But you're not really in the ground. Because on Monday I was driving in my car with three loud kids so I turned the radio down and started talking to you out loud. I told you that I was having a crappy day and how little things like making dinner overwhelm me and that I wish you were in the passenger seat right then. Then I told you I WISH WE HAD MADE A PLAN in case this had happened. Made a way to communicate that you were ok after you'd died. Why hadn't we designated a sign or a song so that we could stay in touch? I finished by asking you to let me know if you were near, let me know if you were close to us. PLEASE. I finished my talk and turned the radio back up just as Neil Young's Heart of Gold started playing. I will not forget the chills up my leg and how I laughed and cried the rest of my drive home.
Tomorrow marks four weeks since you died. Four weeks since you told Mom you weren't hungry but were going to read before bed but instead died in a room all alone. But were you alone? When I am feeling hopeful, I picture Dad reaching through some type of veil or wall or door and pulling you in to be with him. I imagine him saying that Mom had done all she could; that we had done all we could and he would take it from there. Is that true? And how is Dad?
But did we do all we could? I find myself putting dishes away and sobbing apologies to you at 10 am sometimes. Sometimes I don't know why I didn't get on a plane when you were overdosing last summer. Why wasn't I doing all the research I'm doing now on heroin? Why didn't I watch that documentary about addiction two years ago when you asked me to? I'm sorry I'm sorry I am so so sorry. I didn't take it seriously because I guess I didn't know it was serious. I guess I believed you to make myself more comfortable. Maybe you would've died anyway but mostly I am convinced I could have saved you and didn't. Instead of paying for methadone or rehab, I remodeled my house last summer. Even if you've forgiven me, will I ever be able to forgive myself?
I took care of you most of your life. Mom would argue but I basically raised you. Got you ready every morning for preschool and walked you there. Picked you up after school. Walked you to kindergarten everyday and took you home after school. Baked microwave cakes for you before Mom got home from work. I liked that you were a tomboy and I liked that you were different. I was the only one who you would let curl your hair for church. I was there when you slid into home base and broke your ankle and that was IMPRESSIVE for a tiny little girl. I adored you.
When you started lying and stealing and changing I still loved you. I never stopped. I just had to create space. I had to protect my kids. I didn't know where you had gone. There were times when the old Kristi was back and you once asked what the old Kristi was like. She was beautiful, smart, witty, funny, fun, adventurous, caring, logical, a great listener who gave excellent advice. Remember my breakup in college? And how you reminded me that he was the biggest dork on the planet and we had the best laugh? You were right and I felt better. That was the old Kristi. But she was fading away.
|We took this picture at Dad's grave. Weird to look back....you are now buried right where that light shines in the background.|
I'm sorry I talked to you about college instead of rehab six days before you died. Sorry we were sending you inspirational speeches the night before you died when actually you needed professional help. I'm sorry I didn't take care of you in the end. I'm sorry you're not here anymore. When I think about Thanksgiving, birthdays, summers, hikes, visits without you it is unbearable. Sometimes I forget why I'm sad and when I remember it's like being punched in the gut. When Dad died I was heartbroken but there was nothing we could have done more for him. Your death is such a tragedy. You were so young and beautiful. Remember that last weekend when we went for Indian food one night and you were getting all the riddles right on the first try and Lennon started crying? You told him, "Listen Lennon...I don't have a lot going for me right now. Let me have these riddles."
Remember when you texted me and asked if you should wear your Only God Can Judge Me shirt to court the next day? You always, always, always made me laugh.
Right now I feel a lot of guilt and regret and sadness. I'm hoping with time and maybe some help I can turn that into something more positive. Our family is focusing on having LIGHT right now. We have been memorizing Grandpa's favorite scripture, D&C 50:24: That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.
I will try to focus on light. I will try to fill my mind with light. I will try to be a light to other people even though my light feels dim right now. Sissy, I'm sorry I let you down and I'm sorry I didn't know. I should have known. I'll miss you until I am with you again.
Emoji heart, emoji skier, emoji Asian twins, emoji eggplant, emoji crocodile, emoji tacos, emoji broken heart.