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Join me in figuring out "what now?"

Is There Such a Thing as a “Crazy Dog Lady”?

Well, here I sit in this big house all by myself. I think this is the first time a long time that this has happened. And absolutely since my son died.

There is so much to do and yet I have no energy or direction to do anything. I stand up and make an effort but in less than 5 minutes time, I am restless and don’t wanna do it or my back starts hurting. Ever since I got that massage, my back now hurts. Sigh.

I know it sounds weird – it sounds weird to me – that my son is no longer here. It seems impossible that what happened, happened.

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I think how much my life has and will continue to change without him. Mostly since it doesn’t seem that there is any real reason to continue. I mean, everything – and I mean EVERYTHING – was extensively was the meaning to my life. Now that he is gone, I cannot think of one thing that I would like to do or see or accomplish. Nothing.

All of my old hobbies hold no interest for me. I don’t know if I should even bother packing them to move. Sometimes selling it all and moving far away sounds like a better idea. Re-invent my life somewhere people don’t know me.

Maybe I could become a version of the old lady with cats, ‘cept they would have to be dogs. Not really a cat person.

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Time Continues to Pass

Yep, day by day continues to come and then go. Some days are easier than others and some start really bad and end on not a happy one, but that something was done to help the healing.

There are days when I cannot get out of bed. There is nothing ahead of me but sorrow and loss and heartache and loneliness. I miss him so much yet my inclination to call for him to help me or give me a hug or anything. Its that routine and repetition hasn’t been erased just yet.


We’ve put the sorting and sorting and selling of Streeter’s treasure on hold for now. I just couldn’t handle the idea of selling of the things that made Streeter so happy. His military uniform collection and his Legos. For now I am keeping it all. Later, probably years from now, when I am feeling stronger, then maybe – just maybe – I can let some of it go.

But for now, uh uh…

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Oh, It Was Fun

Looking back on the totality of my life, I’d have to say that my life was more fun and adventurous rather than sad.

True, what I wanted usually seemed so difficult to make happen, in the end it usually worked out. But everything always seemed to come with a price, be it stress, money, frustration and disappointment. Or something more.

I enjoyed a long and productive career making more money than many of my male colleagues… and this was unusual during much of my thirty years in technology. I had many men who looked to me for the answer, who sought out my counsel and relied on my expertise.

I’ve owned two brand new houses, the second being a “semi-custom” home (we found it while it was in its last stages). I’ve enjoyed new clothes, dinners out, new cars and the latest technology. Both with work and personally, I traveled all over the country… up to 48 states visited. I will soon make a final trip to Alaska (number 49!), but somehow that last state will elude me (Maine).

I had wonderful lovers and been married, although I lived in a very non-conventional lifestyle. Although I never completed my studies, I am well read and have certain favorites I return to again and again.

I’ve had the opportunity to meet many great and intelligent people. Many of them, I call ‘friend’ and am very proud to be able to do so.

I was fortunate to be born into a world where progress is being made with those who’s lives are a little different. I was able to see same-sex marriages happen and strides with others’ issues to be accepted for who they are.

After nearly five years of testing and surgeries and guesses and IVF tries, my son was born. There was nothing more precious and wonderful than the 22 plus years that I was proud to call him my son. More than proud. He was my beautiful baby boy.

Streeter Playing

Its been a good life. When I look back….

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The Dreaded Question

So, it finally happened. And I was no where near ready to answer the question:

“So, do you have any kids?”

The kind of question asked hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands of time a day every day. An innocent question 99% of the time.

I really hadn’t thought about it. It wasn’t a stranger exactly, not someone I’d never meet again, but someone I would have to spend a not less than significant time (at the moment). I stammered something, something that wasn’t yes but wasn’t no. I’m not sure what I said, but she stepped in elegantly with words, I too, don’t recall, but were so very tactful and she let slide by my non-answer.

The past two months have been so difficult but I thought that I had told everyone that I thought of. It hadn’t dawned on me that there would be strangers in the world that would crack the door on my life and ask me personal questions. I guess there always has been and in the past, I would gladly and joyfully told them all about the perfect son that I had and how wonderful a child he was and how much he brought to my life.

But how do I answer now? “Yes.” “No.” “I did.” “I don’t.”

