My existence is a life-long treasure hunt.

Coping

This was pretty much my weekend. Shut in, eating cupcakes, drinking Smirnoff, eating fries, crying, texting, watching NBA playoffs, etc.

I’m pretty sure I had zero nutrients this weekend. Which brings me to a point. This point is ONLY for family/friends who live nearby and actually COULD benefit from this. Actually we can ALL benefit from this as we have grieved, will grieve, or are close to someone who has grieved or will grieve.

If you are close to someone and they are grieving, stop asking what you can do for them. Just do something. Or just offer an ear/shoulder/hand to talk and cry. The main reason I thought of this was the fact that I had zero nutrients this weekend. I eat vegan. Which means I have to cook every day in order to get something substantive. Crabby does not know how to cook most of my meals without me being in there to direct or us cooking together. Last week I did not want to think. I did not want to do anything. I just needed to exist while the world kept turning. So if I’m not cooking and Crabby isn’t cooking you have a recipe for a french-fry filled weekend. You know what would have been nice? If someone cooked something for me. If “What do you need me to do?” turned into “Please let me in the gate, I brought you a dish.” I think we can all learn a lesson here. When someone is grieving, their BASIC NEEDS need to be met, but damned if the grieving person is going to attempt to meet them. HELP THEM. Now, my mother did cook a dish for me the first day I went to the doctor but it was in my kitchen and I had to tell her where everything was and how to do certain things. All require thinking.

My friend Desiree put it in clear terms:

Grief is messy and makes people uncomfortable. It takes a lot to sit with someone and not talk and not do and not fuss. Most people can’t.

That’s what people continued to do. Ask me what they should be, could be doing. As if I had the first fucking clue. As if I could think about anything but dead babies for even a second. As if breathing wasn’t difficult enough, now I have to think about you? A healthy, non-grieving person and I have to task you with something so you can feel better about yourself? You want something to do? You want to get me something?

Just hold my hand and stop asking me questions. I have no answers – just hold my hand.

Let me know if there’s anything I can do.

You know why people say that? So they can feel better about themselves. So they can feel like they’ve extended a hand. But the thing is, grieving people can’t think. I think non-grieving people know that, they count on it, so they won’t have to interrupt their own lives to tend to a messy grieving person that makes them uncomfortable. BUT, they can say ‘well, I told her to tell me if she needed anything. She didn’t say anything so I guess she’s okay.’

I. AM. NOT. OKAY.

You know what you do for grieving people if you can’t stand to be around them? You go to their fucking house and you bring a casserole. You sweep their fucking kitchen floor. You put in a load of their fucking laundry. You bring fucking flowers. You sit on their fucking sofa and say a rosary. You look them in the eye and squeeze their hand and say “I’m so sorry for your loss.”

Anyhoo, I’m functioning. It still hurts. I’m still having nuclear meltdowns at home. One good thing is the bleeding has lightened considerably. If it could do me a favor and just LEAVE that would be great. I started a new chart on Fertility Friend. I stupidly gave away my digital ovulation smiley thingies to a co-worker who has been having difficulty trying to conceive. So I ordered a box on Amazon. I can start back cleaning out Max’s litter box. I was able to button my pants all the way with no discomfort. I read that pregnant women shouldn’t use lavender products so I avoided the Dr. Bronner’s lavender soap Crabby brought home. I’m using it now.

One thing that has sunk in is that I am surrounded by so many good people, most of which happen to not live near me. Thank you so much. For your calls (even though I may not have been able to answer), your texts, your e-mails, your blog posts, your comments, sharing your own stories of loss, your kind words that I am a strong, calm, logical, serene person, your suggestions for coping, and researching, trying to cheer me up and make me laugh with otter pictures, youtube links, everything. Everything. The daily checking in. Thank you. I am a little overwhelmed, like you care? Why? What did I do to deserve this? Are you sure? I truly cannot express how much I appreciate you and NEEDED you these several days. Thank you.

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Comments on: "Coping" (14)

  1. Hey honey. Catching up. I’m SO sorry. I am seriously at a loss for words. Could you please send your address to my hotmail: msmonicamurphy@hotmail.com

    Fuck. *hugs*

  2. if i can keep shit all the way honest, i do feel a bit of guilt calling you, and not knowing what to say. texting you the same generic ‘how are you feeling’ check-ins. debating on whether or not i hit you up with silly updates on my faux love life.

    i’m one of those people that does not know how to deal with grief. i don’t know how to respond. what to say, what questions to ask. i fought with myself on whether or not i should send Crabby a message on fbook and ruled it out. at first it seemed appropriate at 1st. i brooded over it for a couple hours. wrote him twice and couldn’t follow through with the ‘send’.

    if i could cook for you, make you a drink, sweep your floors, walk the dogs, wipe your fridge down, please believe me when i tell you i absolutely would. there’s no worse feeling then watching your friend grieve and not knowing what you can do or how you can help.

    i’m out before i turn into a sobbing mess. gchat if you need me.

