After Lilly’s passing, I have clung to the items that she had on or near her for the last 24 hours of her life.
The bag of fruit loops that she packed on Friday morning as her workout snack. The bullet in her pocket. Her wallet, the money in her wallet, her jewelry, her license, her student id, her favourite pj’s, and the pills that were laced with fentanyl.
I hid the pills from the girls. Not even my hubby knew where they were hidden. I felt that the pills were my last connection to Lilly. The pills were the last thing that she put in her mouth minutes before leaving us forever.
In a weird, twisted way I was holding onto the pills. The pills were a reminder that I had failed her! I had failed at the most important job of my life - keeping my child alive and safe.
I’ve been going through a cleaning spell during the past few days. Staying up till wee hours into the morning decluttering the garage and closets. Filling up bags and bags for donation while reminiscing what life was like before the tragedy.
Hubby: ”Jaan, it’s about time you get rid of those pills”
Me: “I can’t”
Hubby: “Well, I found them and it’s time to let go”
Me: “You couldn’t have found them. I can’t get rid of them”
He disappears for a few minutes and comes back into the room with the bottle of pills
Me: Tears running down my face “It’s the last thing she ever took, I can’t”
He takes the bottle and flushes the pills. He brings the empty bottle to me for one last look…. He hugs me tight…
Me: Breaking down…. All it took was 1 pill to change our lives forever
The irony of the whole situation is that the person I need the most to help me through this tragedy is the person who is gone forever. Letting Go is hard. It’s messy. Do we ever let go? I’m told it takes time, its a process.
To recover means to return to a normal state of health and mind. We never return to a pre-loss ‘normal’. The loss, the person who died, our family’s grief - all this has gotten integrated into our lives and has profoundly changed how the five of us are living and experiencing the world. I don’t think we ever let go when someone significant dies. As long as that person remains significant, our grief and pain will remain significant.