Another reality check of why we need to stop death by suicide.

Little Winnie is 3. She turned 3 exactly one week before I had cops at my door telling me they found my husband. This has affected her so much. If you don’t know my Winnie, you are missing out. Seriously. Her usual demeanor is sweet, excited, happy, smart, talkative, nice, silly, easygoing, loud, compassionate, friendly, obedient, sunshine, puppies, and rainbows. She’s been the easiest baby and toddler of all time. She sings more of her words than she speaks and she never walks, only dances. If you’ve seen Enchanted with Amy Adams, that’s a grown up Winnie.

It’s been over six weeks since I’ve seen more than small glimpses of this. I’ll think she’s doing really well for a day and then she has a horrible day the next. I think the bad days/moments are becoming less frequent. But it can still be so bad.

I’ve said this before but she’s been disobedient, mean, hitting and biting her sister, saying rude things to visitors, antisocial, sad, lots of tantrums and crying, stressed about the littlest things, quiet, reserved, clingy, serious, disengaged and shy. I know, she’s 3. But she wasn’t like this until Denny went missing. So I know it’s not because she’s 3. It’s because her dad is gone.

She knows that he’s gone. She knows he’s not coming back anytime soon. She understands the finality of it. What she also understands is that he still exists. She knows she will see him again. She knows he’s in a place that she can’t get to right now and that breaks her heart. She understands he’s an angel and he can see us but we can’t see him. She knows he’s around. What she doesn’t understand is how close he is. She doesn’t understand the concept of “time” very well yet except in short term. So she knows she wont see him again until she’s a “really really old grandma,” but she still thinks she can save her leftover candy for him, and she does.

She has said some sweet things. She talks about him constantly, especially when she’s with other people. She has said she knows he’s sad because he misses her. She also talks to him on our little camera we have for the girls room. You can talk through your phone and the camera speaker plays it. So he would always talk to her from work when she was in her room. Now she just talks to him. Shows him what she’s doing and carries the camera around the house. I love when she does this.

Today was a hard day. She wouldn’t leave my side all day. She has expressed her worry that if I leave home, I could go to heaven and not come back. She has a real fear. And in her mind it’s super rational. Because one night she fell asleep after prayers and being snuggled, read to, and “beard kissed” by him; when she woke up he was gone. And the next time she saw him is when he was in a casket.

We went to the cemetery today. It was hard. It’s hard to see the yellow grass over his grave. It just solidified it to me that his body is really in there. And it gives me another punch in the stomach that knocks the breath out of me. I miss him. Winnie misses him. Piper misses him. The pain that him taking his life has caused for us is unbearable. It’s impossible to overcome. But somehow we will find our new normal with the help of those who love us and serve us with so much Christlike love. Denny never wanted this pain to be a part of our lives. But it is reality and I can’t even begin to imagine how painful it is for him to watch this. Keep praying for us, friends (or send us good juju or voodoo or vibes or whatever it is you believe in). We need them and we feel the strength of your prayers.

One of our many trips to different offices to resolve financial things.
Kissing the sign marking her daddy’s grave.

Kissing the camera in between “chatting” with her daddy.

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