On Grief: The Quiet Moments

Jaime died on a Saturday morning. The official coroner’s report says 12:59pm, but that’s just because the local ambulance crew did everything they could to try to save her for over an hour. I live in a small town, you see. Population 1,000. Really small. Everyone knew her and loved her, including the EMS crew, and nobody wanted to believe she could be dead. I still can’t believe she’s dead. Based on reports by her neighbor and her boyfriend, we know she left this earth sometime between 11:15 and 11:30 am on Saturday morning, March 15th, 2014.

How can that be real? How can I actually be typing that sentence about Jaime?

Those first few days are a blur of memories. Grief. Tears. Hysterical sobbing. Nonstop visits by friends & family. And the rare, early morning quiet moments. The horribly sad, painful, quiet moments.

She was only 27.

We didn’t let my in-laws go home those first two nights. They live just 15 minutes away up on the mesa outside of town, but we didn’t want them to be alone. We didn’t want to be alone.

That Monday morning I couldn’t sleep. After nursing my two month old at 3am, I laid in bed and cried and wrote this post on my phone because I was frantically wanting to not forget my final conversations with Jaime. Around 4am I still couldn’t sleep, so I came downstairs to read all of the beautiful messages people were leaving on Facebook. People can make fun of Facebook all they want for its shortcomings and tendency to incite pettiness & grandstanding, but I never understood the positive power of it until Jaime’s death. She had 1,286 Facebook friends, and we used to make fun of her that every time she left a party, she left with another Facebook “friend.” Then she died, and we spent hours and hours pouring over the beautiful messages & pictures that those same people were posting on Jaime’s page. It gave us comfort and brought us to tears more often than you’d believe.

On that particular morning, I quietly slipped downstairs at 4am. When I reached the foot of the stairs, I realized that my father-in-law was already sitting in the living room in my husband’s recliner, holding his iPad, looking through Facebook, and sobbing…quietly…by himself.

I didn’t say a word to him. We were about 40 hours into the nightmare at that point, and I just didn’t have anything left to say.

Instead, I pulled out my laptop, sat down on the couch five feet away from him, started reading the comments & perusing the pictures on Facebook myself, and sobbed in the dark with him.

We spent many, many hours locked in hugs with family & friends those first few days, but that quiet morning stands out in my mind as one of the most painful yet therapeutic moments of that first week – simply sobbing in the dark next to my father-in-law, a daddy who had just lost his little girl.

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16 comments

  1. Oh Josey, this post probably hit me the hardest yet and brought the most tears. I couldn’t stop. Thinking about your father-in-law, Jaime’s dad, in that moment. Thinking about all the fathers I know and love. No father should ever ever have to feel that and go through that and I am so sorry he did. I can’t imagine how hard that morning was but I am sure it helped both of you to have eachother just there in the room. Big big hugs.

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    1. Yeah, Steve has said that so many times in the past two weeks – “no father should have to bury his little girl.” Ugh. Tears my heart in two every time every time I hear him say it.

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  2. Josey, I don’t know how you do it. How you write so beautifully and eloquently, without screaming or throwing your computer through a window. How you experience your own grief so deeply and yet share it so poignantly with us as well. I hope that letting us go through this with you, and knowing that we all send your whole family our love and support and condolences, gives you some small amount of comfort and makes the heartbreak of typing those words a little easier to bear. So much love to you all Josey xx

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    1. Thank you Jo. I have had some of those angry moments too, but overall I feel more sad than angry (at least for now?!). Honestly, my faith has helped so much – we’ve all been joking about how Jaime’s grandmas (both of whom died 2 years ago) were there in heaven waiting for her at the gates, asking her why in the world she was there already. I truly do believe she’s in Heaven with God, and that makes this bearable. Writing out some of my grief to you all helps me too – truly. Thanks for reading.

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  3. How devastating. I just can’t imagine.
    I think grief is worst in the morning. You wake up and remember all over again and grieve again.
    I am so sorry you and so many others lost such a beautiful person.

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    1. This exactly. It has blindsided us over and over again how much harder the mornings are. I didn’t expect that.

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  4. mcmissis · · Reply

    As Fiona said, this was the hardest post to read so far. I couldn’t even see the screen through my tears. I just can’t even imagine how you must feel every minute of every day right now. I’m sorry.

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  5. Just sending love to you and everyone who knew her.

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  6. I just keep going back to she was someone’s little girl. And that breaks my heart.

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  7. Jessica · · Reply

    I am so so sorry for your loss. All the pictures you have posted of her show this incredible smile of someone who really LIVED life and took in all the moments she was in. I have read your posts about her several times, it’s so hard to lose someone so young. My cousin died of a stroke last year at the age of 32, she had the same smile, zest for life that I see in Jaime’s pictures. Sending love your way.

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  8. mandski · · Reply

    Huge hugs to you, Josey. It’s so unimaginably hard for so long that sometimes all you can do is just be.

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  9. me too. reading through tears. thinking of you all.

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  10. lparsons15 · · Reply

    Oh man this must be so damn hard every single day. I lost someone very special to me at the very end of January, grief hits you in the weirdest moments. You think you are ok one second and then bam..For example the other day I was grocery shopping and feeling fine, heard a song on the speakers and then all the sudden I was sobbing in the aisle of the grocery store..Thinking of you guys constantly…

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    1. Yep, a song just came on the radio at work that made me burst into tears. Ugh.

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  11. I just want you to know that I’m listening.

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    1. Thank you. I probably haven’t commented enough often enough on your posts the past 6 months, but I’ve read every one of them. I HATE to be following in your footsteps of grief.

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