you all.

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KAM said...

I wish I could give you a big hug in person. Your Kentucky family is keeping all of you in our thoughts and prayers. We love you!!

Lauren said...

I don't get it either. I am so sad for you and your family. I totally get that you were just starting to find your 'new normal' and now that's all messed up again.

Charlie has obviously impacted so may people and was loved by all. He will never be forgotten.

I know the pain is unbearable - but try your best to take care of yourself and the baby in your belly. :)

Jessica said...

Ashley I just want to run and give you a big hug. I am praying for your family. I am so sorry *hugs*

Johanna said...

You are still in my constant thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry. I wish I could have known Charlie. I only met hime once. You have written beautiful tributes to show what a wonderful guy he was. Praying day in and day out for God to comfort you all through these difficult days.

klarsen said...

I am just so devestated for your family. I am praying for you as you travel this new road of grief and really just wondering why. But I guess we just can't know that. Lots of love to you, Ashley. xoxo

Bluebird said...

Oh my gosh, honey. I can't seem to articulate any words through the tears. I am so, so sorry. So heartbroken for your family. Take care of yourself, honey. I wish there were more that I could say. Or do. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers. . . let us know how you're doing.

((Hugs))

Andrea said...

Hang on to that "smile" honey...cling to it and never let it go. Memories such as that last a lifetime and soothe the heart when nothing else can.

I'm lifting you and your family up today and always as you navigate this very difficult path. I just wish this weren't so and my heart aches for you deeply.

Much Love and Continued Prayers for you, your family and your sweet growing baby.

Just Breathe said...

It breaks my heart to pieces knowing that you had to write this post. A post that isn't fair, a life that should still be living.
This sucks so bad and I am so very sorry. My heart aches for you and your family. Please know that I care, I am praying for all of you and if I can help in any way please let me know. ((HUGS))
xoxoxo

Aly said...

I am so sorry for you loss. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Allison (Ali) said...

There really are no words, sorry just doesn't seem to express it truly. But I am sorry for the loss of your brother.

Praying for peace for you and your family.

Marie W said...

Tears is all I have for you and your family. I am angry for you too. How much can one family take? Keeping you all in prayer.

A Working Mum said...

My heart is breaking for you, I am praying for you and your family during this incredibly difficult time.

Emily said...

I woke up this morning thinking about you. About how this day is going to go...and the next...and the next...

You are shouldering more than I think anyone should possibly have to bear. I'm so sorry.

I hope it helps even the teenist tiniest bit that someone you don't know and will never meet, up in Canada, cried for you and your brother last night.

Jennie said...

I just can't even imagine what you are going through. Brothers are so special and it sounds like you have some great memories of your sweet, driven brother. Still praying for your family!

Sara said...

I thought about you when I read this poem that sits on my desk at work today. It sounds like Charlie had a wonderful "dash"!

http://www.the-dash-movie-poem.com/dash.htm

Katie said...

I am so sorry you are coping with another devastating loss. It sounds like your brother was a wonderful guy with a ton of potential. It is SO not fair. I am praying hard for you and your family.

The Tolf family said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss!! How devastating for you and your family. My heart is just breaking for you guys even though I don't know you. We will be praying for you and your family as you go through another very difficult time.
~Becky

Maggie said...

My heart is breaking for you and your family Ashley. I am so very sorry. Charlie sounds like a great guy and great brother and son. Wishing you strength and comfort. ((((HUGS))))

urban chaos said...

Such a beautifully written post-it's raw, it's real, it's your catharsis..

Charlie will live on in your memories each and every day, just as Nolan continues to. We will continue to honour your special guys by keeping their memories alive with you.

It may be hard to find words that are adequate, or measures of comfort- but know as your friends we will always be there to support YOU!

AlaskanAlison said...

What a beautiful post. Your brother sounds like an amazing man and I'm so sorry that he was taken from you at such a young age.

