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Monday, August 18, 2008

Dancing with Grief Plus Five Months

This past month I have felt extremes. Late in July, I had a week or two of almost giddy normality. The first week of August, before my birthday, I was pathologically depressed and anxious. That passed, but we learned about Mom's upcoming surgery, and the fears of losing another person dear to me resurfaced.

All in all, I'm moving on. We no longer spend the weekends half expecting Jolene to walk through the door. We have taken care of most of the details concerning her death. At times, I can say her name or mention her death without crying.

And yet ...

Grief tears through me with simple reminders. Last night, we ate at Chili's. Every time we go there, we can almost see Jolene climbing on the giant stone peppers at the entrance. But the real stinger came with dessert.

Colorado restaurants have introduced a new wrinkle to their menu--"mini molten lava cakes." Three of them. When I saw the platter, my first thought was "one apiece." I choked up. We joked that although there are three cakes, we would have argued over who ate which flavor. I still cried.

This morning, I was making sweet talk to our cat, saying "You're a beautiful girl, yes, you are." The memory surfaced how I would tell Jolene "You are my girl, you are my pearl, although you have no curls." Tears, again. Mom held me. "It still doesn't seem possible," she said.

I didn't realize how much I loved Jolene until I lost her. Oh, my girl. I miss you so.


Joanne Kennedy said...

This is the first time I've been to your blog. I took the time to read everything from the start up to this last post.

First I want to tell you how my heart aches for you. I sit here in tears crying with you as I read about your beautiful daughter.

I can't even pretend to understand what you have and still are going through as I've never had children and I've never known any one who took their own life.

I have lost many people I love though and I do know what that feels like.

But, I'm not writting to tell you I know what you are going through or to tell you how you should act or feel.

I just wanted to tell you that I read one post where you said you felt like you were a bad mother and didn't understand why gave your daughter a mother like you.

As I read your words it was so clear to me that God knew your daughters life before she was born. He knew how her life would end and everything in between.

I think the reason He had you be her mother is because He knew what a good mother you would be. He knew you would take care of your daughter for Him until He was ready to call her home.

He knew you would write about her death when she was gone and that good would come of it.

Not only good for others who lost a loved one through suicide but also help others who are themselves thinking of leaving this world.

Reading your words allows others to know the pain and heart ache that is left behind when they are gone.

I know you write books and I really believe you are meant to write a book about all this.

I don't want to share the whole story right now but your words have touched me in a way that I know saved others from feeling the pain you are going through.

God bless you and please know your daughters life and your talking about in turn saved another's life.


Darlene Franklin said...

JoAnne, Thank you for sharing. I will be praying for you. Feel free to contact me privately (belovedfranklin at

Mary Connealy said...

Hi, Darlene. I've been away.
If you need to cut back to make life better than that is exactly what you need to do. Don't let this blog chain you to the grief.

Robbie Iobst said...

Darlene, Your words are so beautiful because they are so honest. I pray for you every day, my friend.