I looked back and December was the last time I blogged. I write – a lot. But, sadly, most of the time the thoughts I put down stay in draft form.
Writing is and always has been therapeutic. Somehow, lately, I don’t find my posts of value or they are just so random and not well formed out when I put the words down on the screen that I never publish them. And, that’s ok, too.
This week, as I took my kids to school I had something on my mind that was eating at me. As I think about Lydia and her upcoming birthday I became frustrated at what was on my mind. (Ironically, one day as we passed the cemetery Grant yelled “hi Lydia” so she wasn’t just on my mind).
What is awful is that it is something that has been on my mind since she died. Maybe because situations pop up that cause it to creep back in – I don’t know. But, the mere fact it is still on my mind 3 years later bothers me too. But…that’s an issue for another day I guess. Or maybe for a therapist.
Let me tell you what prompted me to write AND publish…this time.
Before Lydia died we had an army of supporters. The people that love us, were there for us, rescued us, called us, chipped in or just simply did what they could to let us know they were there. In whatever form that was.
And we appreciated it and loved them – even if we couldn’t help in return (because is helping someone always about getting something in return? possibly another blog post)
But, during that time we also had those that weren’t around. By design or choice they couldn’t or didn’t want to “handle” our journey. Or simply didn’t like one of us so took it out on our children – who knows, your guess is as good as mine. It was what it was and we decided as a family (and with the help of professionals) we had enough to focus on right in our own home.
So, we did. We focused on us. Selfish? Maybe to some, but we were doing what we could to stay afloat emotionally, physically, mentally and financially when she was here – alive. Both of us maintaining full-time jobs we couldn’t take any outside negative energy adding to what we had on our already, overflowing plate.
But, now she’s gone. And what gets me is those that play(ed) the victim. The ones that couldn’t be there for us after her death or just the opposite – the ones we emotionally couldn’t be there for after she died that are hurt. Or mad.
I honestly don’t get it. Let me give you an example. We had people, close to us, who didn’t come to the wake or funeral. Or those that couldn’t make it, which we understood, who didn’t show up after and later told us it was just all too hard for them.
It floors me. THIS WAS OUR CHILD. Not a pet fish. Not even a dog which I know some feel are close, like a child. BUT MY CHILD.
Our child we saw so sickly – hospitalized over 25 times and taken by ambulance over 18.
A child we struggled to keep alive, everyday.
A child we loved with all of our hearts.
A child we will mourn until we see her again in heaven.
So, I don’t get it. I honestly don’t. When does OUR pain become about YOU?
“Oh, the pain was just to much for me.” WHAT?!?! Are you kidding? For you? Can you imagine what it is like for US? What about the pain we face and work to bury just so we can function every single. damn. day. But, yet when we say we were hurt you didn’t show up during or after – YOU ARE MAD?
Or we couldn’t be there for you after her death and we are the bad guys. We are awful.
I just don’t understand that’s how it works. I’ve had people tell me that they approached me during the funeral and asked if they could help and I told them we were fine and we had so many others right now so they NEVER asked me again because they took offense.
I don’t even remember them asking or how I responded. It was all a blur. If I responded in a tone you didn’t like, did you ever consider what I was going through? Or maybe yourself and how you were when she was alive? Were you supportive then?
I hope that no one else I know ever has to look at their lifeless child in a casket. To hear their 3 year old ask about her and if she’s sleeping and when she’ll be coming home with us.
To watch your then 9 year old be a pall bearer. Or watch your husband go through all the emotions he did and still does being there that day when she died. All I wanted to do was grab her, hug her and take her home. But, somehow, I became the girl who sounded bitchy saying we were fine.
At one point at the funeral before we went to the church and saw her in the casket for the last time I cried so hard I started pounding on my mother as I hugged her. She told me to continue to get it out. And I did. And she took all that pain into her.
Can you imagine? I sure hope not. I sure hope if you have never lost a child you NEVER do.
I don’t know why 3 years later this still bothers me but it does. Maybe because my husband recently saw someone that this happened with and he was about to be cordial and say hi to the person. BUT, the person never even looked his way because…get this – THEY are angry we told them it hurt us they never were there when we needed them.
I was furious. Really?!? Jesus – you didn’t show up afterward, told us it was about your own pain and you can’t even say HI almost 3 years later! Are you kidding me?!?
I know we are all selfish occasionally. We all believe life revolves around ourselves at points in time. We are human. It happens. BUT, during one of the hardest times in our lives we looked for support from some people we thought would never leave our side….and it was gone. People we believed in, trusted and most of all…loved.
I will probably never understand this. And I’ll probably never have answers to this. But, I guess I got it out into the universe and hopefully educated because…
Here’s my message…if you’ve done this – say sorry. Suck it up and say sorry for not being there. Tell the person going through the tragedy it hurts like hell because of x-y-z, BUT you want to be there for them and this is the way you can. BUT, don’t walk away like nothing ever happened.
DON’T NOT be there and IF you are that absent person, well, when the person tells you it hurt DON’T pretend this is about YOU. DON’T be mad because guess what? WE are the ones that lost…we lost our sweet pea and we were upset that those we thought would be there…weren’t and aren’t.
If you encounter this situation in the future – remember this post and BE THERE. Explain how you can be there if you can’t fully. Again, suck it up and just show up – for whatever you can.
If whatever you are hurting from so badly is harboring you from doing this then maybe seek professional guidance. God knows we all carry things but then seek help for it. Find refuge somewhere to help you get through it.
And some more advice while I’m at it…make sure you follow up multiple times asking how to help. Don’t assume because one response wasn’t to your liking that they don’t need you. People need each other to get through these times…now and forever – because grief doesn’t have a timetable….ever.
I know I’m not alone in this fact. Surprisingly, you talk to the number of parents that have lost a child OR even someone that has fallen extremely ill and they all say the same thing “the ones you thought would be there weren’t and the ones you never knew existed were.” Same story. Different family.
How sad. Extremely sad.
Step back and imagine for one simple second being us. It is hard – you know why? It is known that you truly never know what a situation feels like until your in it. Until, the exact same thing happens to you. Whether it be death of someone you love, losing your job, cancer…you name it.
But, if you imagine being us would you want the people you thought cared and loved to walk around and make it about them?
Yeah…I’m guessing not.