throats are dry, let us sing

I’ve been really hesitant to publish this one. Thanks Laura, for giving me courage.

Sunday marked exactly two months since the accident. Most of my physical injuries have healed; my collarbone hurts occasionally and sometimes my face throbs where it was patched back together, but they’ve mostly healed. Lots of my emotional wounds haven’t.

People have been generous with their words about how positive I’m being. That is not a false front; I have lots to be grateful for and I genuinely am happy most of the time. But I’m here to tell you that it’s still hard. That everything I’m dealing with is, at times, overwhelming.

My life is a glass ball. It was cracked in January by my dad leaving, broken in February by an official divorce, and smashed to pieces in June. It’s slowly being put back together, piece by piece. It’s been a large exertion of effort on my part and an even greater collective effort of others. From cars and houses to retainers and running shoes, things are slowly being restored. There's still work to be done, but I feel a semblance of something normal again. However, that glass ball will never be the way it was. It will always have scars, and maybe some pieces will never be recovered. Coping with that fact isn’t always easy. In my weaker moments I long for the days when things were comfortable, normal, the way I liked them. I do my best to adjust, to find wonderful things to love about my patchwork life. But it’s not easy.

You know how people have flashbacks in movies? How they randomly have images of accidents or moments of horror flash through their minds? Well its real. For me, anyway. It happens when I experience similar emotions. It’s like my brain sees what I'm going through and how I feel and brings back associated memories. Like that one three second long memory where I came to consciousness lying on a road with my bloody, broken head, trying to ignore the man in the brown baseball cap. That moment lasted an eternity. I could feel the heat of the sun, the stillness of the air, the way there was no traffic rushing by. The way everything just stopped for a few seconds and I was lying there completely broken and completely helpless. Sometimes that memory keeps me company when I feel emotionally broken. And I just want to sit and let nothing happen. To not move because it might make things worse. To ignore the man shouting questions in my face. To let the world go by because nothing else matters except how injured I am. That moment was easy compared to the way things are now. I was justified in lying there. These days I have to stand up, to complete tasks, to act as though everything’s fine when really, it’s not. I miss that day, those three seconds.

Sometimes the memory keeping me company is the one in the hospital the first night where the oxygen mask burned my lips and breathing gave me the sensation that I was on fire. I couldn't move, I couldn’t scream, and I couldn't do anything but sit and feel the pain. It was therapeutic for me to experience that pain so completely. I couldn’t do anything to lessen the pain, I just had to let it wash over me until it passed. There are times when the emotional pain is so real, so tangible, I just sit and let it hurt until it stops hurting. I don’t enjoy it, but in the end it’s okay.

I’m a sensitive person. I get my feeling hurt way too easily. I freely admit that. My heart aches when people don’t want to be my friend, when people disappoint me, when my feelings get hurt. I try to avoid subjects and situations that would create conflict because I when I’m involved in conflict I always end up feeling crummy about myself. It’s a vicious cycle. Guess what: people are sometimes insensitive to my situation. People try to make excuses for other people—they don’t know what to say to you, they don’t know how to make things better, you know. Things like that. While I try to be understanding, it still hurts. And it hurts to deal with more than I’m already dealing with—the last thing I need right now is crap from other people. I’m trying to keep my head up and I’m trying to make the best of everything, but sometimes it’s hard and I spend a lot of time crying. Just sayin’.

I frequently—no, constantly miss Jada. Sometimes the thought of her not being alive pops out of nowhere and makes my throat tight and my eyes water. Nine times out of ten I suppress it and focus on other things. But know that I cry ten percent of the time. [Yes, simple math makes me feel like I’m in control.] I am sad that my friend is not here to be my friend. I will probably have moments where I’m sad about that for the rest of my life. And that’s fine. She was an important part of my life, and will always be important in one way or another.

Because I love that beautiful girl.


And the thought of her brings me peace. I am completely capable of moving past this. I will usually feel better tomorrow or in a few days. Until then I pour out my words into this little blog of mine, untangling the way I feel with words, releasing the tightness in my chest and the pain in my heart. Healing a little at a time.

