Use Your Words

The Word Proclaimed

Homily, Ordinary Time Sunday 2A

A few years ago, in a small town much like this one or others in South Dakota, a new postmaster arrived in town, so everyone—as they visited the post office to pick up their mail or to drop things off—was introducing themselves. Towards the end of the week, the local parish priest came to pick up the mail for his parishes. He introduced himself and asked how the new postmaster was settling into town, if he was able to find everything he needed, where he was moving from, how their town compared, and other points of interest like the weather. As the priest finished speaking with him and turned to go, the new postmaster said, “Father, aren’t you forgetting something?” The priest replied, “Do I have a package that I need to pick up?”

“Well, no, but aren’t you going to invite me to come…

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Sitting in seat 1A on a CRJ200 Canadair regional jet headed back to the arctic region of the upper Midwest.
For those of you who don’t know airplanes that is a puddle-jumper. Each seat is approximately 13 inches wide.

I woke up to head home today feeling reasonably well. Popped on some jeans and easy slide off shoes. I didn’t even feel like a Jersey Milker after I got going.

Checked 2 bags (one more) than I came out to my destination with. Damn shoe fetish and 3 bags of Filipino bread call pan de sal which Sioux Falls is seriously lacking in.

I digress.

I have been losing weight since Mali passed away some 21 months ago. I am down 50 lbs and I am starting to shrink or so I thought; until I met seat 1B.

Good lord. I am in a cage, giving muffin top a whole new meaning.

Put it this way. I have my entire left arm smashed into the window. I am leaning forward to try to disguise some of the muffin top but that is only pushing my boobs up and killing my back.

My neighbor in 1B is pecking away on his laptop arms on both arm rests and I am losing oxygen from trying to keep my guts sucked in.

And if adding insult to injury he’s a hottie.

Who the fuck am I fooling. I am going to use the I am six months pregnant excuse.

Yes, I know I am barren and my parts removed sometime ago.
I would rather be 6 months into dropping a kid down the chute then admit for one minute I don’t fit in this 13 x 15 inch space.

Screw Barbie and every Victoria’s secret model that has ever cat walked a runway all thin and flat chested. Real women have an ass and boobs. You alien women are wrecking my whole self image.

Ugh please God can we start descending already. Otherwise it’s going to be a Jameson’s neat and I won’t give one single fuck about my sad, pushing 50 years old contortionist act.

Thanks be to God. We started to descend. Soon I can exhale, breathe in the -15 degree air while giving a dearly missed and long overdue Camel light a tug and give my husband a hug.

Last winter here. I swear it.

It’s not over until you drop your faith.

We just passed 20 months without Mali. The holidays are upon us. What should be a joyous time is still marked with great sadness.

Finding ourselves so out of sorts is so disheartening. When I take steps forward, I take steps backwards. Especially this time of the year.

I went through a very dark place the last weeks. Reaching out to my dearest friends was difficult. They are a shelter for me.

Honestly I have been so disconnected, sometimes I just want to be with her now instead of living life. It sucks being in this wretched fog. I think it’s dissipating, then it’s back. Just want to fold in the cards.

Trying to remember that I belong here with people who love and need me is hard to see.

There are good things in my life. Tim, my friends who keep my head above water when I can’t, the beauty around me of the changing season, roof over my head, good job and my children are great gifts laid before me. I am grateful.

I offer my suffering to God and will try to remember who is driving.

Sometimes the Sun is Good.

There are a finite amount of days we have in our lives. People dream of material things while others seek the experience of the moment.

In the 17 months and 21 days since Mali died, material things matter little to me anymore. Not that it ever did really.

Life is an undulating, rocky path with small breaks of calm and peacefulness. I just want peace.

The chaos and despair that have ruled my life since she left have slowly moved towards the back of mind instead of front and center. It has to. I push it back, else I am consumed by her loss.

My suffering instead is offered up to God in reparation for the sins I have committed in my life.

How I miss that beautiful, wonderful child and the joy that radiated from every ounce of her being.

That hole in my heart will never fill. I’m holding it for her. I don’t want to fill it. It will always be hers.

I am actually starting to remember small things, moments we shared. Everyday little things that may seem inconsequential. She used to wake up on Saturday morning. If I was still asleep she would hop into bed and pry my eyes open with her little fingers. We would laugh and play. I’d make her whatever she wanted for breakfast or we would hit up the diner. One of her favorite breakfast places.
I dream about her more.

Slowly the agony that was my armor, so heavy and
clumsy I can start to dismantle and start to set aside. I hope that my wounds outside my heart may start to heal a little.

I hope I get to see her at the end of my time here. That’s all I want now. A short life and Mali at the end of it.

