One of the patterns I have noticed in friends’ responses to whatever I happen to post on social media is that, when I post some good news, “happy photos”, or an achievement, I get 3 or 4 times as many “likes”, comments, and whoopy doos, than if I post something hard, messy, painful and tough. There the sorrow just hangs out its forlorn head alone, unnoticed.
I know there are a gazillion algorithms deep at work in the bowels of (for example) Facebook’s functioning, and when one person “likes” or comments on something, a whole host of their own friends will see it too. Especially if there is a connection to me. A snowballing of likes and comments ensues.
Some “likes” are more powerful than other “likes”. I am sure I could rank order my friends in terms of the impact of their likes. But I won’t. I am not particularly interested in Facebook’s bowel-y algorithms. I am sure they are functioning healthily.
What I find somewhat more fascinating is the underlying tendency for there to be more responses and comments when things are “good” than when things are “bad”. When I am “happy” than when I am “sad”.
Good news is rewarded. Cheered. Celebrated. Raved. Hearted and clapped and liked.
Sad, tough, lonely news is barely acknowledged.
Is it even seen? I don’t know. I think it is. I suspect that some friends see every single thing I write. That I am “tagged” in some way. Tracked, like an inmate with dodgy behaviour patterns.Read more
I want you to know that I accept the fact that you couldn’t stay
Even though my heart, keeps breaking every single day
I feel your loss in everything that I am, and in everything that I do
Losing you was the hardest thing I have ever had to do
My grief is great because my love for you is deep
The deeper the love, the harder you grieve
I know you wouldn’t have been able to be the same
And that would have killed you in every wayRead more
I felt my heart stop when your heart stopped beating
I felt the air in my lungs leave my body, when you took your last breath
I felt the world crumbling down on my chest, with every shock wave that went through yours
I was an empty vessel walking above ground, while yours lays down in the soil empty as well
I cried storms of sorrow, while rain poured down on your resting place
Lifeless is how I feel at times, lifeless is what you became
When you left this earth, part of me went with you
The part that stayed also stayed with a piece of you
She is all you in every wayRead more
What you don’t know is that
People die because of Grief
People die because of a Broken Heart
People Die by Suicide
Because their Grief is
Too Much to Bear
I had a call just last night from the
Now-orphaned-daughter of a friend
Whose husband was my friend and colleague
He had helped Mike get to
Chemo treatments on occasion when
I just couldn’t manage to fit it all in
But my friend also died
Just months after Mike died
And my new friend
My friend’s wife
Missed him too much
And like Julia chose to end the
Desperately Painful Grief that had
Settled over her life and her being
Her present and future and
Even her past
Replacing the love she had once felt
And reveled in and rejoiced in
Not a fair reward for
Decades of love
I'm really broke.
I'm really tired of being broke.
I'm really tired of talking about being broke.
I'm really tired of typing and writing about being broke.
Even when my husband Don was alive, we struggled financially. Everyday. But he worked and I worked, and we helped each other out. He started helping me out way before he moved in with me. He used to send me checks from Florida to New Jersey, telling me that he knew how much of a struggle it was for me out there and he wanted to help me pay my bills. He saved up enough money to move in with me, when he finally did make that move, so that he could get through a few months without a job, in case it took him that long to find work in EMS where I lived. He found work quickly. He made okay money, better than what I made, but his money stretched way further down in Florida. NYC life ate up his money fast. So we were broke. Often. But he always made sure we had enough to go out on a nice date, take me to dinner, see a movie, cover the basics. I felt taken care of, even though we didn't have a lot.Read more
In France, where I live, early September, with its “back to school and back to work” is known as “la rentrée”.
This week is “la rentrée”. Schools go back. Three-year olds begin pre-school, known here as “Maternelle”. Six-year olds begin primary/”Primaire”. Eleven-year olds begin secondary, known as “Collège”, and 15-year olds begin “Lycée”.
