Thursday, May 21, 2009

I need advice...or something.

As life moves forward from the loss of Russell, I find myself struggling with an almost ridiculous fear. Every time the phone rings and I see it's one of my children, I'm seized by panic. I replay in my mind that awful morning when Desiree' called with the news of Russell's accident. I hear her screaming and crying, begging me to just come get her. It took precious moments to get her to calm down enough to tell me where she was and what had happened. Those moments were nothing short of dreadful. That's the only word that properly describes that window of time. And, of course, when she said that Russell was gone, all the horrible things that raced through my mind during those moments paled in comparison to the reality. So now, whenever the phone rings, I'm afraid. I know it's stupid. I know it's unreasonable and I know I can't keep feeling like that. Problem is, I don't know how to stop, how to get past that, how to trust that tragedy isn't behind every phone call. Does anyone out there have any advice for me? Anybody been through this? Anybody know how to make my heart understand what my brain tells it? I mean I know that bad things happen and that sometimes those bad things are out of our control. I know that death is a part of life. Death is a fact of life. But I just don't know how to stop feeling panicky. Especially when it comes to my children. I feel like I'm just sort of sitting here with my eyes closed tight, hoping and praying that nothing ever goes wrong with them again. How do I get comfortable enough to just relax? How do I get back to just enjoying them without the worry? Any ideas? I probably sound like a lunatic, don't I? Maybe I am. I know I'm growing more and more frustrated with myself every time that panic grabs ahold of me and I can't stop it. I also know I'm too cheap for therapy (lol) so I thought I'd ask for some free advice first. I'm kidding...well, sort of. Seriously though...have any of you experienced anything like this before? If so, how'd you get through it? What worked for you? I'd love to know. I'd really love to start feeling joy again. I'd really love to put fear behind me and move forward without it. It's exhausting me.


  1. Hi sweet friend! I've missed you!

    I wish I had an answer for you. I really do. I guess the old saying "time heals all wounds" isn't exactly true, but I think with time things will calm down. I sure hope so.

    Since this happened in your family and since my daughter is now engaged and we're planning her wedding, I must admit that I've worried something might happen. It's hard not to worry.

    You're all still in my prayers.


  2. Kari, I'm sorry you are having to go through this.

    If the phone rings at a certain time of day, like early morning or evening, those thoughts occur to me. So part of that is normal, when it happens. No matter how old the children.

    Michelle was in an accident when she was 16, she and friends she was with, had minor injuries, but when the phone rang and we got that news of an accident and we were told to go to the hospital, and didn't know what was happening, it was an awful awful feeling, I won't forget. That was almost 22 years ago and I still worry when the phone rings. But it isn't the paralyzing fear it was early on.

    J's brother died in a car accident when he was 23. His mother never quite recovered from his death. To compound the pain, J's dad died, suddenly of heart attack, 2 months later, during the holidays. As I said, she still held that pain and worry about her surviving children, until the day she died. Eventually she learned to cope with it, I guess, and function. She was a devout Catholic with strong faith. The fear was still there. But I believe her faith helped her.

    I don't have any sage advice to help you get through this time.

    None of us want to see our children in pain, suffering the way Desiree suffered when she lost
    Russell. It is a totally helpless feeling. Again, my thoughts are with you.

    Perhaps a support group, in your town, rather than therapy, might help. Just folks with similar experiences and fears, sitting around sharing about these feelings.

    I don't know. It's so difficult to have a solution.

  3. I hear that you are saying that your head is rational and you do get that every phonecall won't be bad news, but your heart hasn't yet figured it out. Even though I've received that bad news call I've not responded to it in quite the same way that you have so I am precious little help. I do have a friend who used to worry when family members were away from home imagining all sorts of accidents. She stopped when she realized that it could only happen once and that what she was doing was making it happen every day and every time they were away. But it's hard to get one's imagination under control. I've heard that FEAR is an acronym for "False Expectations Appearing Real." That takes us back to what your heart doesn't yet know. Gee, I'm so helpful...I will pray for you to have relief from this, Kari. Take care...

  4. I can't even begin to imagine what you have gone through and how to deal with these fears. Perhaps you can get in touch with sweet Sally on Wispering Hope and talk things out with her.

