Holy Cow!  Yesterday was rough!  Let me start by saying how much I LOVE Halloween.  I love Day of the Dead, so it shouldn't be surprising.  I don't love it for the adult parties, booze and witty costumes, though that is definitely fun too.  I love it because I love children and I love handing out candy and seeing them all so cute in their costumes.  When Ted and I first moved to our house, it was one of the things I was most excited about.  I had my own house, with the most perfect candy handing-out front door.  The top opens separate from the bottom so you can hand it out over a counter of sorts and rest the bowl on the little ledge on the inside, and you don't have to worry about the dogs running into the street or scaring the kiddies away.  It is awesome (good for when you order in delivery food too).  I was so happy that Max was an October baby and was here in time for Halloween last year.  Ted and I have a long standing pact, because I hate horror movies (they scare me).  Halloween is the one day a year that he is allowed to pick as scary of a movie as he wants, and I have to watch it.  Last year, Suzy and Spencer came over to hand out candy.  Little Max was only 3 weeks old.  I didn't dress him up because he was much too busy sleeping, pooping, nursing and being cute.  I was psyched to get him a costume this year - it was going to be a monkey, obviously!  So, I sort of knew that yesterday would suck.  I had no idea how badly it would suck or that Ted might even be more upset than I was.  At around 5, I prepared the house by turning off all of the lights and hiding in my bedroom.  I ignored all of barking, signaling me that there were people approaching.  I laid on my bed and cried.  Ted got home around 6:30.  He came in the house and didn't turn on the lights.  I could see later that he had opened the mail in the dark.  He came into the bedroom looking miserable.  He had to drive home from work through the streets, past all of the children dressed in their adorable costumes.  I said, "This is terrible, isn't it?" and he said, "Should we cancel dinner?"  All we wanted to do was lay in bed and cry.  But, our friend Erika had made a dinner special for us.  She signed up for Halloween duty on the meal train and when I contacted her over a month ago to tell her not to bother, that I had a feeling Ted and I would be too depressed to even eat dinner, she suggested that we come to her house.  On any other night, I would have said no, because I am terrible dinner company (ask my mother.  I usually end up on her couch, in tears, staring at the revolving digital frame she has with photos of Maxie).  Erika said that she and Ian never gets trick or treaters at their apartment on Hillhurst.  Sounded like a plan.  We decided to go over there last night and I am so glad we did.  It gave us something to do other than laying in bed crying.  Of course I have a "hangover" today.  I don't drink anymore but now I get these terrible "sad" hangovers.  They feel a lot like alcohol hangovers.  I am overly tired.  My head is pounding.  I feel completely blue.  I am nauseous.  Most everything that was once good in my life, is now terrible.  Thank God for Ted or I don't know where I would be right now.  Several times yesterday, I found myself wondering if life will always be this miserable, if we will ever be happy again, if will we have more children, if we will ever welcome Halloween..... then I brought myself back to the one moment at a time and just breathed.  It really is the only thing that works.

This is a little Halloween onesie that Erika got Max for Halloween last year.
This photo was taken months later.  The little monster glows in the dark.

By the way, you may have noticed that I am not using the G-D anymore for writing God.  It is a Jewish thing.  I was doing it out of respect to the readers that I might have in the Jewish community.  I have come to realize that there are very few (if any) readers from my community.  Not to say that I have very few Jewish readers, but I know that I have very few readers from the established Jewish community (Jewish communal professionals, Lay leaders, and donors).  While many showed up at Shiva, I have heard from very few of them since that time.  I have worked in the community in one form or another since 1995.  It has been my life's work up until this point.  Not because I am a religious person at all but because I liked being part of a community.  And, when things were good in my life, this community embraced me.  My colleagues (both in my organization and in others that I have worked with through the years) sought me out for gossip and advice and support.  I have hardly heard from these people since Max died.  There are some people that I haven't heard from at all.  People I would have expected to hear from considering that I worked very closely with them, had developed relationships with them, had been supportive of them when they received awards or had simchas (joyful events) or even sadness or death in their families.  One of my donors told me when I met him that everyone likes you when things are going well, but that he experienced that when things had taken a down turn for him, all of his best buddies from the community disappeared.  I don't really say this to express anger but it is certainly disappointing and I am definitely not going to dance around anyone anymore and worry about the language I use.  One thing is for sure - you learn a lot about people when tragedy strikes.  A lot of it is good.  And, so much of that comes from unexpected places.  It isn't all good though and some of it is very disappointing.  And that is just one more lesson that I wish I had never had to learn.  I liked my rose colored glasses just fine.


Bianca said...

I thought about you and Teddy and Maxie all day yesterday. I am truly always thinking about you guys, but yesterday I was just so overwhelmed by the fact that Maxie was not here for Halloween and that you guys are living in agony without him. It is so awful and sad and unfair.

Joyce Sachartoff said...

We may not see each other much but just know that I will hold on to you and not let go.

stephanie steingold bressler said...

Abby, you don't know me, but I am a Jewish Communal Professional in LA, and I know you through other people. I have been reading your blog every day, and my heart has been aching for you since I found the blog. I am sorry the Jewish professional community has not been there for you through this, and I wish that were different for you. thinking of you, and reading every day.