21. RELATIONSHIPS | How have your relationships changed? Did you lose any? Have you made new friendships?
Because the death of my child colored everything, my relationships have changed.
Some are more real and authentic. A life-changing event nudges in that direction.
Some have been strained because of the fact that more truth does enter in.
Some have been shaken up a bit because I’m learning what I can and can’t expect from others for whom this is also new, and who are also figuring it out.
Over some rough spots, I thought that I was losing relationships. But then something I was told clicked: The words or actions that I perceived as hurtful were coming from a caring place. People Just. Don’t. Know.
Some relationships are more distant because I don’t have the bandwidth to reach out as much as I would like. Some of that is purely due to energy, and some, to emotional availability.
But most of my relationships can take the bumps and curves, and continue to grow and develop. Change is hard. Who wants a relationship to change? Screw that, let’s stick with what’s working. But the only constant is change, right?
I certainly have made new friends. The bonds within bereaved parent circles is unexplainable. We can let our hair down at a meeting. We can talk about our intimate stories over omelettes. We can share our narratives: the unabridged versions.
Wash. Park, Denver, 10/19/16
I had a few different ideas for today’s letter C:
- Change (our lives are about to change with me in graduate school),
- Cat (Kade’s love of our cat, Nermal, and other cats that were in his life),
- Crazy (I don’t think losing a child makes one particularly sane),
- Cough (our family was hit by horrible coughs in February and now Asher is coughing again! Say it ain’t so!)
I’ve decided to go with Change.
I’ve been thinking lately about how my life is about to change. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom to my baby, toddler, preschooler, and half-day kindergartner. Although I nanny part-time and bring Asher with me, it leaves a lot of chunks of time to be, and to do things, together.
After this summer I’ll have a first grader. Our carefree days at home together are numbered. I’m a little sad about this. He’s about to be in school a full day, and I’m about to embark on going back to school and the studying, reading, and papers that that entails. We don’t even have this summer as our last hurrah, exactly. Though my classes will be at night, my program starts this summer so I’ll be signing Asher up for camps and activities so that I can have some daytime study time.
It’s like it was gone before I knew it.
He’s still in morning kindergarten for two months. We have most of our afternoons to play, and now that the weather is getting nicer, park and museum outings will be easier to accomplish. And this summer I will have a lot of time with him between the camps and activities I find. It’s not as drastic as if I was suddenly going to work full time and Asher to daycare all day.
I loved my time at home with Asher. Of course as a single mom raising Kade that wasn’t an option for me then. We’ve explored nearly every playground in Highlands Ranch—and there are a lot. In the last five years we’ve been to countless story times at the library, kid’s activities in our community, and museum outings in the metro area. For years we got together with the mommies and buddies from our playgroup EVERY WEEK, sometimes several times in a week. That has ebbed with our now-kindergartners in different schools on different schedules. I’m hoping our play-dates pick back up this summer…so we moms can catch up, and so we can commiserate together on the changes we face.