Flashbacks

Last night was a rough night for me. This coming Sunday marks the one year anniversary of that awful day we lost Jaime, and emotions are running high in our family right now. This is what I wrote late last night as I sobbed in the dark, long after my husband and children were asleep in their beds.

*****

Holy fucking shit. That is not Jaime lying there. What the fuck? That has to be Jaime, right? What the hell is going on? This is not fucking happening. Holy shit she is naked on her bedroom floor with a tube down her throat and a defibrillator on her chest and there are SO MANY people in her apartment trying to make her breathe again. This is the craziest Grey’s Anatomy shit I’ve ever seen. Are they seriously using those paddles on her? She is going to be so embarrassed that these locals all saw her like this. What the fuck did she do? Why is she not breathing? WHY IS SHE STILL NOT BREATHING?! What the fuck is happening right now? I need to get Charlie. He should be here. But I can’t leave Jaime. I don’t know what to do. What the FUCK is happening right now?

*****

Memories.

A warning, this post will be full of expletives. I just…I don’t know what to say. My mind is running in a million places all at the same time. These are my fragmented memories of that day…of those awful moments that changed everything.

*****

Approaching this anniversary… it’s tough. We’ve reached the end of “the last time I saw Jaime was today”…and “the last time we talked about ____ was today.”  It often feels like we’ve all just been busy but we will see each other at the next big family get together or holiday. How is she actually dead? It still doesn’t make sense. She was freakin’ 27 years old. That’s too young to die. Charlie and I routinely have conversations where we say “Oh man, we’ve got to tell Jaime….” that end in “…this doesn’t feel real. She isn’t ACTUALLY gone, right?”

When does it ever feel real?

It still doesn’t feel real.

*****

That day was horrible. So fucking horrible.

Charlie had gone to the “big” town next door to run errands with Stella to give me a break while I slept in with Harvey. He and Jaime talked on the phone that morning, and they agreed to get together that afternoon.

He talked to her about having beers together, and two hours later she was gone. How is that even possible?

*****

I still can’t pull the meat off a rotisserie chicken without thinking of Jaime. That’s what I was doing when we got the call. Her downstairs neighbor called my cell, and I ignored it because my hands were full of chicken juice and Charlie and I were chatting about our mornings, and that woman annoyed me and I didn’t know why she would be calling me.

I can’t believe that I ignored her fucking call.

When she called Charlie’s phone one minute later and we realized it was her number, we knew something was wrong, because there was zero reason she would ever call Charlie. Our hearts dropped. We KNEW.

We.Knew.

*****

I still have flashbacks to that morning…to that phone call. She told me that Jaime wasn’t breathing…that it was bad…that the ambulance was there and that we needed to get there RIGHT.NOW.

*****

Charlie told me later that he knew he couldn’t drive at that moment. He just looked at me and said “Go. Now.” He stayed home with our kids and pulled out his phone to call his parents, and I ran out the door wearing a baggy t-shirt with no bra on and flip flops on my feet in March. I had to get there before… I didn’t know what. I just knew I needed to get there.

But I knew.

It still didn’t feel real, even as I drove like a bat out of hell through town to get to her place.

Even though I knew.

*****

We cry because someone mentions her name and it feels good to hear her name spoken aloud. She is not forgotten.

We cry because someone mentions her name and it is MADDENING that she is not here. How is she not here?

*****

Nearly one year has passed without her in our lives, and we have started to heal. We don’t cry every day. We laugh about fun memories and we dance to her favorite songs.

And then we cry because we haven’t cried every day.

Charlie got 27 years with her, and I got nearly 10, but dammit, that wasn’t nearly enough.

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21 comments

  1. mcmissis · · Reply

    Whenever I see you post or comment on old pics of her, my eyes well up with tears thinking about what a hard night you must be having. I think about her often; so, know you’ve shared her with the world in a way that shows the love you have for her then and now.

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  2. wtfovaries · · Reply

    I am so sorry.

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  3. My heart just breaks. I still can’t believe it’s real. Love you.

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  4. Sending you love during this anniversary. And still so sorry for your loss.

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  5. I’m so so sorry. Prayers and hugs on this difficult weekend.

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  6. Heather · · Reply

    I am so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you and crying with you.

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  7. Josey, I am so sorry. I can’t believe she has been gone a year already. Just heartbreaking.

    I lost a very close friend in a boating accident. He was 28. This July will be 10 years…I ask myself often how in the hell has it been TEN years? I have gotten married and had 4 kids in that time. He is still missed so very much.

    Praying you all have one another for comfort this weekend. Again, I am just so sorry for your loss.

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  8. Thinking of you and your family this weekend. Hugs to you.

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  9. Abiding with you in this rotten time and hoping you all find comfort soon.

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  10. My son was born on March 15th – one year ago today. At about 9pm. I’m so sorry for your loss. I don’t know you and nobody will ever say the words to truly heal you but I just wanted to share this with you. Jaime’s spirit was released today and other spirits took her place. For some reason, she needed to go…we will never understand why….

    Take care of yourself today. My son will be eating birthday cake for the first time. Sending you healing thoughts….

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  11. Runningfrmcrazy · · Reply

    I’m so sorry.

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  12. I remember sitting in our new house after moving in a year ago scrolling through fb and seeing this, I was shocked and my heart broke into a million pieces for you. Im so sorry.

    I remember the one year mark was healing yet so tough when one of my friends died. For a year, we said, this is the first such and such without Mattie. But after a year, you can’t say that anymore. Then I would hold onto things she knew and would enjoy, and feel comfort that they were still around. Like celebrities or bands she liked, and now there is so much she didn’t know as 10 years have passed. It puts so much time between the incident and now.

    Continue to celebrate her life and remember. You’re doing a great job keeping her spirit alive.

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    1. I just read this post and realized I echoed what she said. 🙂 I hope that this is the case for you as well.

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  13. I’ve been thinking about you all weekend. For me, and this is only my experience, I almost felt a bit of relief once the one year anniversary hit. The reasons you mentioned above like, “this time last year” or “the last XXXX” with her have passed, and I wasn’t as consumed with those thoughts anymore. That being said, there are still some tough days. Some really shitty days. But it’s obvious that you have LOTS of awesome memories to help you get through those times. HUGS!!

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  14. 😦 Hugs. It’s so difficult.

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  15. Josey, I’m so sorry. That’s so hard. I’m lucky to have not had to go through this, and I can’t even imagine how it must feel. Much love to you all. xx

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  16. ((Hugs)) I can’t believe it’s been a year since I read your shocking post. It’s so sad and wrong and sucks.

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  17. So not right. and i can’t believe it’s been a year. Sending a big virtual hug.

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  18. I’m so sorry, Josey, again for this terrible loss. It’s just so unfair. I can’t believe that it’s already been a year. I hurt, too, for your parents-in-law, as it must be so awful to lose a child, even an adult-child. I hope that getting through the first year of milestones means that you are farther along on the journey to healing. I’m sure you’ll never stop missing her, but I hope that the happy memories can carry you.

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  19. I just loved reading this post, and I’ve been thinking about its rawness and honesty ever since I read it. I read your post via email on my phone and it’s hard for me to comment, but I think of you and this post every time a new MCVOT email comes. Thanks for being so open.

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    1. Thanks, Evelyn. Grief is such a raw process… *sigh*

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