In our home, I used to say that the entire month of September was “la rentrée”. We might have three kids in three different schools. We often had a new au pair to onboard into our family’s way of living. We had a whole long list of activities including music, sport, theatre and English-language learning to schedule.
It somehow always fell to me to figure out how it would all work, and how many able-bodied adults over the age of 18 would be required to schlep the kids around. I always had an eye on whether or not the schedule would still work if there was only the au pair available, for example when Mike and/or I were working late or travelling – or both.Read more
These last few days have been a mad rush. I accompanied my "now youngest" daughter Megan, who is 18, to start university in the middle of the UK. We live in France, so it’s a bit of a schlep, and since we take a flight, there’s a limit to what we can carry. Furnishing her student digs, then, becomes a race against time and my credit card’s flexibility.
We had 1 ½ very full days together. The first was spent filling up trolley after trolley with duvet, duvet cover, pillows, cushions, sheets, towels, pots, pans, cutlery and crockery. And then another with food items ranging from bread, milk and butter to cumin, olive oil and sriracha sauce. To non-food items like toilet paper, washing up liquid and bin bags. Via some fresh produce of course. I have rarely done such big shops. Only when moving houses and countries.
It was hard, effort-wise. Physical effort from the schlepping, and emotional effort from the semi-conscious countdown to the moment we’d have to part, when I would head to the airport and home. We don’t have plans to see one another till Christmas.
I am not a very good parent for shopping drudgery. I have never much enjoyed it. Mike was better at it. Or he did it with a better smile on his face.Read more
This week's post from Mari shares some raw memories of the moments she shared with her husband in the hospital just after his death. If you are feeling vulnerable in your own grief experience today, please either proceed with caution or know that as an act of self-care it's OK to choose not to read today's post.
It’s been 10 months since I saw you leave this world. It still doesn’t feel real that you are no longer here. Flashbacks of that horrible day haunt my mind every day. I try not to think of it, but those memories keep coming back. I remember that day when the hospital nurse kept calling me to go see you. I didn’t even want to answer the call, because I knew you were leaving me. I didn’t want this to be true. I remember driving to the hospital to go see you with our baby girl. I remember being in a state of shock and disbelief that this was even possible. That you were not going to make it. All I kept hearing on that drive was our daughter say “papa, papa”, as we were going to you. I remember stopping at a stoplight, and something felt different. I looked at the sky and feared the worst. As I parked at the hospital, I couldn’t bring myself in to go see you. I knew that if I went in there, there was no going back. With help, I was finally able to enter the hospital. As I walked into the area to enter your unit, I saw two individuals standing in front of me. They said, “He passed away at 9:05 am”.Read more
Today was a hard day. It was filled with anger, sadness, desperation, and tears. I am angry at the fact that my husband is no longer here. I am mad that my daughter doesn’t get to grow up with her father, and that my husband doesn’t get to experience his daughter grow up. I am mad and disappointed at everything and everyone that was involved with this accident. I have the right to be angry. I wake up next to an empty space, instead of my husband’s embrace. I see my daughter give nosy kisses and try to feed chips to a picture of her father because he is not in the flesh. As a woman, my heart is broken. And as a mother, my broken heart aches with agony as I feel for my daughter. I feel a sense of desperation that I can’t bring my husband back and give her his arms, his love, his kisses, his all. It’s such a debilitating feeling. A debilitating feeling that those who lose the love of their life genuinely know.Read more
So you are having a great day. Your future is brightening. The birthday of your passed person is on the horizon so you book two trips to help you through the day and allow yourself to get away and enjoy life.
You don’t want to be alone and think of the 43 candles he won’t be blowing out with you this year. You don’t have to stress about finding the right birthday present but you also don’t get to see his face when his eyes light up as he pulls away the wrapping paper. You want to acknowledge the deep emptiness of the day but you know he would want you to go out and celebrate. He will be there with you. You may not see him but you will feel his presence and know he is there celebrating with you. Your excitement builds with something to look forward too. Finally you have the big boat before the storm hits. You’ve begun to prepare.Read more