I did manager, however, not to cry. Came close, but held it together. She was working on my hair, cutting, coloring, etc., and finally the question came back around in another form. I finally told her that he had passed away. Nothing more was said and nothing more was asked.

No doubt this will occur again, and probably many times. Perhaps the next time it won’t be so raw, this hurt and pain I feel, and I will be ready to answer the question. But what will the answer be?


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Erasing His Memory?

Wow, I wondered if this day would ever end. Yesterday they finally replaced the carpet from his bedroom and of course, they screwed it up. So now they have to order more carpet to replace it, once again.

But I started in on his video gaming systems and the games themselves. He has been collecting them for years and at one point it hit me that it seemed that what was happening was that I was simply erasing everything that is left of my son. It hit hard and honestly, between crying jags, I simply could not really even get started. All these ‘things’ were precious to him and I want to keep them all, but I simply cannot.

How do I get through this? It is just killing me inside to have to go through all of his things and try to make decisions about keeping and selling. It doesn’t help that all day long I kept thinking that tomorrow marks two months since he died. My mind knows that he is gone, but my heart keeps wanting him to just appear. God, this is killing me.

I consider myself a strong, level-headed person normally, but how does that help me now? I am falling apart and usually barely ahead of just breaking down in tears and it takes all my strength just to keep going from day to day. And most days I really see no reason to get out of bed.

I honestly don’t know how much longer I can continue this madness. This grief is literally tearing me to pieces.


Such a happy kid… what happened and why didn’t I see it?

Streeter's Mom Final

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Doing Better, But Missing Him More

It usually seems to be this time of the day that once all the chores are done and the errands done, I start to really think about him. And I always think that this is just some bad dream that I will wake up from and he will be here with him saying “Hey Momma Momma” and giving me a hug and a kiss.

I recently watched an HOB special called “A Dangerous Son” that talked about children with mental illness. Mostly it focused on the angry and aggressive boys, but one really hit him with me. The (then) Governor of Virginia had a son very much like mine. Brilliant, eager, a pleaser and caring boy. Then out of the blue, the changes begin and with almost no warning or signs, he kills himself.

(There is more to the story, so if you’re interested, watch on HBO “A Dangerous Son”.

I miss him more everyday. As I make my way through each day of insanity and emotions, I feel his loss every minute. His wonderful humor and the way he would respond so quickly to my  requests or even suggestions of things he could do for me. I loved that, although we were in separate rooms, we were never physically for apart (maybe 15 feet) and loved knowing that he was there. Just there. There.

There. And now I will never see or hold him, never sweep the hair back from his face or feel that unexpected moment when he would hold my hand. His inquisitive nature of everything – always ready to try anything.

He was so like me in so many ways. I guess that happens when you have a child that is so miraculous – the five years and countless doctors and treatments and procedures and the worrisome of preterm labor that then turned into an overdue baby (13 days!).

Of course, I feel like he was special. To me he was my whole world. What do you do when your whole world is gone?


Streeter's Mom Final

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Having To Retrain Myself

This is exactly the kind of shit that just rips my heart in two. Humming along trying to stay sane for at least the day at hand, when something happens and makes me think of my boy.

The WI-FI installed in my house was conveniently (that’s sarcasm) installed with all of the routers and Airports installed under my desk, you know, to keep things neat and tidy. But since the double knee replacement surgery, you can imagine what it takes to get under there now.

Well the WI-FI has been acting up all day, my Nest camera and thermostat keeps going offline and I’ve had some difficulty with my iPhone as well. This is the place where I would usually yell upstairs to The Kid to come reboot the system.

Yeah, it just turned into a very bad day.

(Sorry about the quality of the picture)

Streeter meeting his Grandfather for the first time.

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Missing My Sweet Boy Today

Sometimes things happen that make me feel so alone in the world.

I turned on Netflix and on their homepage had the three episodes of both “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”.

Sometime back, like 2014 or so, the theatre that we attend, they had all three of “The Hobbits” playing for the premier of the last movie. We were so excited that we bought passes and for about 7 hours – with a few breaks – we were transformed back to age of hobbits. We had so much fun.

These are the times I miss him most. And overhearing Dan make plans to fly out to visit his daughter and son and his aunt and uncle, there is no mention of solace to the man who had been his father for 22 years. Not a fucking word.

