Michelle was born on Jan 7th 1985, It was one of the happiest days in my life. I already had two beautiful boys and now a daughter too.

Michelle was a people person right away, as soon as she could walk she walked right out that door, and we were trying to find her constantly for the next 17 years.  Michelle made friends with many, many people throughout her life, and had more best friends than anyone I knew. She didn't care how much money you had, or how you looked, she always found someone's heart and soul.

Michelle was also very compassionate , very loving to animals. Sometimes I wonder if some of the strays around, were invited by Michelle.Michelle loved being around family too and she never missed a picnic, reunion, or a funeral. Michelle was always laughing and constantly singing. She had the voice of an Angel. Sometimes I can still hear her singing.  Michelle was more full of life than anyone I knew.

I was six months' pregnant, taking an afternoon nap as I hadn't been feeling well. I was 41 years old and this pregnancy was a difficult one.  Everything seemed normal. Michelle laughing and singing at the computer. I awoke from my nap, ate and went to use the restroom.  I happened to see a note on Michelle's bed.  I never go and snoop in Michelle's room, but this note drew me to it. It read, "Mom and Dad I'm sorry, Love is too hard for me, I love you. Love Michelle". 

Later I found out later Michelle had gone onto her boyfriend's email and found he cheated on her, didn't love her or something to that nature.

I ran outside thinking I could reason with her, but I found her hanging in my garage. I screamed her name three times, called 911 and tried to resuscitate her. I tried in vain until the paramedics arrived and took over. I will never forget the paramedic saying I'm going to have to call it. There was my Daughter dead from A BROKEN HEART......

I of course was already in complete shock and babbling about what to do. I had to call her Dad at work and her Brothers and Grandmas......Oh my God, the phone wouldn't stop ringing - people calling me screaming and crying.  I finally changed my phone number, I couldn't handle it anymore. I will never forget the looks on people's faces, the tears and the screams when they heard the news. My  baby girl really was dead........I have truly seen the Pit of Hell.

I talked to Michelle's boyfriend and told him I didn't blame him. I had to, I don't know why but, maybe because as a parent I blame myself only. I told him I expected him to be at the funeral. He sat in the front row right in front of the casket. Poor boy, he was a mess. He is so sorry.....................

Then there was the funeral planning, to drive through town crying, going to pick a casket for my daughter. I was still numb doing this, a casket I think. No  I don't want a casket for my daughter.......... I have to find her something to be buried in. We go to eat, I choke on my food, I can't eat. I'm 6 months' pregnant.  I have to eat, already thinking this baby will die too, I'm thinking everybody I love can die so easily, and they probably will. I
remember holding my baby and whispering, "Hold on, hold on tight, Mommie's not going to be here for a while."  Then I wondered If I could really ever love this baby after losing my daughter. I didn't feel like I could ever love anything again. Everything I loved would just die. I was numb.

The funeral was beautiful. I tried not to cry too loud, but later found out my sobs were heard by all. I will never live through this I think. I can't.. I won't.  My sweet baby girl dead in a casket. I then just told myself I would just stop eating after the baby was born. Then I could just lay down and die........ I just wanted to die.  There were 600 people at Michelle's funeral - 600 people came to see the girl who thought no-one cared. We received so many flowers, cards and visitors, I was overwhelmed. I really just wanted to be left alone now. My oldest son never left my side unless someone else was there with me. I really thought I was on suicide watch, but later when I told him he didn't need to constantly be by my side, he just looked at me and said this is where he wanted to be.

I dried all of the flowers from the funeral and also kept the hundreds of roses that Michelle had kept and dried herself over the years; roses from her boyfriends. She wanted to make swags a wreaths out of them.

Three Months after Michelle's death Brandon, was born. I remember yelling to
Michelle in the car on the way to the hospital, "You were supposed to be here for this, I need you!"  Just then, a song came on the radio telling me I would be alright, I just need some time. I knew it was from Michelle. I needed someone to lift my back when I was giving birth, Michelle's job again. I felt someone lift me and I looked behind me to see who it was and no-one was there.  Again I felt Michelle's presence and I believe she was there for the birth of her Brother.

By the way, this baby was delivered and smiled twice, no crying.  He was truly an Angel. At the Hospital that first night I pushed the baby to the other side of the room. I was so scared to get attached and hurt again, I was so sure he would just die. I woke up in the middle of the night and called in the nurse and asked her if she would check my baby.  "Is he breathing?" I said.  I thought he was dead. I brought Brandon home and fell
in love right away with him, but still scared to death to love him.

I have a great support system, family and friends, Michelle's friends. I joined a support group for Parents of Suicide for a while. I did quit the group, made made a lifelong friend from there. Sally has been strength and support for  me. She also lost her precious son to suicide. We talk and cry and pull each other out of the pit. The bereavement Pkg. I received from children of the dome also has helped more than you know. My husband,  Michelle's brothers and I have created a memorial garden for Michelle, which is full of flowers, Angels and Pinwheels, etc.  I water it mostly with my tears.  It's a beautiful
garden. Many of Michelle's friends and family add to this garden on a regular basis.
I have made numerous websites for Michelle, and made potpourri out of all of
her flowers. I made all of her family and friends memory albums full of Michelle's pictures. I have been going through Michelle's things for over a year now, and I seem to know who to give what when the time comes.

Michelle's first year Anniversary just passed. Her Grandmother Phelps bought me a helium tank to blow up balloons. I bagged Michelle's potpourri, tagged her picture to it and we played the song on the tape in the bereavement pkg. I think It's called "If Only You Love". Some of Michelle's friends came and most of her family. There was a lot of laughter and tears, but very healing for me. We all wrote notes to Michelle and hung them on the balloons. I also told people to send a balloon up for someone else they had lost. We sent up a lot of balloons that day. People brought things for her garden and ,
cards and even flowers for the family.  I was hurt by two family member who didn't come to Michelle's Heaven date.  They were the two people that I just knew out of everyone would be there. I will have to find a way to try to understand, and forgive them. I know they love Michelle.  I just don't understand..........I think that is when I realized no-one
loves Michelle as much as I. I probably needed to realize this, but it hurts.

Copyright c2003 Mary Woody

Poems in memory of Michelle written by Michelle's mom, Mary Woody

Michelle's Story

©Mary Woody

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"For death begins with life's first breath
And life begins at touch of death."

John Oxenham

In Loving Memory of Michelle Woody
January 7 1985 - April 23 2002