Sunday, April 4, 2010

Unholy Week/New Life

"Holy Week" marks the ninth anniversary of Robin's death. I measure by the liturgical calendar rather than by dates.

Palm Sunday, approaching midnight, I received the phone call that Robin had been horribly wounded and that I must get to the hospital as soon as possible. And I entered a dark cavern.

Monday Colleen, Kevin, Roger, and I traveled to New York arriving at her bedside around eight o'clock in the evening, to find her hanging to life by a thread. I assured her that her children were safe and I felt like she understood. I did not feel my child was safe; I knew she was in grave danger.

Tuesday we met with multitudes of people, doctors, clergy, police, social workers, and started working on gaining guardianship of Ben and Logan.

Wednesday I watched as Robin was unplugged from life support and no longer breathed. We went to court for guardianship. Valery arrived from California. A severe thunderstorm that evening articulated God's rage at Robin's death.

Maundy Thursday I felt like I could not go on. Colleen, Kevin, and Roger returned to California, taking Ben and Logan with them. I hated to see Colleen leave, she had so bravely, kindly, stoically, gently, heroically -- there aren't enough words -- propelled me through the nightmare of the past four days. I don't know where she got the strength and clarity. I stayed in New York to finish any business with Valery taking over for Colleen as driver, guide, and vital support. I could not function without them.

Good Friday Steve committed suicide. On Monday I would have to arrange for Robin's cremation and transfer of her remains to California. I didn't want to stay in Rochester for Easter weekend, so Valery and I went to Ovid, NY to stay with a friend (Gail) I had visited a couple of weeks the previous year.

Saturday is a blank. I remember almost nothing from that day.

Easter Sunday we attended services at the local Presbyterian Church; Gail had arranged for flowers on the altar in Robin's memory. The day was bright, sunny, and unseasonably warm for that part of the country known for long winters and late springs. We ate brunch at a local winery and sat outside on the deck. Somebody said something funny, I don't remember what it was, but I heard myself laugh, almost a bark at first, but then I realized I had laughed and would laugh again. And I knew that Ben and Logan were safe in California with Colleen and that she was working with her mother-in-law to put together an Easter they would remember the rest of their lives (so far, they do!). And I knew that somehow, I would get through.


  1. As horrifying as those events were...I'm very, very happy to have you and the boys in my life.

  2. Melody, this memory touched me deeply, but it certainly doesn't seem like nine years ago you called from O'Hare to tell us what had happened and that you were on your way to be with Robin. Linda wasn't here, so I had to tell her when she came home. What a horrible day!

    Little did we know then that just a few years later we would experience the death of an adult child. Another horrible day!

    So many people we have known over the years have lost a child, and we have been able to draw strenght in our loss by having the privilege of being a part of their grieving. It's not easy, time does not heal all wounds, but life goes on. There's just a bit of a hole in one's heart.

    As always, we love you dearly and are so proud of your boys.


  3. You've done so much more than get through these past nine years. You've turned two boys' lives around. I can't begin to count the miracles I've observed and been a part of. Thank you for the poignant reminder and for letting me be a part of it, the good and the bad. I love you all so much. Valery

  4. Thanks all for your words of encouragement -- you help me keep on keeping on!