Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I try not to put too much stuff on fb. Tonight though, I posted this note:

Thanks to a good friend, I was introduced to the 13 books in the "A Series of Unfortunate Events". My mother-in-law gifted them to me for by birthday, and I'm currently on book 11, "The Grim Grotto".

I found the following particularly poignant, especially considering these are "silly children's books".

"The way sadness works is one of the strange riddles of the world. If you are stricken with a great sadness, you may feel as if you have been set aflame, not only because of the enormous pain, but also because your sadness may spread over your life, like smoke from an enormous fire. You might find it difficult to see anything but your own sadness, the way smoke can over a landscape so that all anyone can see is black. You may find that happy things are tainted with sadness, the way smoke leaves its ashen colors and scents on everything it touches. And you may find that if someone pours water all over you, you are damp and distracted, but not cured of your sadness, the way a fire department can douse a fire but never recover what has been burnt down."

And so it is. I have not finished this book. I'm not sure if there is a great wind that can help remove some of the smoke. Knowing the poor Baudelaires, they will endure the smoke a few books longer. I suppose we will too. And even when the smoke is eventually gone, everything is still burned. I know everyone wishes so much for us: for happiness, for peace, to be ourselves again, to make it past all this. It's been 6 months, right? I fear we're not an easy fix.

So many quotes, but Anne Lamott puts this so well: "You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp."

Maybe these analogies aren't right. But for this moment, on Tuesday night, I connect with them.

- - -

I fear we're losing people. Losing friends to our never ending grief. A grief that has touched every aspect of our lives, and continues to. Eyes glaze, and people wonder when you'll focus on their problems. They've given us six months of attention. They've cheered and encouraged and waited for us to be 'us' again. I understand it's not easy for our friends. It's not fair to them. A friendship is supposed to be a two way street. I get it. I'm that "daily crisis" friend...a very one way street sort of friend.

But I can't be what they want right now. I hate to admit that. I'm a people pleaser to the core. But right now...these 6 months. These next 6 months. This next year even. I have to focus on who I am, on my husband. On our marriage. I'm not giving up on my friendships. 

I'm just not functioning at 100%. Not even close. 


  1. I love the second quote, thanks for sharing. I am not willing to give up on my friends either, everyday I sit and hope they do not give up on me.

  2. I think I'm losing friends now. At 8 months they think I should be OK and I'm not.

    But I have to look after myself and my relationship and just don't have that much to give right now. I'm hoping they'll still be there later.

    Maddie x

  3. At two years out, I'm practically still the same. Still not firing on all cylinders and still no way near myself. I know I wont ever be myself again though, but it is only the friends that are ok with that fact who are still around. So many in those two years dropped away, and I didn't always have the energy or the will power to fight for them. We lose so much more than our babies.

  4. A friend recently asked me why I can't just "bounce back". It's been over three years. But there's no going back, not now or ever. When my babies died part of me died, too. Some people who used to be friends are now afraid of me and avoid me. They don't know the new me and they don't want to. I'll never understand why people expect me to get "back to normal". Loss of this magnitude means I can never again be who I used to be or see the world the same way.

  5. Beautiful post. I love Anne Lamott and that quote really speaks to me too. I am only 7.5 weeks out from Stevie's death, and I'm already feeling the "you need to get over it" vibe from some of my friends. The few that are embracing this "new me" and continue to call and ask how I'm doing, and talk with me about my daughter, and cry with me, and bring Andy Father's Day presents...those friends are the ones I know I need to cling onto. I am so appreciative for them. I guess I'd rather have a few REAL friends than lots of kinda-friends, if that makes any sense.

    Glad you're "back." I missed your posts there for a while! :)

  6. Love Anne LaMott and that quote feels so true to me. I've missed you too and glad to read your writing again.

  7. Great post, thank you for sharing. 6 months was hard and also around the time I seemed to lose friends and have relationships just burn out. Hate that we have to deal with those things on top of our own grief. But the ones who are still there...and still standing by you are the ones that matter and the ones that are definitely worth it! :)

  8. ((hugs)) I don't think anyone who has lost a child ever functions a 100% again. Ever.
    I am sorry some friends do not understand that you are a different person. Sending you much strength and love. xo