Friday, 23 May 2008


People type such wonderful comments on this blog. They are people who don't know me at all and yet they take the time to say they are sorry. It helps so much. What is the exact way in which it helps, I wonder? Some how it helps me to know that what has happened is bad. It's strange that I should need somebody else to tell me that but I do. It was like that after my daughter died. She'd been dead about three months and I met a woman who I hardly know in the street. Often I didn't tell people what had happened because I couldn't take that risk. But some how I did tell this lady. And she just burst into tears. I was so grateful to her for crying but I was also shocked. I looked at her and I thought, 'Oh yes, it's really bad. That's how bad it is.' But I had to see her cry to know that. It's odd that, isnt' it? I think there's two reasons for it. Firstly, whatever is happening in your life becomes commonplace after a while. No-one can feel sad all day every day. So sometimes you need someone else to tell you that it's sad. Secondly, there's always someone who has got a worse story to tell and so one doesn't (or I don't) feel entitled to too much grief. It helps a lot when someone says, 'Yes. It's really bad so it's OK for you to feel terrible.' I don't have people around me who are saying that. I think they have become too frightened and worn down to say anything at all. Everyone really needed a happy ending to this story and there just isn't going to be one. The weather is actually quite warm here but I find myself wearing jumpers, socks, scarfs. The days are very unkind. I can sometime do a simple administrative task but even that can be too much. My level of isolation is hard to bear (even if it is partly of my own making). This blog is helping. Thank you so much for those comments.


Anonymous said...

Hi Alice,

Somehow saying "I am sorry" does not seem enough.

I am thinking and praying for you.


Melissia said...

There is something about the honesty in your writing and the unassuming way that you convey your feelings that make it very easy to acknowledge your losses. Perhaps as well we don't have a vested interest in a "happy ending", we can say that things have been shitty and not sugar coat the truth.
Yesterday, I had a surgical procedure at a place where I am well known. From the moment I arrived the receptionist,Becky, normally exceptionally friendly and open about personal issues, was rude and hostile to me. So I finally checked in, was much chastised about a small matter and then turned to be led back. Before I left I told her that I hoped that whatever was bothering her was not too terrible and that I was available to talk. I changed my cloths and then waited to have my iv started, etc. when Becky came back and told me that her 85 year grandmom had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had a very large mass under her armpit. Her grandmom refused to have surgery because Becky's brother had convinced her that a tumor under her arm could not be breast cancer, regardless of the fact that two doctors had confirmed that she did indeed have cancer. I looked at Becky and said "I am so sorry that your brother is a jackass and that your grandmother is going to die". Then I hugged her. When she stopped laughing and crying she told me that I was the only person who had acknowledged that was exactly was was going to happen.
But maybe it was easy because I don't really know Becky or her grandmom, but I knew what she needed and that was someone to acknowledge that something really awful is going to happen.
Of course I don't get invited to lot of parties, but it is just the way I am.
So maybe your writing tells me that you need honesty about your situation, to be acknowledged, that your daughter's death was a terrible and horrible thing. This is easy for me, as I know this first hand, so I can share this pain with you. But I can also share the hope that while the pain never goes away completely it changes and ebbs and flows so we can do the the things we need to do; to keep living our life, and to add and subtract our scarves, hats and gloves as our personal weather changes.
I keep you in my thoughts.

Honey said...

I think I love your comments too. I have no idea how to follow Melissa's comment. Except go read her blog, she sounds great. I get a HUGE amount of support on my blog. It is essential when I'm so low I can't go out and talk to friends. It's my space to vent and the comments I get are caring, compassionate and intelligent. I find it well worth the occassional bad one. I loved The Aunt's comment a post or so back on that subject, made me laugh and laugh.

Sherry/Cherie said...

Life is filled with blessings...and some of the most miraculous and wondrous blessings come from those we don't know -- perfect strangers and I emphasize the word "perfect". My heart is with you, my prayers are with you and I will keep you in my thoughts and my blessings each day -- the world is filled with some of the most beautiful spirits. I believe that you are one.

Alice said...

Thanks for the post! Melissia's story is amazing. What strikes me is the fact that you asked this woman Becky what the problem was. You see, I wouldn't do that. I'd assume she was just a bitch who had got it in for me. You managed to turn that situation round and establish an important contact with Becky. I think I'm too shut up inside myself to that. I need to change but it's hard. Alice