[Title from Shelter by Sherwood]


  1. Bridian, I love you soooo much. I have absolutely no way to understand exactly how you feel, or to know exactly what to say. But I will never forget when we came to visit you and Jada found a razor in the camper and daringly tried to shave her non existent beard only to end up with a large cut in her chin. But she was soooo strong that she never shed even a single tear. She is an amazing and wonderful person , and that is exactly why Heavenly Father needed her. She knew exactly who she was and she was faithful. We all are going to miss her terribly, but only for a short time. In Heavenly Fathers eyes we are only hear for minutes then back in his presence. Millions of people are waiting to be taught because they never had the chance here. She is going to be an amazing teacher and sooner than we think we are going to be able to abraza la y nunca mas van a ser seperada. Yo te amo muchisimo, cual quiere tiempo se nesecitas algo, llama me.

  2. My darling girl! I love you so much! You are so brave and so wise and so wonderful! Thank you for being willing to help us remember that your heart is fragile and you need our love and patience for far longer than a day or week or month. You will hurt for a long time...and it sucks (there's no other word for it is there? It just sucks!). I know how strong you are. I know how grown up you are. I know how well you will thrive despite this heartwrenching loss...but you shouldn't have to be the "strong/brave/happy one" all of the time. Thank you for being willing to help us learn how to support someone who is coping with such enormous loss better. It's such an important, and rarely understood, lesson. I love you! I adore you! I want to wrap my arms around you and make you understand how fantastic you are. Just matter what other well intentioned people say... whatever you feel right now, its the right thing to feel. You have to go through all the up, down, and sideways emotions to grieve. It's good. And we all need to be more aware and sensitive to it. I meant what I said! I don't care what the reason...and I don't care what the time...I will always be happy to get that call. I love you my darling Bridian!

  3. I can't believe how well your whole family is handling this... I don't want to go into detail but, I don't handle stressful situations too well or death. When you want to cry, yell, lay in bed and ask why, laugh and feel any and every emotion you want/need to sometimes things just suck and it's OK to say it and feel it. You will never *recover* from this loss it is far too huge and if anyone expects you too they are LOCO! I think it's important to work through the emotions as they come and don't pressure yourself or let anyone else (much easier said than done). Whew that was a soap box so I will step down. It will get easier time does not heal all wounds but it lessens them and they become scars, we always have the reminder but the hurt is much less. You are so loved by so many people here and on the other side of the veil. Through the struggles that I have had in life I always think of this quote by Elder Holland "When suffering, we may in fact be nearer to God than we’ve ever been in our entire lives. That knowledge can turn every such situation into a would-be temple." I think suffering is an important part of life, knowing that does not make it any easier but at least we know there is a purpose. Turn to the Lord for comfort and know that we all love you and many of us are spending time on our knees in your behalf!

    PS- I win for longest comment ever right?!

  4. It is not easy to learn to leave with something you can not change. Your heart will always have scars and you will always remember.
    I just want to tell you that you are doing a great job. what a great person you are!! And was blessed with a great family too!
    The Gospel brings us some hope and helps us cope with things a little better.
    Thanks for always sharing your feelings so well in your blog..I wish I could put in to words my feelings like you do! :)
    Remember Joshua 1:9...I read it often!!

  5. You will always miss Jada and there is no reason why you shouldn't. Matthew has been gone for 6 years and the other day on my way home from work, listening to Howard Stern interview Lady Gaga,I couldn't stop crying. She was playing an accoustic version of the song The Edge and explain how she wrote it about her grandfather who was just about to die in Hospice. I hold everything inside and couldn't stop the tears.Now did I think I would be listening to Howard Stern and cry for anything other than laughter? No way. I just think it is great for you and everyone who reads your blog to share in your expressions. I sometimes feel like a stalker when I wake up and check my phone to see if you have posted. Thanks again for allowing me to share these feelings with you. Love D.

  6. Thank you Bridian for sharing something so personal. It can be difficult to "expose" such personal feelings/issues publicly, but as my wife knows, it can also be therapeutic. I can't imagine all you've been through, but I do hope and pray that you and your family continue to find the comfort you need.


  7. Brid, sometimes I feel like that you take my feelings, the ones that I can't explain, and put them into words a way that I can't. Love you.