Friday, June 26, 2009

The Day After

I am a little too alone with my thoughts at the moment; Greg's gone back to bed and Marissa finally fell asleep. I am not sure how late she was up, but I spoke to her at 3:30 this morning, and she had not been asleep at that point. I am not sure how she is overall, but I suspect not good. She seems closed off and out of reach to us right now. One wonders what she's thinking. She may see us as part of the reason she lost her sister. God knows, I do. She may think we're too detached to help her, or she may think we're not grieving quite enough if we laugh or smile at all. Or, she may just think we're deep in our own despair and she can't burden us. Whatever it is, I am uneasy at the moment. Losing one daughter in a lifetime is quite enough.

The service was, for the most part, really what we wanted for Kelsey. We think we captured her and honored her well. The pastor, I confess, was wonderful. I say it that way because we had never met him before, he "knew" Kelsey from what I told him two hours before and what he had learned from her grandmother, but he nailed it. And he was so kind. I am not sure how a lot of people who suffer long term issues like Kelsey's are when it comes to faith, but Kelsey was estranged from God. I doubt she could reconcile the notion of a loving God who cared for her with one who would let something like this happen to her, or at least not help her cast it aside. Our own faith is complicated, so that left us without someone to call upon. We had to rely on Kelsey's grandmother and her relationship with her church. I knew we were on thin ice there - Kelsey would not have wanted that initially, but I think she would have liked what he said. I think the main failing in Kelsey's eyes would have been that her Aunt Audrey was not there. She came, but her youngest daughter, after watching the early arrivals hugging us and the amount of emotion and tears, decided she couldn't stay, so Audrey took her to our house to release balloons. They made it back after the service. It's hard to know what to think about that. If you work from the assumption that Kelsey was not present other than in memory, then what does it matter, they honored her in their own way. If you believe that she was watching over us, then it makes my heart ache. However, hopefully Kelsey will realize that her friend Leslie flew in from Pittsburgh to be here. She had a horrendous ordeal to get here, with several plane delays causing her to land only a couple of hours before the service. But she was determined. She is a lovely girl, and I think her determination to be here to say farewell to her friend should tell Kelsey how special her life was. Sometimes the best family are your friends.

Yesterday was bizarre in too many ways. Yesterday Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett both died - Michael Jackson being the big shocker of the day. But, it seemed that some weird, bad karmic energy was enveloping the continent, and Kelsey's funeral was part of the wrongness. We weren't supposed to eulogize our kid. We were supposed to work all of this out somehow.

There is still a lot of chaos and activity surrounding all of this, so for now, we'll be too busy to dwell on what has happened. But, in a few days, the thank you notes will be written, the e-mails and phone calls will die down, and family and friends will all have gone back home. Then, I know, the real emptiness will begin. Already there have been moments when the house is too quiet. I used to long for that time - when Kelsey and the tension her constant binging and purging brought wasn't near us, but wow, how the silence seems to scream.


  1. Kelsey's memorial service was beyond unforgetable. . .the beautiful words that were spoken, her amazing art that surrounded us, the music. . .oh the music. Her energy was there in peace, and know she would have been truly happy.

  2. my heart is breaking for you...

  3. Cheryl I am so very sorry. I don't know what to say except I am your friend and I wish I had words to take away some of your pain, but I don't know what I could possibly say. I am very sorry. I am your friend and I love you.