  5. I can't offer any solutions, but I want you to know that you're in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. There's really no advice that anyone can give you to make this feeling go away. I think it's something that will ease with time, but there's always going to be that nagging fear that resides in a mother's heart. I've never suffered that tragedy, and yet I always worry till I hear the voice on the other's must part of being a mother once the chicks move out...I love you, try not to worry overmuch, okay? I wish I could give you a big hug...
    hug big one!
    Aunt Sandi

  7. Kari,
    My advice is from the heart. I know this to be true myself, and from my dear friend who lost her most-beloved daughter in a car accident- SHe is a strnghth to all around her. My advice is faith, a simple word, that means so much. Faith that God lives and loves us, Faith that He WILL comfort us , Faith that he knows our pain and the burden of it,---- and that he honestly and truly WILL carry that burden for us -- If I haven't lost you already..... - you might be thinking, But I pray I do have faith-- WHenever I have needed MORE faith, I searched to understand after not being able to trust very well on my own --how can I trust that God can take away my fear and pain-- well in my research I have learned : To gain more faith: learn more of God, by studying the Bible and His example. --Esp the New Testament (and I love the book of John). By more fully committing myself to living better - obeying all the dierectives and commandments of A Loving Father in Heaven and asking for help from Him when some were too hard-- and this is the key:-- doing all I can do and ASKING him to Help us - to take away the Fear, and actually BELIEVING that HE can and will do that for me because he loves me and You. I hope you will try this -- it can't hurt any more than it does:) And I have Faith that it will help.
    This is sent with love, Marcia

  8. Oh sweet girl, I can so feel your pain right through this computer.

    I will offer this advice... when the phone begins to ring, close your eyes, say a quick prayer something like this: Lord, whatever you are about to hand me, I can deal with it because I know you love and care for me. Then answer the phone in full confidence that you are in God's loving embrace.

    Please know you are in my daily prayers.

  9. Hi Kari,
    I'm so glad you are taking baby steps and coming back here to blog..I even noticed a "bit" of your humor shining through! I'm so sorry for what you've been thru......I can't say I have any answers.........other than it's probably totally normal to have these's part of the healing process I'm's when the panic feeling doesn't ever go away that you should probably get some professional advice. I know each and every day will get a little better...I know you have your strong faith.....I think Terri & Bob said it best!

  10. I can so relate! The night I heard the ambulance siren when my dad had a fatal heart attack, the siren when my son had a head-on collision, but had only a broken arm just a year and a half after breaking his neck in two places on an all-terrain vehicle - (Both accidents happened just up the country road from our house)--I don't do too well with sirens since then--When I hear one, I freeze up physically. This kind of stress causes one often to hold their breath without even realizing it--so try to be conscious of breathing slowly-- When my dad succumbed to the heart attack despite all attempts to revive him, I held on to my firm belief that all our days are written before we are even born. Even though my dad died at a relatively young age, he was spared so much. Martin Luther said hundreds of years ago that those who shake their fist at God are closer to the kingdom than the pious in the pew. So give yourself some slack - God knows that we are but dust and see through a mirror dimly. Our understanding of some things are clouded by our finite human condition. Some things we will never understand this side of eternity.

  11. I really understand your feelings, after Izzy's accident I was terrified. It was like the safety net had been taken away from my life and all at once I saw all the possible bad things that "could" happen. I think before Izzy's near drowning I thought bad things only happened to other people, never to me or my family.
    I had to let go of the fear and put all my faith in God. I had to realize that I do have the strength to face what happens day to day and to pray continuously for a hedge of protection over my family.

  12. I guess I will just agree with what everyone else acknowledge your fears (it's perfectly ok to feel that way), and then to place it in God's hands. I pray daily for Him to take the worry I have for my children or finances or whatever situation it happens to be...give it up so that He is holding on to it with you.

    I also love the idea of trying to find a support group. Perhaps there is one in your area; I know it would be great to have other people with common issues.

    Continued cyber hugs going out to you!

  13. I'm not a therapist, but I have an idea. Short of allowing a lot of time to allow the feeling to subside, you could try to accelerate it. This idea stems from when my father passed. I had to call people that I never call or rarely call. So if I call them to see how they're doing, they get worried that I am bearing bad news again.
    So, have your kids call you multiple times a day - to the point of annoyance. Eventually, it will be that every call is a "normal" call. Surely, being a mother, in the back of your mind, there will always be a twinge of concern. But I think this desensitizing approach can help take away that panic/anxiety feeling in a short amount of time.

  14. I know this feeling Kari. My Mom and brother both died suddenly late at nite of heart attacks and anytime the phone rings late at nite I can't help but think it's something horrible on the other end of the phone. Wish I had some answers for you to ease your mind but I will pray for you. Take care.

  15. I will also pray for you and your family, Kari. It's only through prayerful, loving family and friends, since my grandson was killed in September, that I've managed to hold on. I had to start thinking of how blessed we are to have had him in our lives for 17 years. I try to take one moment at the time. I worry ALL the time about my daughter, though, just as you do about yours. God bless.

  16. Kari, You've suffered a terrible trauma and you are a Mom who loves her kids, I'm not sure there is a cure other than numbing yourself or time. I'm still so very sorry and I keep checking back to see how you're doing. God bless you.


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