April 22, 2010 at 5:57 am
 I went to work and lasted about an hour last night. And I didn’t work or do anything. Instead I just kind of sat there and then someone took my hand and sat me down at a table and proceeded to tell me the five stages of grieving, how to take care of my health and that I need to see a doctor. And, the whole time, not letting go of my hand. People want to help and I am sure I look horrid, I mean I cry continuously when I am alone and I have lost weight because I cannot eat. I tried to eat last night but it just wont stay down and I end up sick almost everytime. Maybe I have the flu on top of everything else, who knows. There is going to be a fundraiser in May to help Chris and I pay for the service. I feel extremely uncomfortable with this and go back and forth with it all the time. Fred’s wife said we can apply for a grant maybe but I don’t want to do that. I don’t want the government paying for my son’s service for lots of reasons but mostly I guess out of pride. I agreed to help with the cremation and she will apply for a grant for that and I think I will get reimbursed what I paid, but that is only if they accept the application and say yes to the grant money. And I really do not care about that either. It is money, so what. None of it is going to bring Fred back. Chris and I have never been rolling in money so it is just status quo, there are always things that come up, large things that throw a total wrench in the budget and put us behind all the time. We call that the “Beery Luck”. I would not change that though. I look back at the times when we have been most desperate and mostly broke in our lives and that seems to be the absolute closest and happiest. I mean we never lived in squalor and our kids never did without. But it was just that, Chris and I sacrificed for them. Even as adults we tried like hell to always help them with money. A few times we had to have them repay a big amount but that because we did not have the money either but we floated it to them to help them out. Most of the time we have just given it to them though. I guess the point is, I will sacrifice to pay Fred’s service costs for the rest of my life if I have to. Maybe out of pride or duty or an obligation that I feel. I am ok with a fundraiser in Wiggins to help Chris and I but I am not ok with the government thing. Yesterday was pretty tough, we were to go up to Alicia and Fred’s and get some of Fred’s things that she thought we may want. Ended up I stayed home, I just could not bear to go. When Chris got here with a truck full of Fred’s things, we brought them in and placed them all in one of the guest rooms. I started to go through some of it but couldn’t go on. I got to blankets that were sent back to us and I didn’t understand. These were blankets that we gave to the girls that were Sarah and Tracey’s. And then there were things that I gave Fred that I thought would be there that weren’t. So it just sits in the guest room right now, waiting for me. Yesterday also ended up being a discussion of Fred’s ashes among some of the family. Alicia has Fred’s ashes and that is how it should be. When she took Fred’s ashes on Saturday I was admittedly a little shocked and I panicked at the church. I felt like I could not breathe. But, I stood there along with Chris at their wedding ceremony a few years ago and as parents we gave up the right to this. Saturday, I got in the car and thought about it and Chris and I talked about it. We have our Freddie and no one can take that away. His ashes are just that, his ashes. Alicia loves us, she told me that outside the viewing and my son loved her to depths we will all never fully understand. The next of kin when you are married is your spouse, not your mother. I had to explain all this to other family and try to calm everyone down and I hope I did. I will not have any anger or hate involved in this, nor will I have any fighting over ashes, things, money, etc… I just want Fred to come home, bottom line. But that is not going to happen. I cannot believe it, I don’t want to believe it. I look for him everywhere. My heart is so broken and I cannot take anymore heartbreak. I have times of anger along with my sadness but I will not let anger take me over and I will do whatever I can to help the others get past all the anger also. We talked about what we would like to do with Fred’s ashes after we found out Fred’s wish was to be cremated. All the kids were here and Chris and I too. Alicia was not back yet from Afghanistan but Chris and I were taking care of the arrangements and wanted to make sure the kids had a say in this too. We all have different ideas of what to do with a piece of his ashes and some would like a place to go to visit his ashes with a name marker at Crown Hill or something. I do not know what the right answer is, nor do I know what Fred would have wanted done with his ashes. It is a hard decision for anyone to know, what actually do you do with your loved ones ashes if they don’t specify? I have been thinking about it a lot and I wonder if I even really want a piece of them. I am not sure that having them will help me at all, it may just make things worse. Almost like wearing a shrine of Fred and a constant reminder. I won’t need a necklace or an urn in the house to remind me of Fred, he is with me everywhere I go. I carried that child and spent everyday of his life with him until he became a man, and then still was with him and heard from him nearly everyday. That does not go away. So I am torn one way and the other on the ashes. But I know that if his family is not involved in the final decision for the ashes I will still be ok because Chris and I will never make it an issue. Death can really bring out different things in people. I have seen and felt so much in the past couple weeks, ranges of emotions and complete numbness. I have watched people be hateful and I have watched people be loving. I have my own feelings but mostly I am numb and do not know what to do or how to feel about anything. I am just existing right now, not really making any decisions and trying not to do too much at once. I just love my kids, I love Fred, I love my husband and my family and I love my friends. Beyond that, I do stupid things sometimes and say stupid things often. I do not ever do it maliciously, nor do I do it on purpose. I am not that smart. I know when my head is like this I am going to say and do really bizarre things, just be patient with me and be patient with my family. I cannot explain to you how close our family has been over the years (and kicked each others asses on many occasion) and what this has done to us. The five of us are devastated without our number six.
Jebbi Maguire This made me cry.  Raw emotions are pouring out of you and you are dealing with this whether you think you are or not.  I am so proud of you Leslie.  You are an amazing mom, a beautiful woman/sister/friend.  I have never known a woman who loves her family as fiercely as you do, it has motivated me to try to be the best mom I can be.  You will get through this because of that love and you will bring in more people who will love you and your entire family.  It is just your way my dear…I know there are things that people are saying right now that maybe you don’t see, or feel because of what you are going through, but all you really do need to see or feel is that, we are all here for you, and we love you so much.  Keep Journaling.
Love you Chicken.