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.