August 29, 2011
I am supposed to write this letter to you in order to move past your death and let the healing process begin. Since your passing I have felt nothing but guilt and shame on my part. I feel I let you down when you needed me the most. I was so wrapped up in my own feelings of sorrow that I ignored everyone else's feelings, including yours. I don't deal well with death and instead of facing the fact someone close to me is dying I push myself as far away as I can and ignore it. I can't cope with death and dying and I am scared of it.
I handled your sickness poorly and tried to drink all of my problems away. I numbed my thoughts and feelings with alcohol while you were sick. I would rather not feel the pain of losing someone very close to me. Instead of visiting you like I should have I would seclude myself in my apartment and drink my nights away so I wouldn't have to feel anything. I regret my actions because I lost valuable time with you. There are so many things that I needed answered before your passing that I never got to ask and now I those questions will be left unanswered. I had things I needed to tell you that were never said.
I carry an extreme amount of guilt for my actions. It's a type of guilt that is debilitating and threatens my quality of life. I would never harm myself but my obsessing over what I didn't and shouldn't have done while you were alive takes away from my present and away from my family. I am angry with myself that I didn't handle your sickness better.
I should have spent more time with you while you had good days after being diagnosed with Leukemia. I lost so much time with you because I was selfish. I wasn't there for you like I should have been. I wish I had one more day with you so I could tell you everything I didn't say and ask everything I needed answered. I wanted to know your thoughts on death and dying. Were you scared? Were you prepared to go to heaven? So many questions that will be left unanswered. Those questions will always haunt me and lay heavy on my heart and mind.
I have been a broken spirit now that you have passed. A spirit that only you could have mended before your death but I was too selfish to see it or need it. I needed your wisdom. I don't think you or I knew how much you meant to me. I have so much admiration and respect for you; you were the most selfless human being I knew or know now. You put everyone elses needs before your own. You were the thread that held our family together.
You had your quirky OCD ways that only now we truly understand. I really understand them because I am exactly like you in many ways. My family finds ways to ruffle my OCD feathers just like I did to you growing up. I am sorry for all of that because now I truly understand how nerve wracking that can be at times. I suffer from anxiety and it's hard to deal with some days. I want to run in a hole and hide from the world....probably like you did but you were so much better at hiding it than I am. I am not that strong yet.
I can only hope to make you proud by bettering myself as a person. I have stopped the things you would have frowned upon. I'm a good wife who loves her husband and takes care of him. I am a loving mother to our two children and I try to do the special traditions and little things for them that you did for Dad and me. I also try to keep all of your holiday traditions. I continue to cook your meals for holidays and Dad is getting better at arriving on time; finally!!! We have had some really good dinners since you have passed; I think you would have been proud.
My best achievement so far has been Brody; he has changed me completely. He calls you "Grandma" when we visit your grave. Nobody told him to either; but I guess you already know that. Victoria and Brody have made me a more compassionate human being. As you would say, Brody, is "a mess" and into everything. He has a lot of the Carroll traits. He loves to rock in a rocking chair and take walks with his everyone. He has your and Dad's nose and your beautiful blue eyes.
I really wish you were here to experience all the joy he brings the family but I am sure your watching happily from above. There is so much more I could tell you and still need to express but that would take years. I just want you to know that I am sorry, I love you and I hope I have made you proud.