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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.