Tuesday, September 25, 2012

On being real

I woke up this morning with a heavy heart.

I knew what day it was, I'd been dreading it for a while now.  It's been a year since we lost her, and somehow that seems impossible.  There are times that so much has happened that it seems like it's been forever since I saw her last, and other times I swear that I can see her out of the corner of my eye in the places and times where she should still be. The hair, the laugh, unmistakably her.

Then I remember the wise words of a friend, spoken to me earlier this year on the first anniversary of my father's death.

You will never ever have to be here, right here, again.

Grief is a process, and though it's not in any way, shape or form a linear one, it is one that eases with time.

That friend of mine, in the same place I am today, is right.

We have to get through today, and then we never have to do it again.

My tribute to her, this afternoon.  A project I'm doing with my girl scouts.  I'm having them paint a frame, then taking a picture for them to put in there.  A memory of this time together, not unlike the one that still hangs beside my oldest daughter's bed.  I hope we make her proud.


This picture always makes me smile.  I miss her.

In that place I'm already in today, the first thing I read this morning was a post by a blogger I follow.  Strike that.  A writer I follow.  She mused about how maybe she dwells too much, how she lingers in the bad places too long.  I have been told that I do the same by those who mean well.  To her, and to myself, I say this:  so what?

I can assure you that whatever I've written here has been yet a fraction of what my heart wants to say, and that I've toned it down for the masses.  The truth is that no one really wants to know what it's like to be dragged through hell.  No one really wants to know how much loss hurts, and how grief can sneak up behind you when you least expect it and punch you in the gut.  No one really wants to know how deep betrayal can wound you, because they'd prefer to live in the fantasy world where things like that don't happen to real people.

This writer and I, we share a lot in common.  Far more than I can say with any degree of certainty given that we've never met.  I have a feeling though that she knows exactly what I mean here today.

Life isn't all about rainbows and unicorns.  Life isn't only the good.  If we write only about the positive, aren't we being a bit disingenuous?  I'd argue we are.

I write about what is real.  The good, the bad, the ugly.  Take it or leave it, this is me.

17 comments:

  1. You are a beautiful person. I love how honest you write thank you for sharing such a person story.

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  2. I love what you wrote. Two of my boys are actually step-children. They lost their mom some years ago. I promised them that first day that I would get them through this no matter what and used the same kind of mindset your friend has. I used to say that we just needed to make it through that one day and then it was over. No matter if the next day was going to be rough or not at least we made it through that day. And all these years later some days are rougher than others but we made it through all the past and will make it through what lays in front of us. My heart is with you today. xo @sunshinemommy

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    1. You are a blessing to them, and they are lucky to have you. xo

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  3. Love your words. Wishing you some measure of joy today and the courage to know it's okay to embrace your sadness too. Life is real, and life is short and we never know when it could be our last. Each day should be embraced for what it is and lived..some days are good, some days we just get through but they all have their reason and seasons. Thank you for sharing your feelings with the rest of us! You're a good writer!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, they mean so much. I will do my best to channel the grief into something positive - she was better at that than anyone I know.

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  4. You're very brave writing this, and even more so putting it out there. I wrote a similar post yesterday about my brother but I don't know if I'll ever put it out there, it may end up being just for me. Ultimately I'm not sure I can be as brave as you.

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    1. You can. And you will. And you will be stronger for it. xo

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  5. Lovely writing today, Kelly. Grief follows no rules (despite what we read in books where it's all laid out in steps) and it usually knocks on your door when you least expect it. A song. A milestone. A tradition. The best thing we can do is feel it when the grief wants to make an appearance. In my experience as the months and years pass the grief moves from being less about loss and more about bittersweet memories. But there are always tears...and sometimes we smile while we are crying because we are remembering what was good.

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    1. That's just it. It's not linear or predictable. We do a disservice to ourselves if we try to rush it.

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  6. After my father committed suicide a friend told me it was time to get over it (3months after it happened). We aren't friends anymore. Grief is a process. It can't be rushed. You spend as long in the dark places as you need to. No more and no less. It gets easier as time passes, but sometimes it takes years. That is OK. All you can do is take one day at a time and sometimes only one moment at a time.

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    1. I am so sorry for your loss... and sorry that so-called friends can be so insensitive. Xoxo

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    2. Friends who can't handle your grief are not friends. There are moments when sharing is absolutely essential: the shoulder, the ear, the strong back to lean on. There are moments also when we *think* we should be sharing but sometimes it's too strong for our weaker (w/o judging) friends; they just haven't been *there* haven't understood the depth of the sorrow; something in their DNA or environments disallows them to truly delve. They may never know such depths -- or heights! -- of emotion. This does not make them "bad"; it just makes them not quite what we need at that moment. I am sure there have been times when I have been unfailingly able/apt/strong for my friends and family in need; just as I'm certain there have been times when I've been absolutely not what was needed. It's a comfort level.

      But grief has its own clock. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a very closed off person indeed. I don't do well with those who suggest I "get over" something. There is always -- ALWAYS -- a new kink or wrinkle or thread in a memory, or a moment of remembrance that must be attended. Unattended sorrows are the worst kind.

      To both you and the lovely LC, I am sad for your losses. Deeply sad and I get it. xxoo -m

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  7. I am sending a prayer your way now. As a chronic dweller, I've found it's hard to put a timeline on grief and loss. It's a continuum. Some days are good, some days...not so much. I wish you many more good days than not.

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    1. Thank you. Yesterday was ok. That's the best you can hope for sometimes. Xoxo

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  8. You are right...one day at a time. Thank you kindly for the link. A writer, huh, maybe one day I may agree with you.

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