Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Scream

"What did you do when your father died?"  (asked a friend)

My answer...

"I screamed until I lost my voice".

Tears come to my eyes at the memory of that horrid, black, terrible night.

Granddaddy had called me...

"Steffi?" he had said hesitating and with his voice cracking he informed me... "Your father is dead..." 

Holding my breath he went on to explain how it wasn't just him that had died...there were others...two others...

I don't remember ending the conversation with Granddad....I dropped the phone....collapsed to my knees...I screamed as loud and as long and as hard as I'd ever done in my entire life..I screamed and screamed...

Grandma Jean tried to console me, but couldn't.  I folded in half, collapsed to the floor - still screaming...

My husband cried as he stood there watching me in agony.... they let me scream and scream and scream.   Grandma would leave for a moment to call the bishop for help.  It was late in the evening.  I would scream until I needed air again and then scream again, and again, and again, and again and again....

A little while later, the entire bishopric from our church ward, would knock on the door and be led downstairs to where I was.

I was still curled up on the floor with my arms wrapped around my waist.  My head hurt, I felt like vomiting....

The people....my step-mom...the innocent other man I didn't know....my sisters, where did the police take them?  I was the oldest...what, why, how, when, is this real, how could this be....no it couldn't, yes it could.....how.....why.....oh dear God.....he's a murderer......

Through tears streaming down my face I leaned my back to the wall, tried to appear sane, and recounted the story that my Grandfather had told me to the concerned men crouched down to face me as I sat there completely lifeless...

Feeling somewhat removed from the situation, I told them what I knew 3rd party, as if I was a reporter who didn't really believe the story....I retold what had been told to me...but it was so hard to believe....

They gave me a priesthood blessing....

I pleaded over and over to those great spiritual leaders...."DO NOT tell ANYONE in the church what has happened.  Not even my visiting teachers!"  So over the next several months I would try to appear as if "nothing had happened".

A black plague now loomed over my maiden name.  My ancestors....the generals, the colonels, the brigadier generals....such incredible men and women...my great-great grandmother "Who's Who among American Women"...she was in that book...

Now my name, I dared not tell people my last name - they would make the link to the terrible tragedy.  Even now I avoid anyone I know is from that same town...they'd make the connection...

The pain is still with me.  Tears still flow freely sometimes when I'm at church.  One day an older man, the father of a friend of ours, came to visit and sat in front of me at church.  I stared at that white/grey haired/balding man with the tan head on top and cried the entire hour silently.  He reminded me of my Dad.  Tears streamed down my cheeks nonstop.  I miss my father - that funny, funny wonderfully crazy man- that generous, loving, kind man.  I miss him so much. 

My pain is still great and my heart still aches at the loss.

My distant family does not know the details of the death.  They only know of the suicide.  Perhaps reading this post will be the first time they learn the truth. 

It was tragic....very tragic.

At times I feel like throwing up.  Throwing up the sickness I feel in my soul. 

Whenever I eat processed food containing gluten, and sometimes when I just eat processed food, the depression hits...it hits hard enough to scare me away from the contaminated food.  I don't want to die like my father did.

For me the answers have been in the food I eat and the water I drink....I'm opening my life up to the healing powers of the earth and the sun....to any truth I can find...to the healing power of herbs and essential oils.

I'm beginning to open my heart to the healing powers of the Savior.  Today I went to church without excitement.  I went through the motions.  As I sat there and listened to the testimonies of the savior, was greeted by happy people and felt their love, my hard cold heart opened a little.  It will someday become soft.  To keep going forward I will need to forgive those who may judge my lack of excitement and lack of joy.... forgive me...I'm still grieving.  It has come in waves.  I stuff it in for years and then let a little bit of the pain out...a little at a time.

Perhaps by writing this post is a sign that I'm getting well.  I'm becoming prepared to tell his story.

If you know my Grandparents, please DO NOT discuss this blog with them.  DO NOT...it is too painful and they are very private.  DO NOT! DO NOT!  The pain would be too great for them. 

Direct only those to this blog site that you think it could help.

My thoughts are with you!

-Steff E

2 comments:

amy said...

Stef- thank you so much for sharing this. It was beautifully written and was so touching. I can't believe what you have gone through and that you had to do so much of it alone. I hope know that I will always be there if you need someone to talk to.

Steffi said...

My friends at Deseret Dance were the ones who sustained me through this all. We had some good cries. Thank you Amy. Love you!