Don't grieve alone; 14,000 members and growing
I am so sorry for the loss of your precious daughter, Julia. What a tragedy. I lost my daughter also to a drunk driver. I know something of your pain and am sending you my prayers.
Thank you Terrie, your story helps me feel less alone. How old was your daughter when she died? Does it help to join organizations that fight against drug abuse and all that goes with it? I don't think I'm strong enough to do that. I feel terrible guilt that I could not guide her better or persuade her to get the right treatment and stay with it. I feel awful and empty. It was so much easier when she was just a missing person; I could fantasize and delay my grief. All these other people on Facebook posting about their amazing lives, it just makes me sick with the unfairness of this world. Kara was beautiful, creative, intelligent...she was the heart of our family. Just like your Candance must have been. I hate the world that takes vulnerable young women and ruins their lives. Kara needed effective mental health and substance abuse treatment, but was 19 and we couldn't force her. We tried and it was a disaster. They tell you to "let go" or even to kick them out of your house. "They will bottom out." No they won't. In the end she dropped out of treatment and went back to Colorado Springs, where we used to live, instead of staying with us in Chicago, where we had just moved. Then she went missing. The awful thing is that I think she was about to agree to come back to us--then a monster took her life.
Today was a hard day. We had a TV crew here to do a spot on a crime show. It's to put pressure on the idiot sheriffs to actually investigate the case instead of just shoving it aside as a cold case. The top sheriff was just indicted on 6 felony charges; all that was happening when my daughter went missing so they just gave lip service to investigating, passing the case from one investigator to the next, making a lot of excuses and not knowing how to do anything. The show was to portray Kara as a beloved daughter--no mention of the awful circumstances thank God. My husband could not bear the part where we were filmed looking at family photos. I have looked at them from time to time, but he really never has. Although he seemed to feel all along that she was dead, I don't think he ever stopped hoping for a miracle same as me. It was hard to bear his pain, much less my own. To see our beautiful child and remember we were once a happy family. Now I just feel empty, like this is a waking nightmare. We never really had a chance to develop an adult relationship with Kara, what with all the teenage drama, angst, and then drug addiction. I've kept a journal and it does help; guess I'll go back to it. You're right, therapists don't know what to say and "active listening" is not helpful to me. I am glad you had the chance to talk to your daughter and tell her you loved her. I too was able to do that and it is a small comfort. I have two other children and I must function and be there for them...but it's as though I miss and long for the lost sheep all the more. She was the one who always needed me the most and I felt the closest to. She created a lot of havoc in our household for many years, with the emotional problems (some therapists called it bipolar, others borderline personality disorder). For awhile after she disappeared, I'm ashamed to say all I could feel was anger and some sort of relief. I like to believe that with time, adulthood and the right treatment/therapy, she could have overcome all of this. Maybe just part of my fantasy and rationalizations. Grief sucks doesn't it? I will never get over this.
I do feel much less alone in knowing your daughter's story and the grief and justice journey you're on. Thank you so much for sharing it with me. The tipster said someone overheard a bad guy (an alleged rapper-pimp that Kara was associated with) brag that he killed her, and that at least 10 other bodies are buried with her. So we can say serial killer also. It's hard to wrap my mind around this level of evil, but it must be expressed so that I can move beyond the horror and properly grieve. I keep going over the what ifs, the bargaining, the personal guilt. We told her she was always welcome to come back to us, as long as she would agree to treatment...not exactly the unconditional love one wants to offer their child. The rehab places say "kick them out"--exactly what kind of solution is that? So they can turn to prostitution? I wish I could have gotten guardianship of her and forced her into residential treatment--but I doubt that a judge would have granted that. How can one build a trusting adult relationship when drugs take over the mind and soul and turn people into desperate manipulators. I have to find a way to remember what a beautiful girl she was before all that, and all the love we shared, the normal fun family times. Yes I can relate to the military town aspect of your daughter's case, and that's another travesty. All this happened in Colorado Springs, a hypocritical hellhole of the military/religious complex, I truly loathe the place. Drugs have invaded all the high schools, but they prefer denial and don't have the political or economic will to do anything about it. Thanks for reading my rant, it really helps.
How incredibly sad, I'm so sorry you are here with the rest of us grieving mothers and fathers. You are right to say you have 3 daughters, because you do. Your girl will always be yours, she's just not here physically, as you so obviously feel and know. It's a real shame and a real waste. May you find some eventual peace and healing. Bless us all--
Christine, I cannot tell you how sorry I am for your loss. I don't even know what to say. I loss my daughter, Caitlin, at age 20 to an impaired driver. She is our only child. That was almost 6 years ago. I still cry every day. Yesterday it was at my hair salon and at the dinner table. I believe that PTSD is a real possibility and I have often wondered if I have it. The day that she was taken seems like yesterday to me. And, yes, a part of me died that day too. I am a very different person now. I feel like half of a person because she was always my other half and always will be. There is no pain like this. This is the hardest thing anyone could ever go through. The only hope I have is that I will be with Caitlin again when it's my time to leave this earth. It's good that you had that last month with your son. You are in my prayers.
I lost my son, Lucas, on August 26, 2016 in a car accident. We think he misjudged the turn on our dark rural road because he was very sleepy and hit a retaining wall. He was killed instantly, we think just a few minutes after his sister made that turn from the opposite direction coming home from a football game. I heard the sirens, and something prompted me to check our local communities Facebook page - which was reporting a fatal accident near our mile-marker. I donʻt know why, but I woke my husband up and told him we should go check. It was only a quarter mile away, and when we got there we couldnʻt identify what kind of car - just the color. We asked the police, "What kind of car is that? Who is in that car?" They told us a young male, deceased was in the car, and asked us for our license plate number. I couldnʻt remember it - just when they told me the wrong number, I knew it wasnʻt it and felt a little relief - but the police officer apparently couldnʻt read his own hand-writing, and it was our son, our beautiful, wonderful boy.
Before the confirmed this, my husband noticed a piece of the bumper at the retaining wall - the car had slid across the road and they wouldnʻt let us approach it. He bent to pick up the piece, and the police man snapped at him - "Itʻs a crime scene!" But my husband said, "This could be our car; this could be our son," and ignored him. He turned to me and said, "Itʻs our car." I started screaming. He must have been in shock, so he turned to look at the piece again, just to make sure, and again, the officer snapped at him about the crime scene.
I wanted to go to my boy - he was just across the road, but they wouldnʻt let me. I knew he was dead, but I just wanted to go to him. I am still a little upset that I couldnʻt, that they wouldnʻt let me.
I wanted to see him so much, that we waited at the crime scene for over an hour, hoping to see them take him out of the car, but eventually, reason set in, and we went home and waited up for them.
Lucas is our third of four children. He just graduated from high school in May, and had a full tuition scholarship to our local university. Heʻd come home from the dorm that night to do laundry and have dinner with us. He went for a drive to see a beautiful local phenomena - he was only going ten miles and it was relatively early. How I wish I had thought about how little sleep heʻd had the night before; how I wish I had stopped him.
I am in agony, still - it will be 2 months tomorrow. I teach where he attended school, and there is nowhere he is not on this campus in my mindʻs eye - and nowhere in this world where I can hug him. Some days are so hard, I feel like I am walking through molasses. I want my son.