There is not much I wouldn't do for my three kids. You know, jump in front of an on-coming train to save their lives, feed them first from my last ration of bread, offer myself as a meal for the hungry bear that is chasing them...pretty much anything.
In the normal course of life moms feed, bathe, clothe, soothe, encourage, celebrate, hold, hug, and protect their little ones through the bumps and bruises associated with living, learning and loving. But when death came knocking, I couldn't protect them.
Tomorrow is Daniel's 39th birthday. I haven't seen him since he was 35, and that thought surprises me in a way that seems ridiculous. I know he's been gone three and a half years, but not seeing him since he was 35? "Inconceivable!" The passage of time is a mystery to me. There are moments when it seems like he just left, and others when it feels like a lifetime since we last talked. Time passes regardless, and it appears to pick up speed with each year.
I think one of the bigger adjustments of all of my big adjustments to widowhood was the status as Only Parent. Only Parent is different from single parent in some situations, although very similar in lots of ways. I think one of the biggest differences is in the filling out of forms. Those damn forms. You know, the ones that say: married, single, widowed? I used to cry at the sight of that question. Legally I guess I’m required to pick Widow. Sometimes I am tempted to check all three – I am or have been all three, now it just depends on my mood. ;-)Read more
My 15 year-old daughter Anneke landed the role of Polly in Neil Simon’s play The Gingerbread Lady. In this play, Polly’s (Anneke) mother seems intent on self-destruction, and at one point in the play, Polly (Anneke) is moved to desperate tears, wanting her mother to be OK.
Anneke was unable to perform the scene. She could not cry on stage and she was unable to access that place of sadness. Thankfully, the very thoughtful and caring director changed the scene to accommodate Anneke.
When you have lived the grief experience others often assume you know "just what to say" to a friend or family member who has lost a person they love. Many times I have been the go-to person for advice on what to say, how to help, what not to say, and sometimes for requests to make a personal phone call to a fellow griever. Many times I feel overwhelmed by this assumption, because the truth is nothing changes the fact that the person they love isn't coming home. This fact alone is so strong, and devastating that I sometimes feel that words are futile, and the little I can do is but a bandage on a gaping wound.Read more