When the accident happened, many people were quick to rush to our aid. They wanted to be there, they wanted to help and they did, immensely! We couldn’t have gotten through those early days without our friends standing by our side, holding us up. They were the light in our darkness.
We have limited family support, but the family who is there for us has been amazing. Parker and I are both blessed with sisters that would do anything for us and they have. We are lucky to have a cousin who is a social worker who has helped to guide us and an Aunt who has been where we are who writes to us all of time and supports in no way that any person can, unless they’ve lost a child themselves.
We’ve had the community, that I’ve spoken of a lot in my blog already. The strangers that showed up with food, or whose children helped my daughter at school. It made this big city that we live in feel really small, in a good way.
These were all good things, great things. We were surrounded by love and met lot’s of new friends. What’s strange to me is who is in our lives 11 months later.
Do you really know who your friends are? When it came down to it, would they be able to stick it out for the long haul? Would they be able to hold your hand and cry with you and face the fact that their own children are mortal? Would they know that all they have to do is be there, even if they don’t know what to do or say?
I can tell you, that I never expected my two best friends from Long Island would never show up. The two people that I’ve known longest on this Earth that I chose, that aren’t related, and they couldn’t even show up to my sons Memorial Service. It was a crushing blow in the beginning. Now I see it for what it is and I’ve (somewhat) made my peace with it. Perhaps we grew apart more than I had noticed, perhaps they were more selfish than I noticed, perhaps they didn’t know what to do. I would like to think that if the tables had been turned, I would have been there in a heartbeat. When these things usually happen I cook or bake and freeze food, because I honestly don’t know what else to do. I’ll never know what I would do in their shoes, because I’m in mine. All I can say is this, people grow up, grow apart, have families and move on. It doesn’t mean that that friendship that you had as children should be honored any less.
There were lot’s of people in the beginning. They can handle you crying about your son, because they cry too. They can understand your hurt (to a point) and allow you to wallow in it. Then they go back to their own lives and move on. They move forward, their children age and you are standing there stuck, all alone. I can tell you from experience, it’s not the people that you would expect to be standing by your side when the smoke has cleared off the battlefield. Who of your friends is able to stick around while your face your grief head on? Who really wants to be a part of that?
I understand that life DOES go on for others and they do have jobs, families, etc. Part of me is very jealous because I’m stuck and they GET to move on. When is it my turn? I try very hard to understand that it’s not ALL about me, I say this in all seriousness. It’s hard to look outside of myself or my family right now. I really do try, it just doesn’t always happen. It’s much easier to blame everyone else. Have I reached out to them? No, because I’m the one that’s hurting and they should know that. See, back to being selfish. I’m just not in a place right now where I can forgive others for what I perceive to be their shortcomings. Is that fair? Probably not. Honest? Yes.
If you’re uncomfortable with grief, then I suggest that you isolate yourself from the rest of the world. Everybody dies! You will have to handle it at some point in your life. You will also have to go through it. Think about who you would want standing by your side and holding you up. Think of how much time that you might need and then double it, triple it!
I’m not asking for someone to be at my side 24/7 holding me up, I don’t need that. Please just don’t disappear. If you’re uncomfortable, then call, email, text, there are a million ways now to have an impersonal conversation. Hide behind technology, but please don’t disappear. As grieving parents we try not to look at it as a reflection upon our lost children, but it does happen. You start to wonder who your child was actually important to. Is this fair-no, but it happens. Just stay in touch. It’s a reflection upon you if you disappear and no one else.
Now, for every person that has disappeared, a new one has taken their place. The neighbor that you were friends with, but now you’re really close, the strangers that are now your friends. New people entered my life because they were meant to, Benny put them there, just like my mom gave me my BFFer’s. There’s a void to be filled.
I don’t know what the future will bring, or who else will not be able to travel this road with me. I know that the ones that have stuck it out deserve a thank you. Thank you for letting me be selfish, jealous, stuck and above all for letting me grieve.