You read it over and over on other widow blogs or forums- this kind of tragedy changes and defines the relationships in your life.
The people you would’ve expected to be there- are largely absent. The people from the periphery somehow step into the center of things. Some relationships will slip away entirely. Maybe the person can’t handle it- or maybe you can’t handle them- they’re too draining and you have to preserve your energy now more than ever.
I have found all of this to be surprisingly true. Besides my parents and a couple of closer friends, the people I talk to on a regular basis are mostly people I didn’t even know before your death Dan. I think about this sometimes, how surprised you’d be. People who just stepped in and watched Audrey while I attended your wake and funeral, or benefit concert. People who arranged counseling for me, brought me food, take Audrey out.
There is someone who messages me EVERY SINGLE DAY- at least once- and reads my blog and has even read grief books so she can relate to me and point things out to me that she reads. She is someone I had never had a real conversation with before this, but is now volunteering to pay for a class for Audrey and knows our weekly schedule by heart. For a while I took it for granted- oh, just another message from “her”. No one else writes me anymore,” and basically felt sorry for myself. But you know what, I am so grateful for these messages. They are a constant reminder that I’m not totally alone- a reminder of faithfulness and steadfastness.
Because it has gotten remarkably quiet lately. I wonder, do people think I’m fine? Are they just back to their busy lives? Was I a novelty to some? But I too have been feeling the need to spend more time alone reflecting and take back some sense at least, of control over my life. So admittedly I have pushed some away as I enter this new phase. But emails, phone calls, messages- I still would welcome after Audrey’s asleep in her crib at night and I’m alone for another night.
The widower I know who lost his wife and two children at once- (actually someone the above person also put me in touch with!)- told me this a few months ago when we talked- and even at that time I was worried about the time I face now- the quiet time, “Some people will stay…I had an older woman who brought me soup every week without fail for a year or more…”
They are not the people you might think, but I think he’s right- some people will stay. What a gift. What a treasure. Thank you.