Rainy days and Mondays always get me down…

Let me preface this by apologizing – it’s kind of a rough day today, but I have two posts for you today and I promise the one I wrote over the weekend is happier!

Three Mondays have passed since “That” Monday.   Three weeks of pain, and hollow emptiness. I still maintain a strong constitution and a wry sense of humor, but the smiles and laughter are always fleeting because my mind is constantly clouded by the images of her.

I see her randomly in all her different ways.  As a little girl with red ringlets, gapped baby teeth and froggy toddler voice. Sometimes I imagine her as she dashes off to school in Doc Martens, a band t-shirt, and flannel shirt.  Other times it’s Alydia in her pajamas, no makeup, wearing her glasses and the green night guard on her teeth, as she hugs me before bed and tells me about the latest crazy escapade from school.

The latter image is what I expected to encounter on “That” Monday.  I came home after I had finished driving her brother, Keegan, home. I put my keys and purse down and said hello to my husband, and told Keegan to shower and get ready for bed. I walked upstairs, knocked on Alydia’s door, and entered her room to say goodnight.  The room was exactly how it would always be on any other night. The room was dark, but surrounded by the colorful glow of Christmas lights and lava lamps. Radiohead was playing “High and Dry” on her stereo, which wasn’t surprising since she had bought the cd that day when she had gone out to dinner and then shopped at Vintage Vinyl with her dad.  

But my daughter didn’t say anything when I opened the door.  She wasn’t laying on the bottom bunk of her bed, working on her laptop, talking to friends and doing homework.  I came in to give her a hug, tell her I love her and say goodnight. Maybe I would tell her I got those pork buns for breakfast from the nearby international grocery store that she loves to grab and go in the morning. My eyes adjusted to the light, and when I saw her my first instinct was “This is a terrible joke to play!” but then quickly realized this was very real. I screamed for Chris in the most gutteral, primal scream I have ever mustered in my life.

The events that ensued after that are very painful to recall, and still difficult for me to even mentally process. I struggle with PTSD. Constant, horrible images torment me over and over, robbing my sleep and disrupting the otherwise cherishable moments as they pass.

New struggles arise for me daily, out of simple tasks.  I run into people in public who I know in real life but not on social media, and they don’t know what happened.  So when somebody asks me, “How have you been, how are the kids?” I feel as though I have to reintroduce myself. I immediately become socially awkward and say something completely stupid like “Hi, um, actually things are awful, Alydia is gone, and this is my life now.”

Having answers to why it happened doesn’t do anything to alleviate my pain.  I’ve read her journals. I have her cell phone. I know what happened that night. I understand. But just as to lose a child unexpectedly in a car accident, an overdose, a freak accident or from disease, it does not change the outcome or the ability to come to terms with it. I have read the notes she left behind. I know what was going on and why she did it. I just wish I could have helped her before it was too late, because there are so many better options. Alydia had a lot to live for, despite what she may have thought about herself.

She reminds me so much of me at her age.  That’s what really makes this hard. I get it. I know where she was. I’ve felt the agony of being 15, and having so much love for life but also the pain and heartache that the devil throws at us all. So now I will move forward with healing, and trying to help my family as we figure out how to keep moving forward when the clock stopped on Monday, April 8.

Each day that passes means that I successfully made it to another day, but the days are terribly long.  Each Monday that passes marks another week since I last told her goodnight.

There’s a song that my sisters and I used to sing at Girl Scout camp, and one of the lines of the song says “This is goodnight and not goodbye”.  We sang that song to Alydia at the hospital. I have the hope that someday I will see my Alydia again, so until then, I am still saying Goodnight to her, and not Goodbye.

Sorry for the sad post.  Mondays are just particularly hard for me, but I made it to another one, so that’s good.

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