Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Different Kind of Loss

I've been on a sort of "high" lately.  I feel very different.  My skin is thick.  My claws come out easily when necessary.  I stand up for myself like never before.  I'm fiesty.  I fight like hell for what matters to me like never before.  I don't anger easily, but when you cross that line, be ready to deal.

Because the universe has thrown me enough grief to last a few lifetimes, I will not willingly take any more than I have to.

Which means cutting people out of my life when I need to with minimal guilt, if any at all.  It's a simple equation, really.  If you detract from my life more than you add to it, then goodbye.

I have to look out for me, because, well, no one else does, and the universe, the gods, fate, they all don't give a flying duck.

If I can learn to live without my son, then I can learn to live without frenemies, right?


What about the people who have just sort of drifted out of my life?  This has been on my mind so much lately.  One or two people in particular who have simply drifted away for no apparent reason.  No blowout.  No goodbye.  No explanation.  No sob story about why we just can't be friends anymore.

Just silence.

More silence in my life where there should be noise.

All the loss moms know what I mean.

I am changed.  I am different.  I am still figuring all the ways in which this is true.  But one thing for sure I know is that I am a way better friend than I've ever been.  And the people who have sort of just left me behind after my loss, well, it's too bad they don't take the time to get to know the new me.  Because I'm fiercely loyal.  I live in the moment more than ever before.  I don't let anxiety cripple me like it used to, because life is just too short, and I want to live mine more fully.  My sense of humor is better than it ever was.  I've never understood gallows humor until my loss, but trust me when I say that it is a real phenomenon.  People who have been put through the ringer in life just come out on the other side able to laugh more easily.  Not when the grief is raw, no, but that phase gives way to one where you want to just suck the marrow out of life.  Because you've gone so long feeling dead inside.  Soak up every little piece of joy there is.  Hold onto it for dear life.  Balance that scale a bit where grief has for so long made things extremely lopsided and heavy in its favor. 

I need that humor, that laughter, that mindless fun. I need the silliness, the shenanigans, the lightness that was so missing when I was in the raw days of grief.

But oh, you wouldn't know that, if you've walked the other way.

And I'm learning, still learning, how to simply be okay with the friends who have just drifted.  No blow out, no goodbye, no explanation.  It's easier to do with some people than it is with others, isn't it?

And the funny thing is that my life is so full.  So very full with my family, my career, my hobbies, and the friends that I still have and new friends I've made.  So much that when opportunities for even more friends arise, I just kind of shrug and say, "You know what?  I think I'm good with what I've got."  Not at all in an arrogant way.  In a contented way.
Friendships are an investment.  They say you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket, but on the other hand, you don't want to put your eggs in so many different baskets that you lose track.  I find myself able to maintain and enjoy my current friendships, kindly, tactfully, gently turning away opportunities for more, yet I keep looking back at those one or two who kept promising to keep in touch, to write to me soon, to call me back, followed by months and months of silence.  Not for my lack of effort, either.

I have this insatiable appetite for understanding others, I guess.  And I will never understand turning your back and walking away from a friend when they are going through the roughest storms of their life.  Or worse yet, making empty promises to stay in touch when you have no intention of following through. 

It confuses and confounds me in ways I can't quite put into words.

I guess some people just assume that after you've lost a child, that becomes your entire identity, all that you are, and you are sad 24/7, wearing black clothes, sobbing in the candlelight.  So they just walk away and don't even get a chance to see that the stereotypes they've built in their minds are horribly misguided.

Well.  Just pile on the lack of closure, keep it coming.  Because, you know, I don't quite have enough unresolved emotions in my life.

Looking to soon delete contacts from my phone and Facebook of people who obviously feel they are "above" staying friends with someone who has lost a child.  I think I may just have to settle for that as being my closure to so much unfinished business.


  1. I've had similar experience with "drifters." and it's almost like you'd prefer the big blowup. Because I don't want people to get off that easy. For me I want them to know what a horrible person they are for just drifting away when that's just not how you should treat someone - loss or not, but especially loss. It's hard to find closure in those situations, but for me it's found by finding new, and better, friends.

  2. This was wonderfully stated. You are a much better wordsmith than I. Aren't our lists so similar? Our experiences of loss are a bit different but we walk parallel paths on this new lifelong journey. Love, peace, and light to you, friend.