Being a member of the worst group possible

It is almost fall. The nights are starting to chill and the sunlight dwindles sooner.
We have 4 seasons in this part of the country.
Each season I count the months and days since Mali left this world. We are approaching 18 months.
Most of the time between my last blog I have been trying to keep a routine. Trying to stay on my feet. It’s an act. But like they say in AA, fake it until you make it right?
I go to work, pick my granddaughter from school and try to have as normal a routine as possible.
My friend Angela did a story on our local news tonight about the loss of her child. Here is the link to her story. ‪
Angela Kennecke Shares Story Of Daughter’s Drug Overdose‬

In an instance I relived the moment of Mali’s death. The similarities of Angela’s reaction and mine when that fleeting moment wher you hope the worst hasn’t happened, to the the paramedic telling you they couldn’t save her. Even though our loss occurred differently, the end result is still the same. We are grieving Mother’s who will never get to hold their child again. They aren’t walking though that door home again.
Her news story was poignant and hit more than a few buttons.
At the end of the day no matter how our girls lost their lives, we are still member of a group none of us want to be in. The grieving Mothers group.
It’s sucks and there isn’t a fucking thing that can be done to fix it.
The strength Angela showed today is also a testament of how far a mother can go to spin that grief into something positive. She is an amazing lady.
I am walking in memory of my daughter Mali for the AFSP walk against suicide. I have been at our state congress this year to network and work on a bill to reduce the number of Suicides in my state.
I want to fight for all the Parents of Suicide.
Maybe I can find some redemption in that.

Turn the page

I have found that I have become better at riding those tumultuous waves of grief that have swallowed me up and spit me out in a desert of emptiness since Mali completed Suicide 15 months ago.

Don’t get me wrong. This brand of grief isn’t one you can cast off like a coat on a cold day. I still cry that ocean of tears. I still scream in agony in my car literally. I am paralyzed with socializing, except for a few people. I prefer my own company.

Most days it is easier to get up and go to work now. I still have days where I am pulled to the cemetery instead of heading to work first.

We had a routine in the morning. I miss it. I still practice that routine because it’s one of those things I cling to. I want to keep her close even though my head knows she is gone. My heart refuses to believe. It will never believe.

I whisper to her all day long. I tell her about life without her. The words pass through my lips. Lost to empty space, scattered to the wind.

I have learned in retrospect a lot of changes that have occurred since my Girl died. My tongue is not so loose. I don’t worry like I used to. Seriously.

After losing a child, especially a child you are so in love with, there is nothing on this earth left for me to worry about.

I have no fear left about the world. Death is just a door I can pass through to be with her. Money doesn’t matter. Material things mean nothing. Trying to juggle all things as a wife, mother, full time work fell away. Trying to please people, speeding to get where I need to go. The list is long and stupid.

Moving at my own pace is the residual left in the place of chaos. The biggest lesson I learned is I Know Nothing.

Everything I learned over the years about being a human, my education, love of the world and things…it doesn’t fucking matter.

Everyday I am able to make it through is one less day here and one day closer to her.

Relocation Doesn’t Equal A New Start in Life

Moved to a new house in the same city I live in. Not quite sure how I feel about it.
The house is lovely as the neighborhood is.

Guess what happens when you leave the house your Daughter grew up in and died in to move to a new house. Nothing.
It is in my humble opinion that what one thinks may be a solution to suffering may not be all it is cracked up to be.

There is an environment of chaos. Self inflicted. Boxes, gear adrift that have not been touched in two weeks.

Packing up her room and all the random places we find reminders of her was hard.

Unpacking it and finding a place to put treasures and relinquish the remainder to some dark corner in the basement or closet is not working for me in my head.

I had so much help getting this move done. My children and their friends and significant other. My dearest friends Wendy and Tony (who are in the same club of Child Loss) were amazing in all things moving wise. Right down to the lunch they brought for the whole crew.

My best advice is if you don’t know what to do, do nothing. God will lead the way when you are ready to hear.

Today I will unpack one box of hers and clear off the fucking congestion I have been tripping on for the last two weeks.

The pain of being a Mother with a dead child never goes away. It doesn’t matter where you go. Your soul is branded until the day you die. It sucks to have to visit your kid at a cemetery and frankly I am still pissed off at God.

How can I get to Heaven to be with her if I curse his name daily? Haven’t figured out that part either. I guess today I just don’t care.


We have been packing up our home to move. This is the home we raised our children in. I nursed them when they were sick, celebrated birthdays, holidays.
Homes have so much love and warmth in them even bad things happen.
Our two of our older children moved out when it was time to leave the nest. That left our Mali virtually an only child. We adored her.
The thought of going through her things and packing them up was more then I could bear. My little girl died in her room. My heart raced and broke a thousand times today.
I called my close friend to help me. She too has been touched by her daughter completing Suicide. I couldn’t have gone through all of this without her support and love. We took our time. Many breaks and a couple of clonazepam later, it was over.
My darling Mali was now in 15 boxes. I let go as much as I could. Her Dad was in one of her other closets alone sorting through her piles and piles of teenager angst, clothing, stuffed animals. He separated her things into piles so we could go through it together.
How can a heart that is already broken break again?
The stitches that have held it together were stretched pretty tight today. Many broke and a few held strong.
Tim found some notes she had written in a notebook. She said why do my parents hate me? We were floored. I ruminated those words all day. We never hated her. We adored her. I can’t remember a time we could have caused her to feel that way. We can’t fix it now. It’s too late.
We are trying to move forward. This is not easy. So much guilt in the thought we are leaving her behind.
In my heart I know we’re not leaving her. She is coming with us. I just wish she was here to be excited about a new chapter.