On May 28, 2005 I received the phone call that most every parent dreads....my 21 year old daughter and two year old granddaughter had been killed in an automobile accident. At first, my brain could not comprehend the reality of what I had been told and I went into shock. Then I became restless and felt like I just had to keep putting one foot in front of the other, moving mechanically through the the process of funeral arrangements. Songs, pictures, caskets and flower arrangements had to be chosen....but I wondered how I could do it. Thank God, something I cannot explain took over and I was able to do what was necessary.
The days that followed seemed so surreal. I kept asking myself what I could have done to prevent this tragedy. I tried to go through their belongings but always became nauseated and developed a headache. Going to the cemetery was just to hard. Eventually, I began to have dreams, actually memories of my daughter, that interrupted my sleep (when I could sleep). The dreams left me feeling like the very life had been sucked out of me and I had a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that would not go away.
When I least expected it, a memory of one or both of them would invade my thoughts. The tears would not stop flowing and my perception of time had become muddled. I really thought I would lose my mind.
Then, one day, my sweet neighbor came to my front door with a newly purchased journal and a pen. Tears welled up in her eyes as she handed them to me and explained that she wanted to do something to help. It had occurred to her that it might help if I wrote my pain and grief down in the journal. So I did. I wrote letters to my daughter and granddaughter telling them all the things I would tell them if they were still with me and to my surprise I immediately began to feel better. I believe that God sends us help in the most unexpected ways and I will never forget the compassion of one person whose thoughtfulness has been helping me through one of the darkest hours of my life.