Tuesday, March 31, 2020

One of those days

It's been one of those days... maybe too much thinking? I made a youtube video but it's not even fit to post here... if you're not following Zuka's Legacy Youtube channel, here is the link... 

I have plans to start writing again and finally finish up this book.  I've been letting life get in the way of some of my goals. Zuka deserves to have his story told, he would want that, in hopes to help others...

Hope you are all taking care of YOU! 

Be well, Jenn

Mental Health

I often talk about my son, Zuka's mental health but what I seem to avoid talking about is my own. There is no shame, or there should not be shame in talking about mental health....so let me start.

Dealing with my sons loss has been very difficult, I have flashbacks, nightmares, thoughts that won't leave my mind. I'm sad, I'm heartbroken. I'm dealing with PTSD and depression. I startle very easily, loud noises bother me. I have to be careful about what I watch for shows and movies to avoid certain types of violence and suicide-related material. I see a therapist to help deal with these issues and my own personal issues as well. I see a psychiatrist to manage medications for sleep and anxiety.

I had lost 60 pounds before Zuka passed away and 134 since he passed away for a total of 194 pounds lost. I thought losing weight would fix all my issues, make my problems go away but losing weight has its own set of issues. I don't really know what I look like anymore, I look different and I don't have of sense of my size anymore. It's weird, it plays games with your mind. I often think I am larger than I actually am, trying to put on clothes I wore before and being surprised when they are way too big. I think it affects your self-esteem and sense of self, in both positive and negative ways.

Losing a relationship has also really affected me. I think when someone leaves your life you wonder, "why wasn't I good enough?" or "what could I have done differently to fix things?" Along with a broken heart, there can be so much self-doubt involved. Very similar to when going through the loss of Zuka, I would keep thinking about what I could have done differently. That stuff can really eat you up... at the end of the day, you have to realize that you did the best you could do for the situation you were in at the time. If you live in regret and questioning it will run your life.

Break-ups, divorces, end of friendships are a loss and like any loss, they need time to grieve. I don't there should be shame and stigma attached to that. I have been ashamed to admit that things weren't so easy to just put behind me and that it really takes a lot to get over someone, even when things weren't so good. This has caused me to make some pretty major mistakes, more regret and things that are irreparable but again, everything is a learning experience. All you can do is apologize for how you were wrong and try to do better in the future.

This outbreak has a lot of people staying inside and maybe spending much more time alone than you normally would. I would really encourage you to take time for your own mental health. Perhaps you write daily one thing you are proud of about yourself, or one thing you are thankful for. Take time to meditate or do some type of relaxation. Talk with others on the phone or through video. Get out and take a walk. Please don't allow this time of uncertainty and/or isolation to be a reason to fall back into unhealthy patterns, or make unhealthy choices for yourself. Take care of yourself, however you need to do that!!


and remember....

You're never alone. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if you are struggling emotionally or thinking about suicide.

Saturday, March 28, 2020


I asked God if I could dream about you...and I did. Perhaps this time in quarantine is giving me too much time to think. Too much time to think about all the things I've lost and what I could have done differently.

I dreamed that you were a ghost, I couldn't see you but I could hear your voice. The piano began to play a song you liked and I can't remember what it was. I woke up in the middle of the dream, trying my hardest to get back into the dream so I could remember what song you were playing. I woke up sad, I don't know why I can't have good dreams....but even those can be sad, remembering....

I remember the last words I said to you. If I could teach anyone anything it would be that you always need to think about what you say to people... you never know when it could be the last thing you ever say. I wish I could take my words back. I wish I had a chance to do things over. I think about what I would do differently.... and wonder if the outcome would be any different.

You see those things you thought you would never live through, You live through, but it doesn't mean that they don't haunt you forever. I'm haunted by your loss. I'm haunted by everything I lost in the last two years. I miss the life we had before, I miss your smile. I miss having you there to talk to and how you were the person who understood me the most. I'll never get that back and it haunts me. I'm just here dancing with beautiful ghosts.

I don't know why you had to go kiddo. I know you are at peace, I just wish I could be too...

Monday, March 9, 2020


        It's been 565 days, 1 year 6 months and 16 days, 80 weeks 5 days,  approximately 13,560 hours since Zuka died. I just had a dream that I met Zuka at school to discuss future plans and we had to go in a conference room, he ran ahead laughing and locked his friend and me out of the room. He let us in, laughing and sporting that Zuka smile. That smile, it was huge and made me happy. I know people always say things about the deceased and how their smile lit up a room, so cliche but with Zuka it was true. His smile was mischievous. I woke up from the dream, and couldn't help but cry. I miss that smile.
        I know some people would wonder why 565 days later I'm still crying about his loss, and some people would say, "of course she is!" 565 days to realize he's not coming back but still, I can't believe that he is gone.

You see, I know sometimes it feels like no one would care if you were gone. I know it feels like you are a burden and people would be better off without you but I guarantee there is someone who would be grieving your loss 565 days later. You mean the world to someone and people's lives wouldn't be the same without you! Please don't give up! Please read my journey of the last 565 days and understand how the death of someone you love impacts you. Zuka's friends, his family, his loved ones, and I, we will never be the same. We will always live with his memories both happy and devastating. We will never forget where we were when we heard that Zuka had taken his life. 565 days ago Zuka completed suicide. That smile that lit up a room, is forever extinguished and the world will never be the same.

You're never alone. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if you are struggling emotionally or thinking about suicide.