My sister died back in 2008. She was 48.
Left behind 3 kids. A grown son, well 23...is that grown??
She also left behind 2 daughters, one was 19, and the other was 10.
The 10 year old grieved inappropriately and by that I mean not at all really.
Kept a smile on her face throughout the wake and the funeral and later acted as if her life hadn't changed at all.
It was weird and disturbing.
Gramma and her Dad thought she handled the situation wonderfully.
Look at how strong she is being? Isn't she a neat kid? So grown up and mature.
I was frantic to make them understand that what was happening was so not good.
But, since neither one of them were handling the death of my sister, their daughter and wife with any kind of maturity themselves, I was at a loss as to what to do.
So I chose to do nothing. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
My two surviving sisters and I felt helpless to change the situation.
Gramma and Dad were now the primary caregivers of a 10 year old girl.
Gramma, who grieves through anger and blaming.
Dad a prescription pain pill addict, grieving only for himself.
If they said she was doing ok, who was I to say no she ain't! ???
But in my mind, I knew. I knew that she was not ok.
With any of this.
Hell, I wasn't ok with any of this! What made me think that she would be??
Nobody can act that normal, especially a 10 year old girl who's just buried her mom.
It took 4 and half years for it to manifest itself into something ugly.
And to be truthful, I figured she would find the love that she was so desperately craving in a bottle of black hair dye and some piercings.
Heavy metal, grunge music seeping through her closed bedroom door.
Maybe a tattoo or two. A skull and a rose?
Possibly (horribly) lose herself in the world of addiction with pills, powders, needles and booze.
Teen pregnancy maybe??? A boy to love her for the time it took to make a baby and then leave her??
Today at school, she told a counselor that she wanted to die.
That she thought about taking her own life.
That it hurt too much to live anymore.
And the grief comes out. In whatever way it can.
Can you imagine the intensity of that pain?
The pain of a 14 year old girl, who just wants to cut herself to death?
DCFS took her from her addle-pated Dad just a few short weeks ago.
Someone at the school finally realized that she was raising herself in that sick addicted atmosphere.
They recognized the signs of neglect...dirty hair, dirty clothes, overweight, failing grades.
So in one aspect, the system was in the process of saving her.
We were unaware of the cuttings.
We were unaware of the nature of her thoughts.
But she knew.
And Bless her soul...she decided to save herself.
Today she told a counselor that she wanted to die.
And today she is on her way to getting the help she so desperately needs.
The help she so desperately deserves.
I want to tell her:
It's gonna be a long road but you've taken the first step.
Do you even know how fabulous you are?!
You. Saved. Yourself.
Stay strong sweet girl.
Love you T!