Friday, August 6, 2010

Honoring those awkward moments!

Today's post is for Crystal and her beautiful butterfly Taylor....I was thinking of you Crystal while listening yesterday x

Are you ever offered a box of chocolates and asked to choose one without knowing what you'll get? You pick one and you think you know what to expect, but when you taste it, it's not what you thought it would be.  Yesterday, I had one of those days......where I went out anticipating something, however got something entirely different.  But then that's my life these days. 

I had one of those days where my grief appeared suddenly, like an intruder, stealing my emotions away and there was nothing I could do about it except to let it happen.

Dempsey was invited to a friends house for a musical play date. I was looking forward to the lunch that was going to be provided as I knew there'd be cake and cookies and a catch up with some other moms.

                                                 The Girly Girls live in Concert - August 5 @11:30
                                                                Come for a musical play date

                                                              Bring your best rock star moves

We wandered into her friends house which had been turned into a stage, with a big black curtain backdrop, five microphones set up on stands, flashing disco lights, drums, guitars, tambourines and a video on a tripod to capture all the fun stuff. The whole room was beamed live onto a huge flat screen TV in the middle of the room. Wow, I couldn't wait to get lost in the magic five little girls would create with all this 'stuff.'

What I didn't know is that feelings of longing for Savannah would hit me! You see one of the mother's had her older daughter with her....amazingly enough, one who played with Savannah at a mommy and me group way back when Savannah was two and healthy......and it just so happened it was this girls eleventh birthday the day before.

Now I know it wasn't this mom's fault, or the girls, it's my demons that invade me, not their problem.  But it's a problem of mine that won't go away. I wonder if it ever will?  And I try not to allow my mind to go 'there.' To that place where I wish it was my daughter standing beside me, beautiful and alive!

The other mom's made of fuss of this eleven year old, and rightly so, it was her birthday!  But I couldn't get past how cutting it was to me and how I felt picked on by life that Savannah wasn't there. It was all too close to the bone for me and I felt trapped. I could feel the unwanted feelings start, I had to walk away, escape, but I could still hear their chatter.......there was no escape!

And then the host of the party picked up a guitar and started filled the air and blocked out the conversation I was trying to avoid. Oh how grateful I felt, phew, I'd dodged a that was aimed directly at my heart.

All the girls stood patiently in front of their instruments waiting, with great big grins and enthusiasm, watching themselves on the big screen in front of them....I had to smile!  But, wait, oh no, the song, the song, I was back to where I had been a few minutes throat clenched up and my eyes swelled with burning tears as I couldn't escape the song!

It was the Miley Cyrus song "Butterfly...Fly Away," nothing was going to rescue me now!

                                    PLAY ME!

Five little voices filled the was magical and painful, beautiful and overwhelming!

What I wasn't expecting was that my grief would blindside me and I would feel trapped, awkward and embarrassed at something I simply couldn't help.  I wanted to run and hide.....and it made me question "How should someone act when these moments hit? Was it appropriate of me to be crying at a happy occasion?" But I couldn't help it shadow of grief that follows me everywhere is sometimes in control and I knew I just had to suck it up, swallow my tears and try to pretend it hadn't happened....hoping no-one else had noticed!  And I thought I'd got away with it. 

I was rescued by my friend Sandra and her infectious laughter at the girls trying to be 'rockstars.'  I inconspicuously wiped away the tears that were threatening to burst out of my eyes and took a big breathe as I got my grief under control!  Thankfully, the moment had passed.

I enjoyed the next few hours sitting at the kitchen counter, with pizza, brownies and indulgent freshly baked, warm, macadamia cookies...and laughter, the best medicine of all. 

Then, when I thought I had camouflaged my sadness, the host of the party hooked up the video of the girls to the TV in the kitchen.  And there it, captured on film forever, probably spoiling their home video, wiping my tears away and looking sad in the background of the happy moment he'd filmed!

Oh no, I wished a big black hole would appear and swallow me up...that I could yell, Stop, Rewind, Erase!  However, I sat there saying nothing, cringing and hoping that nobody else had noticed.  It was weird....sad, watching myself, but there it was, unavoidable, on a huge flat screen TV for everyone to witness.  A moment in the life of a grieving mother!

If anyone else noticed, they didn't say, which I appreciated.  I know I have to honor these moments.  It's who I am now.  And I know that the other people in the room are great people that appear to accept me for me, battle scars and all. 

It confirms to me again, that friends, good times and laughter....and tears, are part of this big ball of life we all bounce along with.  That we have to take the sad moments with the happy ones that can suspend these difficult unavoidable times.  To embrace them, and be thankful for what the gift of grief sometimes brings....a jolt back into feeling appreciative for what you do have....which for me yesterday was a reward of being entertained by five little girls having fun, singing out of tune and filling my blue cup with sunshine!

I hope I'm invited back! :)


  1. Oh, Dee Dee, love you to pieces!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Sandra!
    You are a bright beacon, you fill my blue cup with sunshine...ALWAYS and I smile just at the thought of you!

    Thank you my beautiful fun friend for being you and loving me and my girl!...and for the above comment! love you to bits gf!

    d x

  3. Grief on a Jumbotron! What an image.

    Honoring ... accepting ... embracing. Being present with your grief is just part of being present with your life. You've experienced the deepest, most profound kind of loss. Of course it's going to hit you like a truck now and then! You certainly have nothing to be embarrassed about. You added your authenticity to the moment, offering your friends an opportunity to appreciate all that THEY have, as well!

    It will absolutely be their loss if they don't invite you and your sunshiny self back!


    p.s. Thank you for your wonderful comment on the Motherlode piece.

  4. Dear Michelle,

    Thank you so much for you kind words and honesty...and for stopping by. I know you are an expert in this field so I appreciate your insight into these feelings that often hit during the journey of grief.

    I'm really enjoying reading your blog and have added it to my favorites on my home page.

    Congratulations on your NY times piece on motherlode and I'll look forward to reading more.

    Sending sunshine your way...its a beautiful morning here!
    with love
    Diana x

  5. Well, Diana, seems we have a mutual admiration society going on here! I love the title of your blog, though I'm so, so sorry for your loss. Though I remember the fear I felt when one woefully uninformed doctor strongly suggested our son might have a storage disease, I can't imagine the pain of that actually being true. Your sunshine is an inspiration. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

  6. Thanks Michelle,

    Most days I do have sunshine in my cup because of everything I've been through, however sometimes it's I thought the name was appropriate. :)

    Thanks for your compassion and it sounds as if you COMPLETELY understand how it feels to be told by a dr, something you don't want or don't ever think you will hear.

    I strive everyday to make a difference somehow so Savannah's short life wasn't in vain by helping others.

    I bet your blog will help others too, reading what you have up so far!

    Thanks again, your comments mean alot!
    sending love to your special boy!!
    d x