  3. Monie: I will e-mail you, thank you so much lovely 🙂

    kit (and all my other online homies): To stress again, this is NOT directed to my online homies. You guys were PERFECT. It’s ok to not know what to say because there is nothing to say sometimes. How are you feeling may be generic but it’s HONEST. As a friend who is far I would definitely be doing the same thing because I want to make sure you didn’t go velociraptor with jetpack and scissors on somebody. Your updates are NOT silly. Life goes on, life does not stop. I will never be mad at you for updating because I know you care. I’ve witnessed situations where a friend hit up another friend for a favor without offering any condolences or words about her grandmother who just died. You could have sent Crabby a message, it’s TOTALLY appropriate. Yous family. It’s thoughtful. I keep telling you, ask yourself before you do something: Is this assholish? If the answer is NO, do it! Love you so much.

  4. Fuck that smiley, by the way. That is NOT how I am smiling!

  5. I wish I were there because honey you wouldn’t have to lift a finger. I truly am sorry for your loss. (((hugs to you)))

  6. ((hugs)) i don’t know you but i read you and i’m so sorry. here is what i can do.

  7. BethLanai said:

    what did you do to deserve this? you are the pixie-gem heffa!

    I will tell you this…7 am Sunday morning…you were on my mind…I don’t have your personal contact info but if I did…you would have heard from me…something was in my spirit about you…

    you are a good person…and you deserve the goodness that is in your life now and that is to come…

    and I want to tell you this…

    if you are ever in doubt in how you are dealing with this…

    something my best friend told me when I lost my mom…

    I had it in my head that I was not grieving properly…

    he simply said Lanai you grieve how you want to grieve there is no right or wrong way…

    I don’t even know if he knows how that simple statement got me through…

    now let me stop before I start crying at work…

    it will all be OK darlin’ believe in that

  8. My job doesn’t like your blog- it keeps kicking me out. But anyhoo…I don’t know ish. I’d just sit there like a bump on a log and crack jokes.

    I wish you ate fried chicken. I can cook that. Maybe I should brush up on my Vegan meals, woman cannot live by french fry and Smirnoff alone.

  9. Ummmm…I like fried chicken Mrs. Mary Mack…just sayin…

    Gem, doll, I completely understand your entire post & wish I could have had these words myself when I needed it in the past.

    That’s why I’m just gonna stay in my lane and do what I do best… *writhes on the floor*

    Oh, and then there’s this. Because you asked (not really but I don’t care):

    http://twitpic.com/iu7z0

    Love & hugs,
    Jaded

  10. So sorry for your loss Gem. I can’t roll through here and read and laugh at stuff and not say something when you are in pain. 😦

    Very poignant post. Many people can’t deal with grief…but you just wrote a handbook on what to do. Thank you!

    I not bad with grief… I would be the one sitting next to you and keep staring at you…until you smiled. Bout all I could do is stir fry some veggies tho. ((HUGS))

  11. Nonotthejacket said:

    *hugs and more hugs*

    Thank you for writing this, because I’m also one of those people who struggles with what to say and/or do. Sometimes I feel like I’m being pushy and getting in the way, but then friends don’t leave friends alone in times like these, either.

    Love you Dixie, girl.

    *slowly raises hand*

    Can I address “going velociraptor”, #doe?

  12. Still thinking of you and hoping things are gradually getting better.

  13. when you are around these parts I am going to take you somewhere beautiful.

    love you.

  14. Again, Gem I am sorry for your loss. This post needed to be written so that people are aware of how to help a friend or family member who has experienced a loss.

    I can remember when my husband past away (15 years ago) and my mother was acting like I was gonna starve, or worse, kill myself. Not the case at all. I was grieving, which is a natural process. Food, conversation or being around alot of people was not on my mind. Smiling or joking around was not on my mind. And that’s okay. That’s the process. Eventually, I got through the process but it was in its on time. I sure hate that you are experiencing this but I know that you’ll get through it.

    Thanks for your honesty & openness.
    Sending {{hugs}}, love & prayers your way.

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