Five weeks ago today, my life was altered forever. Tuesday June 27th, started out like any other day. I had a slow work day for some reason and I was feeling extra tired so I was just hanging around the house. My phone rang at 11:22 am and I had also missed a text that said “what ya doin my friend”.
I answered the call and it was my best friend of 30 years. She was headed to Walmart and wanted to know what I was doing. Well all she had to say to me was Walmart and I was busy lol. I hate going to Walmart so I wasn’t about to be like oh yeah I’ll go with you. She knew the answer before she called but she had to try. She asked me about running an errand for her and then decided she had it covered. I knew that I would go on and clean the house I had scheduled and when I got back I would get my daily afternoon text saying what ya doin now? Then I would debate going over to the farm or chatting on the phone instead. This was a daily thing for years now.
Around 3pm my brother text me and said “what are you doing?” I said “currently sitting on my butt on the couch”. He replied with “at your house”. My brother, his fiancé and I have a garden together so I thought he was saying he was at my house. I figured he was ready to pick green beans. I looked outside and didn’t see him, I thought well I will go out and get started while he gets here.
I walked outside and headed to the garden that hot day and as feeling whiny cause I was tired. As I stepped towards the garden something inside me said “something isn’t right, that text is gonna be a bad thing”. I turned around and nervously went to pilfering in my vehicle while waiting to see what direction he drove in from. I told myself if he comes from his house and in the Ranger it is ok but if he comes from the other way and in his truck this is bad.
In just a few minutes I saw him coming in his truck and my heart started sinking. I knew he was bringing me bad news. See my brother is a local firefighter and knows before most what’s happened in the community.
My brother pulled up and in a tone that verified my fear, he says “Cassie where is Dawni?” Dawni is my daughter so my heart started beating so fast. I said “I guess at home. Why?” He started to proceed to tell me I needed to stay calm. I then didn’t stay calm at all. I begin almost yelling and cussing at him to start talking and talk fast. My head was going so fast. I thought wow why would he come to tell me if it was my deployed son, he’s too calm for it to be my parents or sister, he asked where Dawni is so it’s not her. Are my grandkids with her?, where is Josh(her husband)?
My brother said “Cassie it’s Maver. There’s been an accident and a tree fell on her car and she’s been life flighted”. What? My head started spinning and there was nothing in me at all that was calm.
The reason he had asked where my daughter was is he had been up working all night and day. He wanted to have someone drive me safely to the hospital. My daughter didn’t hear her phone so he said “you stay right here. I mean it don’t you get in that car and leave here. I am going to get Megan and Andi and I will be back to get you”.
I made a call to another firefighter friend. I said” I know you know and you need to start talking. I want to know the truth”. He didn’t give me any details either. They were doing their jobs by not giving details. They was also both protecting me.
They came and picked me up and drove me to the hospital. All of our heads were spinning. This was such a freak accident that the spinning still continues. A couple of hours after I thought my brother and them had left, he text and they had gotten me a coffee. I was wondering why he who had no sleep was still there when I thought they went home. My brother knew in his mind and heart that I was facing a very dark time ahead of me. He talked to me about no matter what I have to stay calm and not react to anything that gets said or happens.
The next 4 days were a roller coaster of ups and downs. Hope then no hope. I only left the hospital when I absolutely had to for work. Saturday July 1st my best friend took her last breath and went to be with Jesus. I was angry, sad, numb, and actually went into shock.
Sunday morning after staying in a hotel that my brother and Megan put me up in, I left and headed home. I called my daughter and was having a discussion about plans for the evening. I hung up and then we talked again in a few minutes. Apparently when on the first call, I slipped into a discussion I thought I was having with my best friend. Sunday was always the same discussion if we wasn’t at camp. We would discuss the plans for the evening. I would always ask her if we was having a cookout and was we having a bonfire. When my daughter said “mom I thought you wanted a bonfire and to grill out.” I was like what?
I can not tell you how confused I felt when we begin to go back and forth on me having this discussion about bonfires and grilling. I insisted I never said such a thing. I did though!! When I got home and realized it was Sunday, I totally freaked out. What is wrong with me was screaming in my head. Did I have a stroke because my BP was out of control by this point. Monday after hours of out of control BP I ended up in the urgent care. I was diagnosed with shock and anxiety.
Grief is so weird. Grief can effect your health, mental status and your spirit. I was a mess for days. There are days I start out thinking okay I am feeling okay and this is going to be a good day. Before that day is over I have found myself in a state of overwhelming grief.
Last night I was at my work, where I clean an office and I did something embarrassing. Well it wouldn’t have been had no one been in there. Unfortunately there was a lady left in her office and I had no idea. When I realized and they had left, I reached for my phone to do what I would have always done. You guessed it… call my bff! Suddenly the air sucked out of the room and I gasped for air.
Maver and I went in on a swap meet spot with my parents. Now my mom has set up since the accident but I have not. Here in a few days I will face my first swap with out her. Part of me says nope I am not doing it. The other part of me who can’t get into my garage from all the swap meet items says YES YOU ARE GOING! There will be many many first with out her through this next year.
I also know in my grief that if I am feeling this bad, this means her husband, kids, grandkid, and parents feel it even more deeply. This makes the grief more intense to see others also hurting. One thing for sure is we are in it together and we can help each other through it.
Grief has its cycles and there is no order in which they cycle. I am pretty sure I’ve experienced all feelings at the same time on somedays. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are the cycles. The bargaining ended at that hospital on July 1st. The other cycles have been a roller coaster ride. I have God, family and friends that are helping me get through this season and for that I am so grateful.
If you have found yourself in a season of grief, it’s very important to have a great support system. There are support groups even on social media if you don’t have a local support system.
My friend hated having her photo taken. She took this one with me just for me. I knew it was a sacrificial act of love.
I hope my story helps you and you know your not alone in your season of grief.
Dream Catcher 3:20