What better thing to do on a rainy day than write.
March 24, 2012. The first day of my life without Olivia. It sucks. Erick and I both agreed that we didn't want to be alone so we called our friends and asked them to come to our house. By Saturday night, our house was packed with friends and family and it continued for an entire week. Food, flowers, and gifts were being delivered to our home. It was so comforting to have the distraction from our reality. But, when it came time for visitors to leave...... oh, that's right. Olivia is still gone. I would go to sleep at night with the help of Xanax but wake up to my nightmare each morning. I think one night, I actually dreamed that it was just a nightmare and Olivia was still alive. My mind was playing games with me or was it the Xanax? Or, was it just part of grieving? Whatever it was, it was awful. I wanted a do-over in life. I wanted out! But, each morning we woke up, cried and continued being parents to Ainsley. My mother-in-law slept at our house, which was nice to have her there.
By day two of our new life, we were faced with writing an obituary. Erick handled it and did it beautifully. We were also faced with contacting the mortician in Florida because Olivia was still there, remember? Because Olivia was young, an autopsy was required. Oh, that makes me sick to think of that process so I don't choose to write about that. Oh, and I did wish for her organs to be donated. Something good has to come from this, right? I am thankful for my father-in-law, a lawyer, who helped in getting death certificates for life insurance policies that we had. Sounds strange that we had life insurance on Olivia but my dad had purchased one through some local organization never thinking we'd need it. But, there we were........ using it towards a funeral.
Day 3, we're meeting with the Pastor from our church to discuss funeral arrangements. We're also meeting with my friend's father, who is a funeral director to discuss those details. What color casket? What size? Olivia was "big enough" to be in an adult size casket. Oh, good for her. I hope you sense the sarcasm. I asked the funeral director how much all of this would cost. Why? I don't know. It just came out of my mouth. When he told me, my response was "that is what we should be spending on her wedding some day". At this point, we were learning that Olivia would be coming home from Florida on Wednesday. Her viewing would be on Thursday and her private funeral would be on Friday. She died on a Friday and we'd bury her one week later.
More visitors were stopping by. My two friends that I had met through Olivia's soccer team had stopped by with an envelop of money that they collected from the PTA at Olivia's school. There I stood in the entryway of my house telling them the details of Olivia's death. I think I kept repeating my story to remind myself that it really did happen. Jen and Leslie were brought to tears, of course. I was again in my stoic, robotic state. Tears only came while alone.
Day 4. I hd just gotten out of the shower when I heard my mom talking to someone who's voice I did not recognize. It was a news reporter from WPXI. Julie and her camera man were in my house wishing to interview us. I declined being on camera and wished for none of our family members to be interviewed. Julie did ask if they could just see pictures of Olivia for the story. I guess they were going to run the story no matter what so I let them come in so that they could film some footage. I guess we spend the flood gates because Channel 4 was at my door , then Channel 2 had called my mom then later ran the story while standing outside of Olivia school. One news channel did interview our neighbor, Harry. He did an awesome job speaking fondly of our Olivia. Day 4 also took us to a cemetery. Yes, we had to pick a grave site, a burial plot for our 8 year old daughter. A final resting spot that we later named, La La's spot.