Which leads me to believe that I am ALL ALONE in this world. I really have no reason to keep drawing breath. This has been such an up and down day.

I have been reading the blog of a friend and something I read caught my attention. 12:34 am or pm. As for him, it too is something that catches his eye. And similar things that people normally don’t recognize.

For me, its little things that I see that I believe that Streeter is near. Like sitting at a traffic light and watch 5 green cars in a row go by. When you glance up and the time is that magically 12:34. Or my mourning doves who sit on my balcony and sing those sad tunes. They all make me thing of the only good thing that ever came out of my life.

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Answering A Couple of Questions

I know its been a couple of days since I last wrote. I am happy to announce that stopping the sleep medicine has enabled me to have a couple of nights of really good sleep.

I have been using my days keeping busy packing and sorting. I try not to think too much about things more than a day out, keeps me from asking those questions that I seem to not be able to stop tonight.

This post is kind of special because a really great friend of mine posed a few questions for me in response to the last post:

Powerful. And undeniable. So, question and topic for a post, perhaps. Where are you finding your courage? Where do you get your strength? Are you engaged in any support groups or community or church organizations or writing outside of this? What keeps you moving forward?

Where am I finding my courage? I have no courage. Every night I go to bed wishing I were the one who was dead instead of my beautiful young boy who had his whole life ahead of him. Like I said, I usually try to just keep my mind on the tasks at hand and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I also have no strength. When I do allow my mind to wander, if it isn’t to my son, it is to the uncertainty of my future. Right now I don’t know where I am going to live or where I am going to work and which friends will still support when this becomes old news to them. I am a coward and just want to hide from all of this.

Am I engaged in support groups or community or church groups. I’ll start with the last one first. Church groups don’t hold any interest, because frankly, religion has failed me. If one more person tells me he is in “a better place” I may attack them. Can anyone tell me why God would want my beautiful 22 year old son to take his own life? Fuck God.

I haven’t been to any other groups because I fear that it will turn into a “one up-man” contest. Whose child’s death was worse or more heartbreaking or more devastating. To me there has been no bigger tragedy than the loss of my son. Still, I have a ‘wellness coordinator’ through my insurance that has been more supportive of me than I can imagine a healthcare company ever being. She has sought out many avenues of therapy than I can almost count, and she has found a group that focuses on children’s suicides and I promised her that I would try this one that meets on the last Thursday of every month. But I swear, because it meets in the back rooms of a church, that if one person brings up God or  religion, I will be out of the faster than you could know.

I tried psychotherapy and it didn’t go very well. The first one I saw seemed to be more interested in getting her money (because there was a short gap in health care), but my care coordinator talked me into another. It just didn’t seem to work either… I think she was honestly bored or something as she kept glancing at her open computer. But honestly, how can I tell her my whole life story in 45 minutes so that she knows what I have gone through – the good and the bad – so that she can make some meaningful suggestions? No, therapy doesn’t work.

Also the drugs don’t seem to work either. I actually got the doctor to take me off of one and really listened to me when I told him that I wasn’t sleeping and would only have moments of anxiety. He goofed on upping the dose on the sleeping pills, but did listed to my request of something that I had been prescribed years ago when I was having difficulties.

Right now the friends that are supporting me are the best avenue I think I could take. And writing this blog. More comes out of me every time I write and I think it is very therapeutic for me. I think that for the most part, people want to help, they just don’t know how. And that’s alright. I know that they way he died is abhorrent or unnatural and they just don’t know what to say or do.

Like I said, its okay.

What really set me off tonight was thinking about one of the last things packed today. I ran across a set of dish towels that my grandmother made and crocheted the edge and my mother embroidered. They were handed down to me, and I continued the work. But who do I have to hand them down to? Something that three generations have worked on separately will now go into an estate sale and will never know the love and dedication behind it.

Lastly, ‘what keeps me moving forward’? It is only by sheer will and nature. Although I lay down every night hoping not to wake up, I still wake up. And since there are no signs that I will be leaving this life anytime soon, things have to be done as I will soon be all on my own – extensively for the first time in my life – I have to prepare for that.

Hopefully, now, I might be able to fall asleep.

Thank you Geoff, for asking. You have been a very good friend.

Streeter Sequoia

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Trauma Permanently Changes Us.

Trauma Changes

Streeter's Mom Final

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