It is amazing to me that one minute in my life made such a difference. One minute was all it took to divide my life irrevocably into Before and After.
The plans, friends, and life Before we lost Kasey.
And the sorrow and loss that came After.
Before Kasey, I had no doubt that my friends and family would be there for me. And After, I discovered that some could only come to me, love me, if it didn't mean them facing hard things...if they didn't have to say her name. Perhaps Before, I was as blind as they are. But After, I discovered that I could not carry my own sorrow and still live with their Silence. It was too heavy a burden.
Their Silence continues, to this day, to hurt me sometimes. "How can you love me," my heart cries, "when you don't see me?" Because to see me, to know me, means acknowledging them. My children, each and every one.
I have forgiven them for their Silence, because to do otherwise burdens me even more. That hurt could easily turn to anger and bitterness - and I do not want that. I want, instead, to remember them fondly. Knowing that in this, they failed, but that they were still incredible people to have in my life. I remember the funny, or the silly, or the generous things they did. And then I thank God for them, and pray that they may prosper in all they do...and that they will never know this pain. I don't ever want that for them.
It's one of the reasons I'm so attached to the STILL Project. One of the reasons I want so badly for it to succeed, to be wonderful and enlightening. I don't want it to be a tool for me, really. I want it to be a tool for all the others - the ones who find themselves locked in Silence when tragedy befalls their friends or family. A way for those of us who know...a way for us to share, in a BIG way, what losing a child means for us.
The STILL Project is important because it not only gives me the opportunity to speak....it gives the rest of the world a chance to Listen and Learn.