Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Gauntlet, or, a Month of Hell

Next month is April, a month filled with landmines and almost certain heartache. I used to joke about April being a 'brutal' month, because it features (in order):
1. Aimee's birthday
2. Rowan's birthday
3. My and Aimee's anniversary (would be 6th this year)

Follow that in early May with Mother's Day.

So I used to laugh about all the dates I had to remember and gifts I had to buy. Truth is, I loved it because it was a chance to love and honor two of the girls in my life that I loved so very much, Aimee and Rowan. There was nothing brutal about it.

But that's changed now. I am dreading Aimee's birthday. Rowan's birthday will be fun, but very bittersweet without Aimee there. And I'd be perfectly happy to go to sleep the night before our anniversary and wake up the day after. I really would like to just skip that day altogether, thank you very much. This gauntlet of dates will possibly be the hardest stretch since late December, and may be the most difficult I have to face until the fall and into this coming December. (Aimee and I met on October 25, and our first date was November 1. Of course, the anniversary of her death will be December 18, a week before Christmas.)

I seriously think my counselor is going to earn her money next month.


  1. I read your posts religiously, thinking about your family and praying as well for you all and for Aimee. I wish I could take away the pains.
    I pray that some sense can come out of this tragedy.
    Carol Walker

    1. Thanks Carol. I know there isn't anything that anyone can do. This will just take time, period.

  2. Pat - this first year of "firsts" without Aimee will be unspeakable torture... hold on tight, and try to allow yourself to 'feel' every emotion - and rely on others to help you through (they really do want to help you, albeit in their limited capacity). Starting on 12/19/12, there will be no more "firsts"... you will still remember and 'feel', but the sting will lessen and the memories will be softer and warmer - and yet still bittersweet. It is hard to see now while it still grips you so tightly, but you will never want to loose any of those memories. Your courage here speaks directly to my spirit and heart, and though it may sound somewhat strange, I sincerely appreciate you sharing your deeply personal pain here with us. You're never far from my thoughts and prayers.

    This is a new, beautiful song by Matt Redman - it may speak to your heart;

  3. I'll be praying for you as you endure the next weeks. Sometimes the best thing to do in the first year is get yourself out of town on those certain dates, somewhere you've never been, doing something you'd never do. Never been to the desert, New York, or Leavenworth? Go there for a couple days. Don't go where you have memories. You can still mark the date with a ritual and remembrance, but you'll be distracted with new sights, sounds, and experiences to get you past the day. After my cousin's 9 year old daughter died, they broke with all holiday traditions, even leaving the country to avoid that first Christmas with all the relatives. Being home on those special days was just too painful. Give yourself permission to get away.