This post isn't gonna be pretty

This may not be the appropriate time to say this, but I am going to say it anyway, because there will never be a good time.  And, as sweet as other blogging moms of children who have passed are - I know they are all thinking (or have thought) the same thing I am.  Plus, I am many things but I don't think anyone has ever described me as "sweet".  Maxie must have gotten his sweetness from his daddy.

There are many friends who I don't hear from - not even an email to say "We are thinking about you."  I know they think (or they are hoping) I haven't really noticed, but I have.  I know they are worried about saying the wrong thing (even though I have made it pretty easy, in my opinion, by actually telling people what to say throughout my blog for all of these months).  It has taken me a long time to get to the point where I am now.  I am no longer sad about having lost these friends.  I wouldn't want them now anyway, knowing what I know about them.  They must have written off our friendship not long after Max died, when they realized that it would be too challenging for them to support a friend going through something of this magnitude.  They don't have it in them to be real friends  It actually says so much about a person who doesn't want to feel uncomfortable for the 2 minutes it takes to write an email to me that says "I think about you and am so sad for your loss".  Listen up - the people I am talking about, for all of their good qualities, are not "friends".  They are people I once knew who shared a common interest with me at some point.  Their disinterest in our lives is especially glaring in light of the fact that so many people I don't know at all or who I know but have never been close to, HAVE sent me emails and comments to show their support.  I can't help but wonder to myself if these former friends will turn to me if/when they have a tragedy of their own in the future (because as much as they would like to believe it - they are not immune - nobody is).  Would I be there for them?  It would be easy to ignore their pain, the way they have ignored mine.  Ted tells me that I would be there for old friends.  I think Ted would like to continue seeing the good in me.  By the way, Ted WOULD be there for those people...even if those people were MY people.  He is a better person than I am.  He just is (as a side note, when Ted makes his list of what he would do with the money if/WHEN we won the lottery :), he includes giving money to every single friend we have had.....even the ones who we haven't heard a peep out of.  We will cross that bridge when we get to it).  Sadly, I am a bit of a grudge holder (if god's lesson in taking Max from us was to rid me of this particular trait, he/she failed).  I am unlikely to forget those who didn't reach out, just as I am unlikely to forget rude comments, things said to minimize our loss, the behavior of certain people at Maxie's funeral or shiva, and ALL of the insensitive stuff that I have experienced ever since this nightmare began.  These memories will be with me for a lifetime and are actually a part of my Post Traumatic Stress.  They are part of the dark landscape that sometimes takes over my brain and leaves me completely breathless and paralyzed.  When I think about the part these people have played since Max's death, I realize how completely devoid of compassion so many people in this world really are.  Having worked in non-profits most of my adult life...I already knew that I guess.  So few people step up to take on doing good in the world compared to the many who just let others worry about it.  Part of all this though is the sad recognition that people I once cared about, don't care about us at all.  I make no apologies for how I feel (just as you don't).  This is who I am.  And, if you think what I have written here is even half as hurtful as your abandoning us when we needed you most or any of the other insensitive things you did to show us how little our loss means to you, you don't have a clue. (I promise to follow up with a post about the people we are grateful for because they are many of them and they continue to astound us with their kindness to this day)


Steven Stuart said...

Sadly, your list of "friends" is probably like mine, and includes family who have completely disappeared from the landscape of our lives since Colin died. There are no calls, no emails, no letters, nothing from the people who are supposed to be those you can lean on during your worst days. Sadly, if there is no a party where they can eat, drink, and be merry, then they just disappear into the distance. God know that if we won the lottery, most of these people would be more than happy to enjoy in our spoils, but when it is life that has spoiled, these same people simply just do not exist.

I there is a lesson out of any of this is that maybe we are supposed to be better judges of character and humanity. I am not so sure if that is always true of me now, but I know that I am far more selective in who I call "friend." It is a much more powerful word than it used to be.

Take Care,

Emaleebanks said...


I was wondering if there was a way for me to send a present to you for Baby M. It is just something small that I made and I would like to give it to your son. Let me know how I can mail it to you if you if you are interested. I am thinking of you and of Maxie.

Emalee Banks

Allisonkovac said...

"A friend is someone who dances with you in the sunlight and walks with you in the shadows." Here's to the friends who are in the shadows with you and Ted now! (Or, the friends who are "in the pit" with you as you might say.)
Thinking about you guys all the time...missing Maxie.

Yael Levontin said...

I am so sorry you keep getting hurt by these people. You and Ted have been through and are going through so much -- it saddens me that you have to deal with these sorts of people! I am always thinking of you guys and little angel Maxie z"l.

Sanetha said...

Friends and family are people who come into your life sometimes for a lifetime. Others come into your life for years or months, days and some only last hours or minutes. They do not know how to respond because they haven't been through what you have been through. It isn't just friends who respond less than expected, many relatives do this as well--and we all react to life's situations so very differently.

I remember very clearly the people who after the funeral of our son--stepped back as if to say, "I AM OUT OF HERE!" If people only understood how much we need them especially after the funeral. After the funeral is when all the people who are there to surround you to hold you up--simply disappear and you find yourself alone even when you have your spouse to rely on--it is very lonely because this is the time where we are each left with our own thoughts.

Don't even give your old friends another thought if those thoughts hold anything negative--wasted energy! It is those thoughts that will shape and create your future. It is so very important that we take time to create beautiful loving thoughts..think of your Maxie as I think of my Michael and feel the LOVE. Think about the love he brought to you while you had him and think about the love you can send to him where he is right now...right beside you. Create love ....and love will come right back at you.

Again, I send this note to you with pure loving intentions... I am thinking about you and I hope this will help. I know when we hurt there is absolutely nothing that anyone can say that will help because that will not bring back Maxie or Michael. That is one of the reasons you don't hear from those friends because they cannot imagine this happening to them nor do they want to--AND they just don't know what to say--they are speechless which comes across like they don't care.

Love & Light,

Tiffany Torres said...

i think about this often. i too have lost quite a few friends. they just scattered like rats when Julius passed away. and like you, i'm pretty sure if they ever contacted me again, i would either ignore them or give them a piece of my mind. it's one thing to do something to me. but when i feel like you have been disrespectful to my son's memory, oh there is no coming back from that. and plus i wouldn't want to waste my time on someone who is a crappy friend. i'm a lot less forgiving these days. i just don't have time for it.

Kathy Hales '92 said...

I just read about you losing your Maxie in the Marlborough Alumni Magazine. I am so, so sorry. My second daughter is 10 months old and losing her would be so devastating I have no idea how I would go on. You are very brave. I try to be brave - my older daughter has a severe nut allergy and when she's not with me I am constantly worried that something will happen to her. Reading your blog sends tears down my face. Please don't be embarrassed about crying. Any normal person would just want to give you a big hug if they knew. I hope you will discover many new, caring friends through this difficult journey. I will go donate now--I love that you are doing something wonderful in his honor.