Joy | Grief | Action | Change

Well, its been awhile. I know I have been inconsistent. I promised I would continue writing, but, I haven’t known what to write about. I had writers block, until today. When I think too hard about what to write, it feels forced. So I choose not to.

When I started this Blog, the goal was to create awareness to the suicide epidemic for ages 10-24. Also, to tell stories about how AMAZING Aria was. To inform other parents that she may have been “emotional” at times, but there was nothing that “screamed” suicidal to me.

Was I emotionally tapped out from work?

Did I, as a mental health professional, assume that she would tell me if she was struggling?

Aria was my best friend. I thought if she needed anything, she knew she could come to me. I mean, she came out as queer at 10 years old. I thought we had a very open relationship.

As I was talking to my personal therapist on Thursday, I admitted something I’ve never said outloud,

” I never asked Aria if she was suicidal.”

I assumed she knew she could talk to me. But, I never asked………………. What happens when you assume? ( You know the tacky tag line)

Its haunts me. God, I wish I asked.

That is why I started this blog in the first place. To help parents NOT make the mistakes I did.

Intentional mistakes? Absolutely not…. but invalidating comments or a lack of empathy for a moment, can change how they feel about themselves.

It’s my biggest regret. She made sure I knew that I hurt her. With those 4 words that take my breath away but speak volumes beyond earthly understanding.

DO YOU CARE NOW?

I have one more story for now. I asked those closest to Aria to be willing to tell their most memorable experiences with her. I thought it important that you get to know her from a different perspective than just mine.

The next writer will be me and my sister’s best friend, Alli. Her and Aria were so close. Aria was a Jr. Bridesmaid at Alli’s wedding. I’ve known Alli since I was in 9th grade. She is my sister. Aria and I are so blessed to have someone so loving, honest, caring, funny, beautiful, No BS falling SJW, and a “dickhead” all wrapped up in one.

I can’t wait to hear stories from people who knew and loved her. If you’d like to submit one, please text me.

Anyways, this is my last story for a while. Also, I have forgotten what I’ve written in past blogs, so if you’ve heard this, I apologize. This is another reason I am bringing in many new perspectives.

I hate this weekend. I hate the 4th of July. I always felt bad for my sister, Ashlee( her bday 7/2). It was always diverted by lake plan’s of friends and family members. Deep down, I resented the hell out of all of them for leaving her. Probably, one of the many reasons I’m so protective of her.

July of 2016, I just finished my undergraduate degree at St. Catherine’s and immediately started my 1-year accelerated Masters Program at the University of St. Thomas. Ashlee was living in CA at the time. I was in school full-time, so my mom took Aria to CA to be with Ashlee for her birthday. They were having a great time. Aria gave Ashlee a present that was a trophy that said ” Best Aunt Ever.”

I wanted to be there but I was also relieved that I didn’t have to worry about keeping Aria busy while I was in school.

As I was doing my homework on Sunday, July 3rd before class, I got a call from my youngest sister, Hannah. I was immediately alarmed, Hannah never called me. Yet, I thought maybe she was asking if I was working at Bunny’s or something along those lines. I was supposed to work at Bunny’s that night. She left a message. That’s when my heart dropped, she said dad had a stroke and I needed to get there immediately.

Got there, called Ashlee, she was on the red eye to MPLS asap. My dad was still unconscious and I called my mom and asked her to bring Buggy home from CA. At that time we didn’t know if he would make it.

I went to visit my Dad this Saturday. Its been 5 years and I still hate it. Part of me died that day. As I sat across from him he looked at me and asked,

“Aria Cry?”

I burst into tears. He put his arms up as a signal for me to explain.

I told him the story.

I called Mom and told her they should come back to MPLS asap. I told her not to alarm Aria. But, I didn’t know if Dad would wake up from his coma.

If my memory is correct, they were home late night July 4th. Ash was in on the red eye. We spent the day together at the hospital. My dad was still in a coma. When I got home Aria was sleeping in her bed at my moms house. Aria and I were living with my Mom and Gary while I finished Grad School. I snuck in her room and kissed her with no intention of waking her.

I whisper ” I love you Buddy, I’m glad you’re home.” Kissed her over 5x with tears flowing down my eyes and I left the room.

I walked into the kitchen and poured myself a glass of wine. I slammed it. Then poured another. I went into the living room. Ashlee was asleep in her room. I was alone. I started to cry uncontrollably. The TV was on loud enough so no one could hear me.

I looked down into my purse for a Kleenex and when I lifted my head, I saw Aria about 10 feet away from me. She was twiddling her fingers. It was her anxious habit.

I looked up and said ” Hey Bud, I’m so sorry for waking you. I didn’t mean to. You must be tired. Come lay with me on the couch.”

She walked three steps, stopped, but kept twiddling her fingers ( as I was motioning her towards me).

Then she stopped….. and asked,

“Mama, is Papa going to die?”

I lost it. I pulled myself together enough to say,

” I don’t know, Buddy.”

She ran into me and snuggled in my chest, holding me so tight. She was scared and she cried. I can’t remember if her and I slept on the couch that night or if we went back to her bedroom. I know I must have put on Full House or SpongeBob, something cathartic for a 10 year old. We fell asleep, heartbroken, together.

I looked at my dad after telling him that story on Saturday and there were tears in his eyes.

He said ” Aria……………………..Smart”

I said,

“She sure was.”

Have a great week. Alli’s story will be up on 7/21.

From there, so much more to come!!!

Categories: Uncategorized

Comments (1)

  • Glaiza . July 6, 2021 . Reply

    I love the vulnerability; the truth, love and pain. Love you Brit!💜💜💜Buggy, you are eternal in our hearts 🦋

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