Sunday, August 10, 2014


We have suffered a significant loss at our house, and it has taken me a while to be able to write about it. It may seem trivial to some, but to me, it has been a major ordeal.

Let's start with a little back story.

A few months ago when I bought my new laptop, I transferred EVERYTHING from our last three computers to my external hard drive and we smashed the old hard drives. We were donating the computer parts to a college computer science program and didn't feel comfortable sending the hard drives to them too.

Fast Forward to the end of June.

The day we left for our summer vacation was a great day. Shaun took the day off to help me prepare and I had extra time on my hands in the afternoon, so I emptied my camera roll on my phone to my external hard drive. I updated my blog up through our trip to the library that afternoon. When I was finished I unplugged my external hard drive and stored it in our fire-proof filing cabinet, which I often do when we go on vacation. Better to be safe than sorry!

Fast Forward again to mid-July.

Shaun had to go out of town for work, so I figured that week was a good time to start updating the blog on all of the summer fun we had been having. I pulled out the hard drive from the filing cabinet and it wouldn't turn on. Shaun was gone, so I just decided to wait until he got back later in the week to have him look at it. 

Over the last three weeks, we've had a few computer guys/shops look at it for us. They have each said they have never seen anything more corrupted than this hard drive. They can't recover a SINGLE file off of it. 

EVERY.SINGLE.PICTURE. of my kids was on that thing. My private journal I kept after my dad died was on there. Personal letters and other documents were lost. 

I really have gone through the stages of grief over the loss of our external hard drive.

Denial: At first I was sure someone could fix it. I wasn't getting to worked up about it and was willing to pay whatever I needed to to get it fixed. I was SURE it would be fixed. I think this was a defense mechanism that helped dissipate the shock.

Anger: I started to get mad at Shaun for smashing the old hard drives (even though it was my idea at the time). I got mad at the computer guys for not being able to fix it and for not knowing how the heck it even happened!! I was mad that this was happening to me. I felt guilty that my kids won't have baby pictures, or birthday party pictures, or family vacation pictures. And feeling guilty just made me feel more angry! 

Depression: After a couple of computer guys looked at the hard drive and pretty much as a last hope, I dropped the hard drive off at a computer repair shop in which our acquaintance owns. He was very hopeful and promising. He called the day that Shaun and I were headed to Sunriver for a date weekend. No luck!!! We stopped by his shop on our way out of town to discuss a few things with him. Once we got in the car the tears started. I pretty much cried or slept the whole way to Sunriver. Through out the weekend certain things would trigger the tears again. Shaun was so sweet to help we work through this and not get frustrated that our date weekend was being taken over by his emotional wife! 

Acceptance: I'm still working on this!! There is pretty much no way our files will be recovered, so I am trying to remember other places that have pictures. I'm so grateful that I've kept this blog up to date, even though sometimes it seems like just another chore on my list. I will continue to take thousands of pictures (I did a quick calculation and I had more than 40,000 pictures on that hard drive) so our lives will still be documented. I am working on other ways to save files and pictures with back ups and back ups for back ups! 

I will still continue to grieve over the loss of these pictures, especially as things come up where they would have been very useful. I will also still always wonder what happened to that hard drive. But I am trying to not let it upset me so much. Soon, I will be back in the land of blogging. I'm just having a hard time facing that reality right now.