Boy did I get a rude awakening………

I read a quote once that said “NEVER get too comfortable, you’ll get a rude awakening.  In the past week, I can honestly say that truer words have never been spoken.  For those of you who have followed my short lived blog so far, and if you’re not, please start, you know that on August 1, 2012, my family and I lost my brother, Pete, to suicide and less than six months later, in January 24, 2013, we lost my niece, Alexandra (Ali), to suicide.  That has been a struggle for those of us left behind, as you can imagine.  On October 2, 2013, 14 months and 1 day since my brother took his life, and 8 months and 8 days after my niece took her life, my youngest sister, Stephanie, took her life.  To say that it shattered mine and my family’s world (again) was a major understatement.  We were all still seeing various therapists and were just barely starting the scratch the surface of what had happened to Pete and Ali…But Stephanie?!  NO ONE saw this one coming.  My middle sister, Vittoria found her and I, better than anyone else in the family understood exactly what she was going through and would be going through, since I had been on a Skype chat with Pete when he took his life.  On top of the grief of losing a loved one, she could count on flashbacks, nightmares, and other symptoms of PTSD.  As of the time of this writing, we are not any closer to finding out the “Why” as were on that night. We all know, of course, that we will probably never completely understand the “why” other than at the moment that they took their lives, all three of them JUST WANTED THEIR PAIN TO GO AWAY…which is different than wanting their lives to really end.  At that final second, they were literally not thinking clearly.  Since Stephanie’s death, my oldest sister, Angelina has discovered some unsent emails on Stephanie’s computer, one of which was to me.  She asked me if she should send it and I told her that eventually, yes, I wanted to read it, but I would let her know when.  Until then, it sits in the “waiting to send” folder.  Pete left me a note and I still haven’t read it.  My therapist has read it to me, but it was so soon afterward, that I don’t remember what it said.  No one else seen it.  My therapist keeps it, so no one “accidentally” finds it and reads it.

In the meantime, we all wake up each morning and try to move on as best as we can.  After Pete’s suicide, our family was torn apart, (mainly my sister-in-law and I) but slowly we have been working on our relationship and are actually doing pretty good, considering the issues that were between us.  We all talk everyday, sometimes more than once a day in addition to school, work, and other activities.  My sisters and my sister-in-law and I get together every Saturday for dinner….ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSES.  It’s important to us to keep communicating.  I’ve become very active in the With Hope, the Amber Craig Memorial Foundation since Pete’s and Ali’s deaths and because this blog originated as a journalism assignment, With Hope’s founder/CEO, Annette Craig, was kind enough to tape what has turned into a PSA for With Hope (she will be putting on the With Hope website soon).  After three revisions to get it just right, we are finally happy with it.  Please share it anywhere you feel that it will get exposure.   Until next time, here is the final product.






13 thoughts on “Boy did I get a rude awakening………

  1. Charlene, your strength continues to amaze me. The fact that you are doing something, fighting for others, instead of curling into a ball and hiding is a sign of that strength. I watched the PSA and it brought tears to my eyes. Keep up the good, no, excellent, work.

  2. Angela Davidson says:

    Charlene, In 2007 when we shared some of your family history together, I had no idea what God was preparing us for, but now since Pete’s death I have seen amazing strength rise through the ashes of sadness and despair. I have seen your heart above all the others mend into this loving and compassionate friend and family member and it has given me so much hope. My family too has gone through similar situations and challenges and as two women who have gotten through it we have conquered battles beyond comprehension. I love you and I am very grateful You are still here.

  3. Suzanne says:

    Charlene, as familiar as I am with the tragic events that have happened in your world, it still takes me aback to see it in print. My mind still wants to say no, this can’t be. But it is all too real and I pray that you continue to heal and grow in spite of all that has happened. I see you doing just that and it is such an encouragement to me and so many others. You are amazing!

  4. Tambra says:

    This is very transparent Char. Though comments may not be by the droves, just yet, you are blessing many others. Sharing your take on how you are making it day by day is very eye-opening. You share how each day is helping shape the next and the next and here we are! You are now an official blogger with a growing audience. 🙂

    Keep writing. Keep blessing. Keep on Char!

  5. I am speechless and heartbroken…I admire your strength and will and courage. Continue to stay strong! I agree with your friend that this is written very openly and that is not only healing to you but will be for others as well… ❤

    • I’m trying to be open and transparent as much as I can, even when it hurts, because getting the word out is the only way that things are ever going to change. I appreciate your support.

  6. Jocelyn says:

    This post was so well written, and I could feel each emotion you put into every word. Just by the short time that I have gotten to know you I knew you were a strong person, but wow like I have written before your strength is truly inspirational! You and your family have been through so much, and it is good to hear that you all have create a support system for each other. Continue to stay strong and positive

  7. Either all of my friends are being really nice or I write better than I thought I did…LOL. Thank you.

  8. […] Boy did I get a rude awakening………. […]

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