Monday, December 6, 2010

But Then There's This...

And now I’m going to have to eat my words a little bit. Well, not eat them, because it’s not that what I just wrote earlier about being grateful is wrong or untrue (nor are any of the things I’ve written about gratitude in this process). It’s just that there are these awful feelings that exist right alongside of the gratitude. I’m learning that that is OK. As I’ve told some of my fellow grieving mothers, it is OK for us to be grateful for the universe and yet hate it at the same time. It just has to be.

Because here’s the thing. I am grateful that Hudson’s spirit has had such an impact on the world. I’m grateful that so many people know about her and will remember her. But I’m only grateful for those things because this is my reality. In this reality, Hudson is dead, and I can either recognize and be grateful for the goodness that has come out of this awfulness, or I can crawl into bed and never get back out. Those are my choices, as I see them. And the second one is not an option for me.

But in the world I want, the world I long for, the world I still have to wake up from sometimes (even as I sit here writing, I sometimes look at what I am writing about Hudson and am struck again, and again, and again, by the mind-boggling fact that she is GONE)… in that world, none of you has ever heard of Hudson, or me, for that matter. No library books have been donated in her name, no bracelets are being worn to help share her story, no funds are being given in her name to a hospital and a school and a national park, no acts of kindness are being done on her behalf on her birthday. In that world, none of that exists, because in that world, Hudson is still alive and there is no need for any of this. In that world, I’m sitting here right now putting up pictures from her birthday party and her visit with Santa—I’m putting up pictures of ANYTHING that happened with her after May 13, 2010. In that world, I’m not sitting here writing, crying, and wondering why this happened to us and when this pain will ever soften.

Some days it’s harder than others to find that One Good Thing. And even when I can find it, I sometimes still just want to curse it, because goddamn it, I don’t want the One Good Thing. I want Hudson. I just want Hudson.


  1. I'm one of those readers who has never met you or Hudson, yet her life and story have had a major impact on my life. However, when I think of your family (which I do often), I just wish I didn't "know" you....and that precious, beautiful Hudson were running around your house right now. I cannot begin to fathom your anguish, but know that your readers will continue to witness your grief and share Hudson's story.

  2. Mandy,
    Your blog subtitle has always amazed me...that you are trying to find meaning in her death. What an overwhelming task. You have, however, from the moment of her birth, found meaning in her life, and through that terrific life, shown meaning to your readers. I hate this for you. I long for peace for you.

  3. Oh Mandy.. tonight I am here crying with you. At the complete injustice of life without our beloved children. I look into the mirror these days and think- did all of this REALLY happen? I can only imagine what it is like for you. I am sending you love, support, strength and grace my friend. I think of you and Hudson every day. I even have a few non- BLM's who do as well.

  4. I think of you, Hudson, Ed and the Penguin everyday. I have learned much about myself and life from reading your blog. But, I so wish you had your Hudson back and I had never heard of any of you.

  5. It is not a requirement for you to be positive or grateful or happy. You can just be pissed at the wretchedness of the universe. It's OK, because the universe is wretched a whole freakin' lot.


  6. The fact that, in the wake of Hudson's death, were able to even want to look for "one good thing," speaks volumes about you. And about who Hudson was for you. But that's an act of incredible strength and sometimes - anytime you feel like it, it's okay to let grief take you, to not have to look at the "upside" for a little while.

  7. There will never be anything "good" about Hudson being gone. But I am proud of you for trying to be grateful for the things you can be grateful for, in this new reality. It's a struggle, and there will definitely be good days and bad, and that's okay. xoxoxox

  8. Oh Mandy, I totally hear you. I just want to give you props for not crawling under your bed and declaring defeat, as would be so easy to do in your (our) situation. It's ok though to have days where you just acknowledge how much this situation sucks and you'd give anything to have her back. Hugs to you, Olivia

  9. Many times I have thought about this too. That I wished that I didn't know you quite as well, that you were just another Mom on FB putting up pics and posts. That I could just look at, smile, and move on. How I wish that for you everyday.

    But since it is not, I will quietly keep witness, and think of you every day. And keep Hudson alive in any little way that I can.


  10. Mandy,

    Your days CAN be filled with a bit of joy, your deepened sadness, anger and gratefulness. You don't have to feel one or the other; you are a grieving mother, who is entitled to feel as you may...conflicted and riddled with emotions. Not-to-mention, the emotions of the pregnancy and all that encompasses having a new baby.
    What sets you apart are the choices you have made for yourself to continue participating in life since Hudson died. Your choices of getting out of bed, leaving your home, working, traveling and your involvement with family and friends doesn't and won't negate your conflicted feelings. Nothing will bring Hudson back and you have every right to be angry about that from now until your take your last breath.
    You have kept Hudson's spirit alive and changed lives around the world including mine. I hope when you allow yourself to think about the impact you have had on others that your anger subsides for just a moment or two.
    Peace, Denise

  11. Yes, grateful because this is reality and finding things to be grateful for helps the days be a little less bleak. Your daughter's life has touched so many people and your strength of character is inspirational.

  12. I hear you girl. I hear you. It's the fact that we are powerless over this loss we are going thru. I understand that and, like you, I'd do almost anything to have my old life back.

    Hugs, andrea (Raising Peanut)