Remember that part of keeping yourself healthy is letting your emotions run their course. Bottled up emotions won't help anything.

Thinking of you and your family and sending many virtual hugs.

Alison

Lisette said...

This is so unfair. I am thinking and praying for your family. ((HUGS)) to you and your mom.

I love the quote.

Soko's Journey to Parenthood said...

I am at a loss for words right now but the tears flow quickly as I think of you and your family during this difficult time. I don't understand why this kind of stuff happens and shocked it has happened to your family.

We are keeping all of you in our thoughts and prayers. Try to take comfort in knowing Nolan has his Uncle Charlie caring for him in Heaven and they are both watching over all of you right now.

God Bless

DeniFay said...

Again my heart is just broken for you in your loss. How can this happen? Your brother is adorable and I can see that his smile would light up any room! I'm so very sorry for your loss, and that seems so empty considering your loss, but I know it's all I have!

Hannah Rose said...

Oh, Ashley. I don't even know what to say. Your brother was quite the amazing guy! wow, and he even loved Glenn Beck. any girl would have been blessed to have a guy like him for a husband. i am more sorry that words can express. i have two brothers, 25 and i can't fathom the pain you are in. tears, hugs.

Hannah Rose said...

...i will pray for the strength to get through the next days and weeks for you and your family. i know it will be tough. god will provide the supernatural peace, strength, and grace needed.

Jennifer said...

Ashley, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family!! He sounds like an amazing person!

Mrs. Husband said...

My heart breaks for you and your family, and I pray that all of you find peace during this time.

♥Sarah♥ said...

I am so sorry for your loss...your brother seemed like such a wonderful person. I am sure he would have been a huge impact on this world, and would have loved this new little one whole heartily like he loved Nolan. Now hopefully Nolan and Charlie are watching from above and protecting your new little one.

xoxo
Sarah

Jen said...

My heart breaks for your family. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, as always.

babyrndeb said...

so sorry for yet another loss for you. I can't even begin to imagine what all of you are going through.
Praying for you

Pam said...

Oh god Ashley, the stethoscope...heartbreaking. You should use it at work so he's always with you and your patients. This is just so sad and unfair... more love and prayers...constant love and prayers, to you and the family, and that precious little one in your tummy. I was thinking as I was falling asleep last night, "I bet if it turns out to be a boy they name him after Charlie..." but that's just my brain, haha. Love ya! xoxo

Cindy said...

I'm so sorry to be giving you my condolences once more. Your brother sounds like he was an incredible guy. Hopefully your family will find peace in knowing that he's in heaven watching over Nolan. :::hugs:::

Kermit the Vixen said...

I met Charlie years ago - he was my daughter Holly's first "real" boyfriend. He was a real charmer and quickly won us all over. In fact, I remember getting into a wonderful discussion with him about Ann Coulter's new book at the time. I am so terribly sorry to hear about his sudden passing. As unfair as it all seems, take comfort in knowing how many lives he was able to touch and impact in such a short time. He made a difference and that is a wonderful legacy.

I can't even begin to imagine the pain your family is feeling now. You will all be in my prayers.

Kim in Cincinnati

Antoinette said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family...WHY your mother had to know this pain first hand is beyond me..Im angry WITH you...Im crying WITH you....You have been through SO much already and I really hope this is it....**tears** that is all I have..there are NO WORDS...xoxoxo

MissingYouAlways said...

this has me in tears Im soo sorry you have to go through another loss. my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at thiis time.

Katie said...

Lots of prayers are being sent your way Ashley! I can't imagine having to go through all of this again, it isn't fair! *Hugs*

Holly said...

Praying for you and your family.

Allison said...

Ashley, I just want you to know that you & your family have been in my heart and in my prayers. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss; no one should have to go through what you're going through. Charlie sounds like a wonderful person & I can't imagine how much he will be missed (but never forgotten).

With love,

Allison Pernecky (Lauren Green's friend)