Monday, June 13, 2011

The drips of grief like a leaking tap!

The last two weeks our home has been like one of those revolving doors at a posh hotel, that seem to go round and round and round!

We’ve had visitors from Japan and Australia staying with us. And it seems as one zips up their case and lugs it to our door, there is another friend arriving with a fresh case of clothes and hello hugs. It’s been fun……exhausting, but fun to have our house filled with friends. And it’s taken my mind off the fact that it’s only 16 more days until Savannah’s twelfth birthday.

One of our visitors from Oz...Trishie with Savannah...she was like her second Mum.

Demps at 5 with Trishie...

                                        Demps 4 years on in the same spot..Dempsey calls her "Mummy Trishie!"

I’ve had the usual longing for Savannah since our visitors departed, however while they were here it’s been like a respite not to have my thoughts consumed with her upcoming special day.

Dempsey as usual, has lightened my mood and made me thankful. She had her last day of third grade on Thursday. And as I stopped the car at her school, all I seemed to see was 6th graders laughing, dressed in pretty dresses, walking through the school gate under a bunch of billowing green and gold foil balloons. And I thought of our angel Savannah, how it’d be her last day of Elementary school. How she’d be graduating…..

I wondered what sort of dress she would’ve chosen, and how proud I’d be to watch her mark such a massive milestone. And just like that, the drops of grief started dripping like a leaking tap. But not for long as Dempsey’s infectious enthusiasm at finishing her last day…along with straight A’s snapped me back to the present.  

After school I took Dempsey and her BFF Marlee to our local outdoor mall and watched them giggle and run through the fountains that shoot out water like magic, in tune with loud music. Sitting on the mall bench, waiting for the other mums, I found myself grinning. Grateful for Demps and her happy spirit!  Alive... dancing silly moves, dodging the water, oblivious to any self consciousness....

Yesterday, Peter and I sat anxiously on uncomfortable wooden chairs, amongst rows of other Mums and Dads as we listened to Dempsey perform at her first ever piano recital! She hit every note perfectly……and of course I applauded louder than any other parent in the room! :)

I think after surviving grief your joy is so much more intense…the small moments so much sweeter than before. And at the end of the concert, Dempsey proudly accepted her first certificate from her Russian teacher to say she’s passed level one of piano…..beaming at Peter and I and finishing the day with an eager beaver bow!

Dempsey with her Piano Certificate...and me, proud Mamma! :)

However, yesterday afternoon, high on life after the concert, we headed to a friends birthday party. Sitting at the kitchen table, with a few other mums, the conversation turned to a few deaths that have hit our community. One was the death of a jogger, who left behind two children, the other, a teen suicide. I was heartbroken to hear of these families and what they must be dealing with because of their loss…their pain fresh and intense……

But, as I listened to one of the mums keep saying over and over “How sad!” and “Gee, that’s so tragic” I began to feel weird, the comments hit a nerve. I felt like a freak, and I wondered why they didn’t mention my losses. It was like there was a huge elephant in the room, namely me, the mother of a dead child, who DID have an idea what it felt like for both the mother of the girl and also how the husband and children of the jogger have just had their lives ripped apart!

And the more the girls chatted, the more my destructive self pity seemed to grab hold. I sat there jiggling my leg under the table, wanting to escape. And I kept telling myself to “Stop it Dee!” But I couldn’t, I felt hurt that no-one acknowledged Savannah! And just as I was about to make a run for it, out to the naive men outside around the BBQ, my gorgeous friend Mary must’ve sensed my awkwardness. She smiled at me and said, “It’s Savannah’s birthday in a few weeks isn’t it Dee? June 30 right? I imagine the next few weeks will be hard on you guys.” My eyes started to blink quicker and quicker, to hold my tears… “Yes, it is Mary, thanks for thinking of Savannah.” I said. And there it was – acknowledgement that someone understood that all the chit chat about children and death is still difficult. It always will be. But I appreciated the invisible rope Mary threw me, her compassion…….

And unlike a dripping tap that can fixed, I can’t call a plumber to stop the constant drip of tears or grief that I know are just simmering under the surface in the next few weeks. But I’ll try and stay busy…..and try not to have a pity party, however I know if I do slip, it’s ok. It’s normal. And that’s something I didn’t understand before.

I also know this afternoon we have a fresh family of Aussies about to invade our four walls. I’ll be at the door to welcome them tonight with a smile, knowing that the noise their two boys and Dempsey will deafen us with will sidetrack the drips and the pangs of pain. They’ll be a welcome distraction...they'll help put sunshine in my blue cup…and plug up the drips....for now anyway! :)


  1. I can't imagine how painful these next few weeks will be for you!! :( I'm so sorry. Around that time, I'll probably be bombarding my blog with new images of my baby girl. I promise to soak up every second. I will say some prayers for you all tonight. Hugs!!

  2. Candice!!! A baby girl! Wow, I am just so thrilled you are having a daughter. Wow! And I hope through some sheer stoke of fate that its on the 30th. That would be beautiful!

    Thank you as always for leaving your lovely msg. It's readers like you that put sunshine in my blue cup!

    I'm smiling here in L.A, in wait to see on your blog some images of a mini Candice!

    I will have YOU in my thoughts.... :)

    with love
    Diana x

  3. :-( d, d & p. ?i kno. what about :-) from us xx

  4. Thank you Tone as always...I know you 'get it.'

    Miss you and all four kids. Kiss to Alexander, Fraser, Emerald and Charlotte...and one big one to you! :)

    xxxx x

  5. Diana, Thank you for the sweet message. You are such a nice lady. I am glad I found your blog. You are truly an inspiration!!

  6. Awww thank you Candice...ditto to you!

    Diana x

  7. Hello! I know you don't know me, but we've got something in common. I got your blog address off the Stirrup Queen's blogroll and was wondering if you wouldn't mind helping me help a couple who is trying to add a little one to their family. We're holding a silent auction for them this weekend (Friday and Saturday) on and need help getting the word out! We would love it if you would spread the word via social media or here on your blog. Additionally, we are always looking for more donations to auction off, so if you or someone you know might be interested in making a donation, all the information is under the donate tab. If you have any questions or would be willing to post a pre-written blog post about the auction and the sponsored couple, please contact Kristin at Thanks in advance for taking the time to consider this!

  8. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you Kristin and will check out your auction to see if I can help out.

    Diana x