Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Recently, my best friend's husband came to babysit for our daughter once she had fallen asleep. While we were gone she woke up crying. Our friend went in to comfort her and when he asked if she was okay she said "sad." In that moment, I envied her ability to tell it like it was, and today I envy it even more.

There are days when you feel such a different sense of reality than the people going about their business around you. I felt it when I was on my way to the hospital in labor, and it was a beautiful day and people were sitting having coffee. I couldn't wrap my head around the way they sat so calmly. Didn't they feel the sky drop and the earth move the way I did? I felt this way again when I was sick, or when I heard bad news, or when suffering from a broken heart. One day you are part of those people, moving a long with them and the next you are frozen in time.

My family found out yesterday that my brother-in-law died. He lost a long hard battle to depression. He is survived by his parents, three siblings, their spouses and children, my sister, and worst of all, their two sons. I fear my nephews have a long hard road ahead of them . He was an extremely loving father, and made sure they new that, as he left their world. He didn't want to cause anyone anymore pain and apologized. My husband likens this all to an earthquake, and that this effects those closest to the middle the most, but the rippling aftermath just keeps affecting more people along the way.

I am grateful that yesterday, when I heard the news I didn't have my daughter with me. I was in the car getting texts from my brother to call him. I had messages from my parents but hadn't listened yet, and didn't know there was urgency to their calls. I called my parents when I couldn't reach my brother and my father asked me to pull my car over, while he talked. He then tried to speak and when he couldn't he gave the phone to my mother. Upon hearing I began to hear myself wail as if I was outside myself. The shock got me not only on the obvious emotional level but the physical too. Had I known how much I was going to cry yesterday, I would have had more water to replace what I lost in tears. Had I had my daughter with me, she would have gotten an earful and then she would have been asking questions. As it is, she doesn't know why some bugs don't move and some do. We have taken to telling her the still ones are broken. How do I tell her that her uncle is broken?

I was calmer when I saw her when I got home later, and I held her as tears wet my face again for what felt like the fiftieth time. I explained that I was sad, and when she asked why, I just said that someone wasn't feeling well. She doesn't need to learn this lesson yet, but sadly the boys do. At fifteen and nine, they have totally different levels of understanding. Little by little they are hearing what happened to their dad. The younger one couldn't stop looking at pictures of his dad, and told my sister "Mommy, I don't think I will ever be happy again."

These boys need to have the shock of this all overcompensated for by the shock of love, nurture, and support right now. The Beatles lyric, "Nothings gonna change my world" kept crossing my brain yesterday in efforts to calm myself down. The words don't ring true right now though. The world has changed for me and my family. All I am left with right now is "sad."

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