Day 30 – Intention

After the accident happened, I knew that I needed to do something, anything, in Benny’s name. While I’m still trying to vet exactly what that is, I intend to give of myself in honor of Benny’s life. He lived and even though it was short, he was here and he was mine. My intention is to try to better other grieving parents/childrens lives, be it though a non-profit or just simply reaching out. No one should have to bury a child alone.

I’ve been toying with the idea of starting up ‘Benny’s Bunnch’ as a parent/child grief resource. I know that there are groups out there such as Compassionate Friends, but I’m looking at something more than a grief group. I think back to the hospital sending us home with tons of paperwork with terrifying statistics. There was no follow up whatsoever and no guidance. We are just lucky that we have social workers in our family that were able to push us in the right direction. We got help almost immediately. I have met several other people on this journey that haven’t had this type of support and perhaps would have benefited from it. I haven’t yet figured out what form this should take or a time frame. I just know that I want to help others. This process is much easier when you don’t feel alone. I’ve been surrounded by other moms that have helped to guide me. It’s time to return the favor.
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1 Million Thanks

The Greg Hill Foundation has raised and donated over $1,000,000 to local families in need since 2010. 114 families, 6600 donors, a lot of amazing people. We are humbled to be a part of this family. A million thank yous to every person that has donated and to the crew over at GHF. 10469368_810662368985433_3017632495993691_n

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Day 29 – Reflect

My relationship with grief? Hmmm…I wish that I didn’t have one. I wish that it didn’t take over every facet of my life and my identity. I wish that November 8th, 2013 was like any other day. Except it’s not.

It’s as if someone threw a boulder into a lake that started a huge ripple effect. I hate what it’s done to me and my family, it’s made my life small, it’s made me small. I still feel such indescribable anger. I want to lash out at the Universe that did this to us. I’m mad, sarcastic and apathetic most of the time. It’s gross.

I’m sad, a lot. I still cry, a lot. I beg for this all to be a horrible dream. I miss Benny so much some days that it’s like a physical pain. I want him back so badly.

I’m hopeful. It might seem kind of odd to say that, but it’s who I am. I have this intense desire to always make the best of everything (even I cannot make a ‘best’ out of losing my son). I’m hopeful that I get to spend the rest of my life with Parker, watching Darcy grow up. I’m hopeful because we live in a world of ‘Greg Hills’ and ‘Pebbles & Polka Dots’ and all of the other amazing people that have made it their mission to show us love and support.

I don’t truly know where I’m at in my journey. We are marching toward the one year anniversary and I still can’t even fathom that Benny’s gone. In May of 2015, he will have lived as long as he was gone. How did time pass like this? I didn’t notice.

Darcy with her Benny Dog

Our community started placing flowers and stuffed animals at the church across the street after the accident. Before the services, we had roughly 30-40 stuffed animals and tons of flowers. We let each of the children pick a ‘Benny’ stuffed animal to remember him by. This is Darcy with her Benny dog. She sleeps with him every night and hugs him close.

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Day 27 – Express

I’m only 27 days into this project and it feels like the load that I’ve been carrying has gotten a little lighter. I might never have written about some of the suggested topics myself or thought to explore them. Sure, I go to therapy and sure I write about a myriad of topics here, but being able to focus on a different aspect each day has been truly helpful. I’m enjoying this project and I’ll be sad to see it go at the end of the month.

The timing couldn’t have been better as we are coming so close to the one year mark. I’m still trying (and failing) to wrap my head around that. How has it almost been a year already? Honestly, where did the time go? If it weren’t for Darcy finishing kindegarten and moving onto first grade, I wouldn’t have a way to measure it. Regardless of if I want it to or not, time is moving forward.

Day 26 – Healing Ritual

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude”. Maya Angelou

Today I am supposed to come up with a new healing ritual and dedicate myself to it. In the absence of gardening, I think I’m going to throw myself into house projects indoors and NOT let them consume me. I will take my time and enjoy them, not try to push through them to get them done. The only timeline that exists is the one that I place on myself.

