Wednesday, August 18, 2010

When It Rains…

It was gray outside and pouring rain this morning when I woke up, and not much has changed the rest of the day. Pretty fitting for my mood, really.

I made a commitment to myself to try to write every day (allowing for the occasional break on Saturdays, when I will hopefully find myself doing something fun outside of the house). Even when I’m not writing here, I’m still trying to write, just for my own eyes. I guess writing every day is one more way to keep honoring and remembering and holding close my sweet daughter who I miss so much.

I haven’t felt much like writing the past two days. I’ve been trying to figure out why and the best explanation I can come up with is that I am just wallowing. I’ve just had it with the universe for the time being and am busy feeling sorry for myself, I guess. Doesn’t leave room for a lot of inspiration to write. And I kind of hate myself for that, the more I think about it. Certainly there is a time for wallowing in grief and a time for feeling sorry for myself, but sometimes I feel like just letting myself sink into it like this somehow dishonors Hudson’s beautiful spirit. 

But these past two weeks have given me a run for my money. There were the major things. Our friend Neil’s death and memorial service. The three-month anniversary of Hudson’s death. My overwhelmingly sad day.

Then there were the minor things. Our gas being shut off due to an unidentified leak, leaving us without hot water for a weekend when we were having guests. The air conditioning breaking the same weekend. Having to pay three grand to replace the A/C. Getting the A/C replaced only to find the guy (who did a great job repairing our heat in the middle of February’s snowstorm) apparently has no clue what he’s doing, resulting in a giant leak and huge hole in the ceiling a few hours later.

And then there was today. I got a parking ticket while at a doctor’s appointment. DC has this new system where you can pay by phone. I had quarters ready, but the stupid meter wouldn’t take them. I had never done the pay-by-phone before and was in a hurry to get to the appointment, so was dialing the number as I walked away, not realizing I would need the car’s license plate number. I remembered it, though, so I just plugged it in. When I got finished with the appointment, however, there was that nasty pink ticket on the windshield. I looked at it and realized that in fact, I had misremembered the license plate number and since the meter guy didn’t have me in the system, it looked like I hadn’t paid. Even though I know I can get the ticket taken care of by showing that I paid, I still cried. When Ed and I talked about it, he said, “Sweetie, it’s OK. It’s just a parking ticket.” And I said, “I know. But it’s just this on top of everything else!”  My brain is just shouting, “ENOUGH!”

Obviously, all of these little things are completely trivial compared to what we have been through. And as much as I know some of you will have the instinct, I am not looking for others to feel sorry for me (I’m doing a good job of that myself) or offer any words of encouragement. Really, I’m not. I’m just trying to figure out why I haven’t felt any motivation to write and this is what I came up with—I’m just sick and tired of all this damned bad luck. It feels like piling on and I’m just done.

The other alternative for why I don’t feel like writing is just as depressing. Sometimes there is just nothing more to say than the same few things I seem to say in every post: I miss her. I want her back. I can’t believe she is gone. I don’t understand why she is gone. It’s not fair. I want my old life back. There’s only so many different ways one can say these things.

I said in the beginning that I hoped to embrace Hudson’s message of One Good Thing, but that I knew that would be only part of this journey. It’s times like these, when it is so hard to see the One Good Thing, that the best I can do is just try to remember how fortunate I am to have a home, food, clothing, insurance, incredibly loving family and friends, and the most amazing husband I could imagine. I just have to keep telling myself that I am still lucky. Even when it doesn’t feel that way. Even though my little girl is gone. I just have to keep telling myself that.


  1. Pour a glass of wine, give the universe a great big enormous bird, find a good series to rent for a few weeks (seen True Blood? SO good.) Maybe wallowing on the couch for a little while will make it seem a little better? Although I don't feel sorry for you, my heart aches for you, which is an entirely different thing. Hope there is a little bright spot in your tomorrow.

  2. I have been pondering this today...why can such crummy things happen to such good people who are already bearing the burden of great loss? I still have no answer, but will keep you posted. And, like others, I'm not feeling sorry, just pondering and hoping for better days ahead. Take care!

  3. Pity is not what I feel, either. Just compassion and incredible sympathy. Of course it is just so unfair.

  4. Yeah. Just wallow, as much as you need to. Watch stupid movies, hug something of Hudson's, curse out loud and do any little thing-- (or nothing) -- that makes you feel the least little bit better. I know you need to feel productive, because that's who you are, but just do whatever it takes to feel better. You get all the time you need, Mandy.

  5. Sometimes you just don't want to fake it 'til you make it. Sometimes you just can't. When the universe unleashes a sh*tstorm on you, as has been the case recently, there's no harm at shaking a fist at the sky and cursing the gods as loudly as you can.
    With that said, please know that there's a line of friends standing behind you with towels to sop up the mess whenever the universe decides to move onto some other poor target...

  6. I guess One Good Thing about no a/c on the same weekend with no hot water is that the guests were grateful for the opportunity to cool off??

    All of us who read your words (I think I can speak for most when I say this) are consistently floored by your ability to maintain perspective when your whole world has been turned upside down. Even your post about your shitty luck (with the house stuff and the parking ticket) obviously is shared with a grain of salt and at least a pound of perspective. People who have been through so much less often fail to see what you identify (even unconsciously) with your wise words and innate recognition. For example, even though your world has been spun on its head, you still have empathy for others. That is huge.

    I know that you are working on yourself. I know that you are trying to see the good in the midst of all the bad. I guess I just want to say that WE can see it, in you. So often, YOU are the One Good Thing. And so maybe you don't have to try so hard, or be so hard on yourself, when you cry over a parking ticket. It inspires me to think that sometimes it's okay to just let it all out, even if the breaking point is a cold effing shower.

    Love to you and Ed.

  7. I feel sorry for you. I feel sorry for me. I feel sorry for anyone who has to experience the loss of a child, no matter how young or old. It freaking sucks.

    That said, I do not pity you, because that would imply that I think this is something that you will never get past (notice I didn't say get over, cause that will never happen). You will get past this because that's what Hudson would want you to do, and frankly, because there's nothing else TO do.

    When life hands you lemons, cut them up and put them in a freaking 64 oz. bucket o'Coke and chug it. And that will be One Good Thing in a perfectly craptastic summer.

    Love to you guys. Thinking of you and your girl every day. xoxo