Hall Pass

In the months and even years following the sudden (and not sudden) death of someone you deeply love, the world you knew spins violently out of control. It is impossible to focus on anything but getting through the next moment. And even when it starts to get better, there is still an always present chaos. It is out of your control to a great extent. Every day that ends feels like an accomplishment, simply for having gotten through it.

During those days, there will be emails, voicemails and texts that go unanswered. There will be many times where you lose track of the story - of others, of yourself. You simply cannot think straight. 

You might feel like everyone you know and love is in great danger - of dying, suddenly and without warning. This feeling can sometimes dull the intensity of everyday (and not so everyday) problems. Taking care of three little kids is hard but not nearly as hard as the constant feeling that I have two and a half months to save the life of my youngest baby. I am literally out of my skin with anxiety about his making it through this year. I'm just trying to put it in perspective.

If someone you love (or loved) has lost someone they love. Especially if they've lost the person around whom their whole life revolved, who was the most special person in their world - I ask that you give them a hall pass. 

They may not be able to focus on you in the way you need or would like. You might need to seek out other outlets for a while. Im sorry to say this - but your "big" problems might be enviable to them. They might forget to return your last text (or your last 10 texts), they might not initiate phone calls or coffee dates (because they probably aren't "hanging out"). Don't take it personally. Your friend will be disappointing. Please try not to expect too much from them - they will disappoint you if you do.

I wish I had had a hall pass for at least the first couple of years. I still sometimes do. Instead I feel like I've been watched under a microscope - while I've tried to rebuild my life. In the past four years, I've had several miscarriages, gone through a complicated adoption, had two children 9.5 months apart and taken care of three under 3 years old, moved across the country & left behind my best friends and family. None of those things by themselves, or even in combination with each other has come anywhere near in the same universe of difficulty as grieving my heart out for Max all of this time. And I'm actually not asking for your sympathy, because I think we've done an amazing job functioning and even thriving through this. But I AM asking for an occasional hall pass and I am wondering if you might consider giving one to anyone you know who is going through a really hard time.

Practice compassion. Thanks!

1 comment

Chantel said...

I always gain do much insight from your posts. I appreciate them.