Understanding

Thursday, June 19, 2014

In the almost three years since we lost Maxie, a lot of people in our lives have lost a lot of people.  People have lost grandparents, parents, siblings, friends, and there have even been a few children lost over these past years.  Loss is something that none of us can escape, even if we believe that bad things only happen to "other people".  The fact is - some day your parents will die.  You may be lucky enough to never suffer a tragic loss, like we have....i.e: maybe you are lucky enough to only lose people who have lived long and full lives.....but it still might feel tragic to you.  Your mother, your father, your grandparent might be the closest person you have on earth.  Even if they die at 100 years old, it might feel tragic.

Over and over again, people reach out to me and say "you are the only one who understands what this feels like".  They are talking about grief - and sadly, I am actually NOT the only one who understands - but grief has a way of making you feel like you are alone, in a world of wildly happy and superficial people who don't have a care in the world.  I know that I often feel like the Abby that my non-grieving friends see is an entirely different person that the grieving ones do.  I have a split personality and each side has only pieces of authenticity.  I am neither entirely one nor the other but I cannot seem to exist as both at the same time.  I am constantly choosing sides.

People tell me,  "I didn't understand what you were talking about until I experienced it myself" - meaning - they didn't understand that the pain is so excruciating that it feels impossible to escape, to distract oneself, to imagine any kind of a future at all without the person you've lost.  And when I hear this, it is almost never in the context of losing a child. Grief is grief  - it is a kind of universal pain.  Still - losing a child?  Take that grief that you finally understand and multiply it by 1000 or 1,000,000.  There can be nothing worse.  I am still convinced.  Not to belittle anyone's grief - just to say that losing a child has to be the most unnatural thing I could ever imagine....and I've imagined a lot of worst case scenarios in my life.  Well before losing Max, losing a child was always the worst one I could think of.

I guess what I am saying is this - before you judge, before you think to yourself "I would do this better than she is doing it", before you nod your head in knowing that you are the lucky one - think about this - one day you might be reaching out to me to say, "I never understood until now".

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