Friday, October 29, 2010


We ran into some neighbors tonight at a new restaurant on our street. We only know them from walking our respective dogs and haven’t run into them since Hudson died. The wife looked at us and put up her hands jokingly and said, “Where’s Hudson?” clearly expecting that we’d say she was at home with a babysitter or some other natural explanation. This was the first time this had happened to us, in this way, at least. My face fell and my heart seized and I said, “Oh… actually, she passed away in May.” Tears sprang instantly to my eyes and to hers. She came around our table and gave me a hug. We explained what had happened, and she told us how she always loved to see Hudson standing in the front door with Bess, waving at her as she walked by with her dog. I said that lots of people have told us that. 

We were on our way out and as soon as we got to the car, I lost it completely (for about the 20th time today—my eyes are burning at this point). I just kept saying the same thing to Ed over and over again:

“I just don’t want it to be true.”


  1. None of us want it to be true. Yet, we can take some small comfort in the fact that her life had meaning, and still does -- she'll never be forgotten in the hearts of those she touched. Much love, Mandy.

  2. Oh Mandy. I am so sorry. There is just really nothing else to say.

  3. Oh Mandy...out of nowhere, it must have hit so hard. So sorry. Have been thinking about you today. Hugs.

    - Susan W.

  4. My heart aches for you.

  5. Heartbreaking, Mandy, plain and simple. It's just a nightmare. I'm so, so sorry, and you are on my mind so much.

  6. Mandy, this is just so hard. I imagine in your shoes I might try to shelter myself from these inevitable difficult interactions, and yet you have the ability to be yourself and get through with grace and courage and openness - in your public writing here, in taking on a new job, and in just being in the world.

    I'm again, and always, inspired by your grace and courage.

    But also, speaking as someone else who ran into you tonight, I'm glad you're out in the world just because I like you! So thank you for being you, being around, and letting all of us know you at a time when it is perhaps very hard to do so.

  7. Thinking of you. So so praying hard for you as you transition these stages of grief.

    Kim Johnson

  8. You are doing so much work right now, Mandy, grieving so hard for your beautiful little girl and growing a new little life at the same time. I'm wishing you peace. I'm so sorry it's still true.


  9. I wish it wasn't true.

    That is such a lovely photograph. Hudson's little legs are just gorgeous. Sweet girl xo

  10. Mandy - the photo and the girl are so precious. Just so you know: if I had been lucky enough to be your neighbor, it would have been nigh unto impossible for me to pass by without seriously greeting Hudson and Bess.

    All I can say to you is keep on keeping on. Your loss is unimaginable. Keep 'talking' to those of us out here waiting to hold you and your words.

    Love, Rebecca

  11. oh god. It is awful when that happens. I wish there was some kind of universal instantaneous information service so that everyone knew without you having to tell it over and over again. Every time you have to tell it, it becomes a bit more real. Apparently this is one of the "tasks" for people who are grieving, but it is an awful task to undertake - like stabbing yourself in the heart.

    Amazing photo of your beautiful girl. xxxxh

  12. Mandy,
    I'm so sorry. Encounters like the one you describe are a body slam, where in the midst of it you find yourself being gracious and accepting apologies (Oh I didn't know).

    I think sometimes after experiences like the one you describe it's a wonder we ever venture out into the world when we feel so fragile and there is the threat of so many grief minefields. Keep going and be good to yourself.

  13. Oh, Mandy -- I've never commented before this but have been reading for months. I'm so sorry this happened - I was with my sister in law when it happened to her (their little girl was five months old when she passed away) and an innkeeper (who remembered her being pg the year before) asked her. You amaze me with your strength, grace and honesty. Mariann