My hope that the body wasn’t my sister’s didn’t last long. My mom and dad walked in shortly after I read the newspaper. My mom didn’t really “walk in”, she was more carried in, my dad on one side of her and my uncle on the other side. Her feet dragging behind her as they led her to the couch. My dad nods at someone in the room and says “it was her.” The waves of grief hit me again- to the floor, or to a wall, I needed something solid to hold on to.
Not my sister, it couldn’t be, not my sister.
I manage to crawl to my mom but she can’t see me. I’m right in front of her, grabbing her face, I say…”Mom, no, mom”. But she still can’t see me. She is inconsolable, screaming, “my baby, that’s my baby! Christina!!! Christina!”. Between my waves of grief I try harder to get her to see me, but her mind seems… gone. Fear overcomes me. I continue to cry on the floor with her, grabbing at her head to turn towards me, as if somehow I could rescue her from the same pit that was swallowing me.
My mom begins to say out loud what she saw but not to anyone in particular because I don’t think she could see us but I think just out loud as if her mind was still trying to process it. She screamed, “my baby, was so cold, she had cuts, oh the cuts, and her throat, she was so cold.”
I wish I could unsee my mom’s words, but I have tried for 16 years now and I can’t. Even though I didn’t see Christina on that day at the coroner’s office, I saw her everyday in my mind since- on that “cold table, with cuts, her throat, and so cold.” I would be haunted with that image for years to come. I’m not sure how my parents have been able to cope with the real image but I would think God designs our minds to suppress some thoughts for our sanity. Seeing your child’s lifeless body and slashed throat has to be one of those things your mind MUST suppress, bury, disappear. Thinking about this now, I know that is why my mom didn’t see me, she was insane because her mind didn’t suppress the image… yet.
I kept trying to calm my mom but it was so hard. I felt broken and my mom was flopping around the sofa like a restless wild animal in chains trying to get free, except the chains were her body. I knew because it was how I felt too, captive to my body, there was no escape. I decided to grab her face again and turn it towards me, I said louder, “MOM.”
She saw me.
“Prissy?”, she squinted through her tears. “Your sister, she’s gone.” Then my mom didn’t see me again, her mind or something in her body left, I could see it in her eyes- she was being swallowed again, consumed again by the dark pit -we couldn’t escape.
Fear hit me again, and I realized I was fearful because I may lose my mom. How would she survive this, how would we survive this.
My dad says, “it was you sister, she’s gone mi hija (daughter).”
I decided I would let the pit swallow me too. It was too much. I cried uncontrollably, flopping around like a wild animal being held captive by my body- weeping for my sister, my mom, my dad, my family.
I learned a few years ago – they medicated my mom those weeks after my sister’s death. I wish I knew about medication at that time. I never tried medication until recently for anxiety. I only take it as needed but could of definitely used some medication during then and for the years to come.
To the reader: The above is from my journal written a few years ago but this small excerpt is written in real time. I didn’t have medication at that time BUT I had my faith and faith alone saved me. I’m still amazed how God rescues me still- EVERY day. I listen to the song below when I need rescued – I hope it brings you some peace too.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he breaks down the gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron. Psalm 107:13-16