Project bench is next on the list alongside Darcy’s American Girl dollhouse. One day at a time.14 - 1 (1)

Day 25 – Mother Earth

Today I went into the garden and picked everything that was left. We picked a ton more tomatoes and then to our surprise we found some cucumbers, peppers and carrots that we didn’t know had even grown. They were small, but mighty, showing us how they had fought against the squash and tomatoes and survived. 14 - 1

Day 24 – Forgiveness

There is someone that I still can’t forgive. I feel that there is so much more they could have done, should be doing. They make me feel so insecure and insignificant sometimes. It’s me.

I haven’t really talked about this since the accident, but I do hold myself responsible. Now, the definition of an accident is an ‘unforeseen or unplanned event.’ The fact that I call what happened an accident tells me that rationally, I do understand that that’s what it was, an accident.

Then there’s the mom side of me. The side of me that instinctually knows that it is our job to keep our children safe. It is our job to wipe their noses and their behinds, to teach them and help them grow and to love them unconditionally. We try so hard to have control over whatever we can to make our children happy and secure.

I was numb in the moments after the car hit us and it was really hard to process everything. I remember screaming a lot. They loaded me into an ambulance and told me that I had to hold it together. Every fiber of my being was begging/praying/pleading for a positive outcome. When that didn’t happen, I fell apart and cried for the first time.

I think I was still in shock by the time they took me up to the emergency room for X Rays and I was just going through the motions. I remember being really tired, as the adrenaline had left my body and I was starting to actually begin to feel my injuries. They wheeled me out for X Rays and when I came back my sister was in a bit of a panic. The police were here to question me. I didn’t think anything of it until she said that she asked if they were going to charge me. Charge me? Charge me with what? I was so confused as to what this was all about.

The police came into my room and read me my Miranda Rights. I was stunned, panicked, terrified, confused. Were they blaming me? Had I done something wrong? Holy shit, was this my fault? None of those thoughts had even entered my mind until that moment. I was still stuck on the accident itself, I hadn’t really even thought about how it had happened. That moment was a turning point for me.

After I left the hospital it was days of ‘I should have, I could have, why didn’t I?’ I tortured myself with why am I alive and he’s gone? How did this happen? The police came over and reconstructed the accident and timed the car. There were 7-9 seconds from when the car started rolling to when it hit us. Think of how long 7-9 seconds lasts. For me, it changed my life forever.

The rational side of me kicked in and thought ok, that’s not really a long time to react to something. My instincts told me to run, so I ran. There was some relief in knowing just how little time there had been.

Then I started to think about those stories that you read. Mother’s who do crazy, heroic things to save their children’s lives because they reacted so quickly. Why didn’t that happen? Why couldn’t I save him? I’m in a support group with a family who’s daughter was shot 8 times to shield her son. It’s instinctual to protect our offspring, how did he fall out of my arms?

I will never know the answers to any of this and it’s something that I have to live with. Like I said, the rational side of me understands. But any mom reading this should know that when your child hurts, you feel somewhat responsible, because you are supposed to be the one protecting them.

I do not blame the police, they were just doing their job. Honestly, I can not say enough good things about the Worcester PD. I still would have gotten to this conclusion by myself.

I don’t torture myself with it, because most of the time I am able to look at the accident logically. The part that is illogical to me is why this ever happened. I miss my son and no ‘what ifs, should have’s or could have’s’ will bring him back.

Day 23 – Inspiration

How could I not be inspired with Darcy in my life? This child has so much energy and zest for life, it’s hard not to get caught up in it. I’ve always said that she has little boy energy in a little girl body. I often forget that she’s only 5 because she is wise beyond her years. She’s my ‘old soul.’ After my mom died, all that I wanted was a daughter. Now that Benny’s gone, she’s saving me again.

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