Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Never Close Enough

I’ve been thinking on this post all day and I still don’t quite know how to write it. Maybe because this is just another variation on the same post I’ve already written more times than I can count and I’m just running out of ways to describe these same emotions.

I’ve had the longest string of fairly good days that I can remember having since Hudson died, I think largely because I’ve tried to keep myself busier than usual. I’ve found that staying busy in the evenings and on the weekends makes the time go just the slightest bit faster. It’s not that I haven’t had sad moments, lots of them, but for the first time, those moments don’t always turn into sad days like I’ve grown used to expecting them to.

And how do I react? I pick the scab. I go looking for the sadness.

Back when I used to work at the firm, I had a minimum number of billable hours I had to meet every year. There would be days, even weeks sometimes, when the work would slow down. Others would often tell me to just be grateful for those times while I had them, for things would inevitably get crazy again. And yet I couldn’t help but still be stressed during those times, I guess partly for fear things wouldn’t pick up again, at least not enough, and I would come up short on my billable time at the end of the year.

Now, during these days (well, weeks, I can actually say for once) when I have a bit of a respite from the worst of the grief, I can’t just be grateful for the break. Instead, I find myself poking into the dark corners, especially as the respite grows longer and longer. I spent some time today reading over old entries on the blog, ones from back in June and July, just because I needed a reminder of some of those rawest of raw feelings. I stop so often in front of her pictures, which are everywhere, and just stare at them, thinking about her, telling her how much I miss her, until I feel the welcome warmth of hot tears. I sometimes find myself crossing my arms over my chest, just trying to remember again what it felt like to hug her tight, wishing desperately that she would just materialize there. Often before I go to sleep at night, I ask her to come visit me in my dreams because I am just so desperate to see her. As we get farther and farther away from Hudson’s death and nearer and nearer to Jackson’s birth (a much-anticipated event that will bring much-needed joy, laughter, and healing into our lives), I am frantically clinging to my little girl in any way I know how. And yet no matter how much poking I do, I can never get close enough.

I guess this is why grief is truly a lifelong process. I will never be able to get close enough to her again. But I’ll probably also never stop trying.


  1. Aw, Mandy. Hugs.

  2. What a wise and perceptive gem of a human 'bean' you are, Mandy.

    With love,

  3. Dear Mandy, I sense that you just can't let yourself have an easier day because you feel you're letting Hudson down. It's okay to have a better day, night, week.......Hudson could never have had a better mother, and she will NEVER be forgotten. We all love you.

  4. It's not the same, but I suffer from depression and I do the same thing sometimes - seek out things that will make me sink into a sadness. My therapist says that I just need the release sometimes - watching a sad movie because I just need to cry. It's totally OK to seek them out sometimes. I'm guessing like depression it can be an ebb and flow. The frustrating part is that it feels like you don't have control over it most of the time. And I imagine that sometimes you just want to stay in that sad place because it's become familiar and it can feel good to be there. It's hard work to not just let yourself stay there all the time. There will be good days again I'm sure. Thinking of you and SO wishing Hudson were here for you to hold.

    Jen Z

  5. I think it's because you are brave and determined. You face your grief with what I consider to be a great deal of grace and courage. You love your daughter so much that you will not allow anything to rob the world of her precious memory. So you face the grief, stare it down - you don't hide. You share your journey and the memories of that remarkable girl. It is all such a gift and an example of love and courage to those of us reading.

  6. No, I don't think it will ever be possible to stop trying.. just as your love will never cease to shine for her.

    Perhaps we all do this at times- we have that string of good days and then find ourselves staring at pictures, willing the tears to fall again. Sometimes I think it is a betrayal when I don't cry every day. Even when I realize I should know better....

  7. Mandy -- I must agree with everything that you said and everything that everyone wrote. Yup, it's a process -- and you will never stop trying. (((hugs))) Mariann

  8. Mandy, I do SO know what you mean. Lauren and I were just talking about these same feelings...the idea that if you aren't sobbing hysterically every time you think of your child or look at their picture, that's somehow "wrong," as if you are going to forget them. And so sometimes we deliberately "go there" and deliberately allow ourselves to fall into the abyss. As Cullen's Mom wrote, "I think it is a betrayal when I don't cry every day," yet we KNOW better than that. We know that nothing could possibly "take" our children's memories from us, we know that what we are experiencing is RIGHT and to be expected (even hoped for), that time DOES ease the raw, savage pain---and that like it or not, we ARE going on without them. And in our deepest hearts, that simply does not seem possible...let alone "right."

    I love you, Mandy...I think of you so often...