Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly.

April 2009 my mom passed away after a tough battle with pancreatic cancer. Since I am now the only girl in my immediate family, I am feeling very alone. I try to talk to my dad and my little brother, Aaron, but they just don't give me anything. Don't get me wrong, they are beyond sweet to me, but they aren't feeling what I'm feeling. They don't miss the girls-only lunch dates with her or the afternoon pedicures or the once a day "how was school?" phone call like I do. There is this void in my life that can't be filled by my sweet dad or my crazy little brother or even my amazing husband. My mom did leave me with a wonderful support system of women consisting of her sister, Valerie, her best friends, neighbors, and massage clients who shoot me fun e-mails and call just to check up. Their support has been very much needed on my end and I am grateful for them. But even though I do have a wonderful family, husband, and support system behind me it's still hard. I still miss her and I still feel very much alone sometimes.

That loneliness is what prompted me to start this blog. I know that I'm probably feeling the same way that many of you do. The loneliness, the void, the sadness, this greiving stuff is miserable but we'll get through. About 6 months after my mom passed I realized that I wasn't happy with the way I was handling my loss. I had become depressed and angry and I was ready to pick myself up off the ground and try and work through this. Since then I have been trying to be kinder to people, I'm seeing a greif counselor, I'm making more of an effort to be a good friend in an effort to try to reconstruct my shifted reality.

Since I am a woman I feel the need pretty much all the time to express how I'm feeling but living with a boy and having no sisters really has put a damper on my self therapy sessions plus, I don't want to cry all the time and when I talk about her, all I want to do is cry. Normally, I would simply write in my journal about all of this but since many people I know (and don't know) are going through this process with me I thought we could make this like an online support group.

It doesn't have to be...  me: "Hi my name is Krystal"      group: "Hi Krystal"      me: "And I'm a crier"
I want this to be our memories, our hardaches, what's helping or not helping, our thoughts, our feelings, our little celebrations (or big), our love that is spread out all over the world can convene in one convenient place as long as you have the internet.

So what's the deal with butterflies? Outside of my house growing up my mom had planted and cared for a butterfly bush. I have no idea what the real name of this butterfuly bush is but I loved it. It was right outside of our living room window and I would patiently wait to watch the butterflies gather to eat. Like any little girl I loved butterflies, their beauty, their grace, their delicate wings and the fact that they had once been furry little caterpillars.

Now everytime I see a butterfly I think that it's my mom saying hi. I know it's ridiculous but it makes me feel better and there is nothing wrong with a little hope. :)

Then at my Aunt Wana's funeral on Sunday (she had bone cancer) her daughter showed me a little card that one of their friends had given them. It said "Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly" and at the bottom she had written "Damn Cancer". Cute and very fitting.

On the three and a half hour drive back to my house from Parker, Idaho on Sunday, I cried (I told you I'm a crier) and I thought alot about my Aunt Wana's daughters and how they must feel just as broken and alone as I do. But knowing that they are suffering too doesn't make me feel better, it just reminds me that there are so many other people suffering with us. Even if we can't fix anything we can at least listen to each other. I don't know if this will help anyone besides myself but I hope it does. I love you and I don't want you to feel alone.


  1. Vickie was always a sweetheart. I didn't know her that well, but I always felt a connection with her. She was your mom and I was your friend and that was good enough. I remember her always being so caring and wonderful. When I came over to carve pumpkins with you and your family and she roasted the seeds, I remember thinking what a wonderful family you had. Every time I was at your house she made me feel so welcome, even if I only saw her for a second. I feel lucky to have crossed her path. She was a blessing to all that met her and I am sure that she thinks about you all the time, even when the butterflies aren't around. I love you, Krystal!

  2. Krystal,

    I love that you have started this blog, I am grateful to have another way to remember your mom and the amazing person that she was. She was my second mom and our confidant. I am always here if you need anything. Citra and Star bursts are just one grocery store away :)
    -"Wee Wee"

  3. So beautiful, it makes me ache. Love you, Krystal! Oh, definitely just broke into tears writing that because I can't imagine the pain you feel. I wish my tears could help take away some of your pain. I feel anything I tried to say to comfort you would just belittle what you're going though. Just know that you are so, so loved! -Lisa Michelle

  4. Thank you for starting this blog! I didn't know your mom, but I work with your dad and anytime anyone at work has mentioned him or your mother they always mention what amazing people they are! This is such a great idea! As you have said everyone is hurting for one reason or another and I appreciate this opportunity for a support system! Thank you for allowing all of us to cry, laugh, and smile with you!

  5. I don't even know what to say but that I love you so much. Your family holds a very special place in my heart that will never be forgotten. I'm up for pedicures ANY time. I'll find some pics from the trek and post them for you. I LOVE YOU, KRYSTAL!!

  6. I don't know you. I can't even remember where I ran across your blog. My mom passed away from pancreatic cancer 5 years ago. I enjoyed reading about your mom. I'm a crier too!

  7. Hi Krystal. My name is Amy, and i lost my mom to pancreatic cancer in June 2009. I am older than you; i have two children of my own. So, i think i'm going through this differently. I'm not a crier. I feel like i'm going through this alone because i lost my father to lung cancer 11 years ago and I have no siblings. That's the hardest part. Feeling that there is no one left but me. So I have immersed myself in my kids lives (ages 12 and 14) and this brings me happiness and peace. I have also reconnected with cousins and this helps me feel connected to my parents.

    I have focused on being thankful for the time I did have with my mom after her initial diagnosis. Her pancreatic cancer was found early by accident (she had gall stones.) She was very healthy, so it was treated aggressively with surgery, chemo and radiation. But, I think what gave her 6 cancer-free years after treatment was her participation in a cancer vaccine trial at Johns Hopkins. I will forever be grateful for that doctor. My kids had the opportunity to really get to know their grandmother and will forever remember her and carry a piece of her in their hearts.

    I went to a cancer support center just before my mom died and found it really helpful to talk to others in similar situations. I found that I really had something to share; I realized that I have a lot of experience that others find helpful, having been through cancer with both my parents. And it helped me to help others. You might find joining a group at a cancer support center to be helpful, too.

  8. Hi Krystal, I just found out about this from Halli, and you are such a sweetheart. I have thought a lot about you the past couple of weeks, and you need to know that us girls do know what you are going through and that you are now part of "us girls." I can't imagine the last two weeks without my sisters, and my sister-in-law. Lean on Rose and any other sisters-in-law that you have on Andrew's side. They can help you like a real sister. Girl cousins, such as myself, can also help you. I know what you are saying about your dad and your brother. Men just don't feel and think about things like women. They just don't. It doesn't mean that they don't love us. They just aren't women. So, know that you have us girls to lean on any time you want. And when we do our next girls' weekend, you need to come with us. We love you.

  9. Hi, Krystal,

    I'm sorry to be several weeks late in responding but as you know, I was in Idaho and not at home with access to the internet.

    I love the title of this blog and it is so appropriate. I'm sorry that it even has to exist because of course, I wish we both had our moms here with us instead. As you mentioned, there is no replacement for a mom, so when they leave us, it leaves a gaping hole that can't be filled. Amazingly enough, I'm grateful for that hole because if my mom left and didn't leave a hole, then I must not have had that great of a mom. Missing my mom the way I do just goes to show how wonderful she was and is and how she made my life so much more complete. How could a person like that NOT leave a chasm behind when they are absent? Knowing Vickie, I know you have a fabulous mom as well and I know she is missed an enormous amount.

    I can't say more than this right now because unfortunately, I'm a crier, too, and I hate it. Call or email me anytime, for any reason.