Monday, August 2, 2010

Shaking My Head

I do this often. In the midst of my crying, I just shake my head. Because it just doesn’t make any sense. I don’t understand it. I want to know why this happened to Hudson, to all of us. I want to know why I don’t get to be with her anymore and she doesn’t get to be with me. I want to know why I will never get to watch her grow up. I want to know why she will never look any different than she does in this, the last photo we ever took of her (in which, very sadly, she is not smiling her trademark smile).

I was telling Jess yesterday that I still just don’t get it. Ed and I are good people. We are great parents. We are good to each other. We are good to our families. We are good to our friends. We try to be good to the world in the best ways we know how. So it just doesn’t make any sense at all why Hudson was taken from us when so many other parents have children they don’t want, children they neglect, children they abuse. I just wish I could understand.

Of course, I know there is nothing to understand. I know there is no why. I think I read somewhere that this is just another form of magical thinking, really. I still can’t accept that Hudson is gone, still can’t believe that I will never see my little girl again. So if I keep questioning why, maybe somewhere along the way I can figure out where the mistake was made, who fucked up. Because surely this was a mistake. Surely someone or something fucked up. Whether it was God, the gods, fate, the universe, life, “what’s meant to be,” whatever the hell it is, it obviously seriously fucked up when it took Hudson. If I can just figure out where along the road the screw-up occurred, we can go back there, and whatever it is can get it right this time, and we can have Hudson back.

But I know I’ll never figure it out, so I just keep shaking my head. Because I honestly just don’t get it.


  1. It's hard to be a religious person when something this bad happens to people who are so good. The only solace in continuing to believe is the hope that our lives don't just end at death and that you will see Hudson again. But I don't get it either. And I've probably said a million time, "I just can't believe it."

  2. It is royally fucked up, no doubt. And I wish there were answers. And I am sorry that there aren't. And we continue to think of you and pray for you and hope that there are days when this pain lessens.

  3. Eric! That's what I was going to say - I don't get it either. None of us do Mandy. But I can say that the Hitchcock-Chaney family has had a profound effect on me - I am always looking for one good thing - and you know what? Hudson makes sure I always find one! - Love always, Alex Kaplan

  4. When a friend of ours got diagnosed with a particularly terrible kind of cancer, I remember feeling like clearly someone messed up and if I could just figure out whom to call, I could straighten the whole thing out. I can't imagine how much head shaking you must be doing now. Losing your daughter doesn't make one bit of sense.

  5. Just keep on shaking your head because there is no sense to be made of it, which you know. I came to your blog through a friend and as others have said, as a mom of three kids, it really does make me appreciate them more each day to hear about Hudson. But the other thing that draws me to your blog is my own grief over the death of my best friend four years ago. She was only 36 and breast cancer and it killed her. She had two young kids, was perhaps the best person I've ever known, and lived a healthy life style. It took me a long time to be able to even wrap my mind around her really being gone, and the feelings of unfairness and disbelief, while much better, are still not completely gone. It's crazy and it's wrong and it's fucked up. Yet, it is. It is and yet it's unimaginable. How could you not shake your head.


  6. Do you know how much I wish that karmic retribution really was an exact science? Nothing bad would ever happen to such good people as you and Ed. I hate that this happened-- it just seems so impossible, so unthinkable, that a beloved child could be taken. I know that there is a lot of truth in Ed's words a while back, that we have to accept some things, right or not, in order to survive. But this one is one of the hardest to accept that I've ever seen.

  7. It fucking sucks that life is not a meritocracy. If it were, you would still have your Hudson smiling and running around; of course you would. It is an incredibly thin, fictional insulation we have wrapped around us, keeping Bad Stuff away from our essential Goodness. It just doesn't exist. That is the most terrifying thing, that really terrible things happen out of the blue to wonderful people, and somehow that is just the way life is. Unbelievable, but relentlessly and inescapably true.

    And somehow (eventually, in our own time) we begin to balance the grief, and the knowledge that awful things have happened to us and could so easily happen again, with all of the One Good Things in our lives. Find joy even with the constant threat, the constant truth, of sorrow and grief and anguish. Because there is joy there, too, despite its tenuousness.

    They are two unbelievably difficult things to reconcile. It makes no sense. We shake our heads. And somehow, some fucking how, we keep breathing. And then there is a smile one day, and later a real, honest-to-goodness belly laugh. And all while we continue to grieve. It is unfathomable that the human heart can do this, but it does, it will. I believe that that is one of the great miracles of life--the amount of pain that a person can carry. And it is one of the great horrors of life that anyone has to carry so much pain.

    I'm so sorry this truth is so relentless, that she is gone and there is no complaints department. It is the most awful thing.


  8. I know, sweetie. It is so incredibly unfair.

  9. For quite a while after my brother died, my dad would -- out of the blue, it seemed -- shake his head and say "Shit." In those moments, I knew he was attempting to fathom the unfathomable, that his son was gone.

    So sadly, there is no sense to be made of your sweet, adorable daughter's death. Was there a cosmic screw up? Maybe. Who knows? Your brain is trying so hard to do its job, to find some logic in undeserved tragedy, to find order in what appears to be chaos, but I think this kind of loss is beyond our mind's ability to comprehend.

    Acceptance is ultimately to be found somewhere beyond the rational, wherever the hell that is. I imagine that when you're ready, someday, somehow, you'll stop shaking your head because you'll have stopped trying to make sense of it all.

    I'm so, so sorry for your incredible loss. I just came across your blog today and want to thank you for sharing your story. You write beautifully and poignantly, and I look forward to following your journey.