Wednesday, April 12, 2006


There's something I should say, but I don't know what. A poem I should write maybe... I don't know. This whole thing has been so full of everything, and I feel so empty despite the wonderful things that have happened.

It is a craving - I remember it... Finding myself in front of the refrigerator, or staring blankly into the cabinet, no idea how long I'd been there, but knowing, again and again, that what I wanted so desperately wasn't in there.

I have been so lucky, so loved, so much a part of some inexplicable miracle, and I'm glad of it. It has been much easier to survive, and will undoubtedly be much easier to bear. But that is not to say that I am not terribly unspeakably empty, broken, and craving.

I have laughed and smiled more in the last few days than any grieving mother has the right to. I don't regret a moment of it. Nor do I deny that I just cried over the ending bit of LOST because I want my magic island, my miracle cure, my fat and naked baby - wrapped in sand and rocking in a cradle of branches on the beach, backdropped by all the sappy cliches of crashing waves, and the night sky draped behind us like Elvis painted on velvet.

Is it a little crazy to be jealous of fictional characters in a weekly drama? Probably, but I've done very little in the way of defending my sanity over the years, especially the last 5. I know I lost my mind after Alexis died, I don't know if I ever "got it back" so to speak. I think I just managed to become functional, in spite of it all. Now... Well, now I wonder if I haven't completely lost it, maybe I just haven't realized it yet, the insane don't ever know they're insane, do they?

I have received a load of email, offering to listen if I want to talk. I appreciate them, every one. But what am I supposed to do? Call someone up out of the blue and say, "Ok, I want to talk..." Do I start the conversation with something "Hi! How you doing!?" I mean, what is there to say really? We all understand the futility of words, my call would only serve to make someone else uncomfortable. I understand myself enough to know that I'd never cry, it isn't allowed, I don't do it, I can't do it, not with an audience. I don't want to talk anyway. Conversation isn't what I want. What I want is for this all to be unreal, undone, over.

But you see, this isn't something that will ever be over. There is no audible click that signifies the moment when you're done. There isn't a party with confetti and balloons and much rejoicing when you've paid your penance, there is no door prize. Grieving is never done. It is a journey that seems to have no real destination. Somewhere, some time, I read a saying, one that seemed perfectly valid at the time. It said "Grief is a journey from loss, through pain, to healing."

Now it sounds like the directions that Map gives Dora. Loss, Pain, HEALING! Loss pain, HEALING! Swiper no swiping! Oh maaaaaan... How utterly ridiculous it sounds now. What does "healed" mean exactly?

It is something I once thought I was. Or maybe something I tried to convince myself that I had achieved. Now, it is something I wonder if I'll ever be.


  1. Healing comes in many shapes and sizes. I, myself, am healing as well in yearning for the way things were and won't be again. Yours is only a bigger size. Some of us are still healing from 9/11 and the resulting war. Some things you just don't get over, but, with time they do fade and we continue to function.

    I'm so sorry for your loss(es). Yet, I'm glad things happened as they did. Loss is unspeakable in so many ways, but Nova made it different.

    I just wish I could do more for you. I have shoulders that are willing for tears. I don't know... We all have our own issues. Thankfully, someone showed us how to put our issues into perspective.

  2. Anonymous1:45 AM

    Honey, follow the instructions ok?

    Pick up the phone.

    Call someone who offered to listen.
    (this is the important part)

    Say: I just needed/wanted/felt like/thought about talking.

    If they really wanted to listen in the first place, there are no explanations needed.

    Or you could call and say, Just talk to me...about anything for a while. Please. Thanks. Whatever polite words you want to use.

    Or call someone and start bawling and let them figure out what to say.

    Any one or combination of the above works.


  3. Oh Erin. I don't know what to say. There is nothing to say. Only that I love you. But then words are just words. And so, what does that make us, me and you?

  4. :-) You know that you and I can talk about anything. I think we pretty much covered a lot of it in the past couple phone calls we had, eh? Wish you would have called. We could've cried together. I need you too, ya know. Tomorrow, maybe?'s really 2:02 a.m. for me and I'm still up. *sigh* may we all heal

  5. Maybe healing is simply that moment when you realize that it's ok to laugh again. Laughter and smiles don't invalidate the pain and loss.

    You could call me and we could just listen to each other breathe- ya know, just take comfort in the fact that there's someone tethered to to other end. Sometimes it's not so much about the words. Friendship should not have to be a stage performance where you have to get everything right.

    BTW, if you didn't lose some piece of your mind with both of your losses, I'd consider you crazy.

    I love you, E.

  6. Anonymous10:21 AM

    hi erin, you don't know me but I have been following your & Nova's story & I'm so so sorry for your loss. I just wanted to say to keep doing the one thing that you're doing to help yourself heal and maybe you don't even realize it...writing. Don't stop writing, whether it's a public blog or something more private...whether it's poetry or prose, just keep writing.

  7. Did someone say CRAZY! Why yes. But only on Thursdays. Well, I'm normal, kinda, somedays. How's that?

  8. Dear Anonymous...
    The writing, it is something of a compulsion. I doubt I could stop if I tried. There will likely be little poetry, but the rest, well... there will be much. Thank you.

    yearning for the way things were and won't be again. I can not think of a better way of putting it for either of us. I don't know what "healed" means in either of our cases, but we will find our way to a better place with all of our respective "stuff" and that much I do believe.

    I'm lmao at your instructions. It seems so simple when it's spelled out that way. Sometimes I make things seem so hard for myself. *hug*

    Words are just words. Inneffectual and useless sometimes, true... but you and I, well, we're friends, and friendship is never useless or ineffectual - thank you, you crazy ass. I love you.

    We'd have laughed... you know it. There is a strength in your voice, a vitality that is infectious, and we'd have laughed, and it would have been good, just like last time.

    Oy. I hadn't read your comment when I wrote my reply to James...
    you're right... no staged performance, no right answers, no words needed... just the love of dear friends... it is much of what has gotten me through so far.

    I love you all so much -

  9. I have laughed and smiled more in the last few days than any grieving mother has the right to.

    I just reread this post and it occurred to me that you don't really need to validate your grief with the absence of any sort of happiness or lightheartedness, do you? The fact that you're not catatonic in bed in a dark room and refusing to come out does not mean you mourn him any less. I think the fact that you're able to find a few laughs and smile in the midst of all this is a good thing. Maybe a few pieces of you are already on the other side of this, just waiting for the rest of you to arrive. Love you, E.

  10. Erin~
    I think the thing is that I'm so surprised that I can laugh. With Alexis I really WAS catatonic in the bedroom with the blankets over my head so I didn't expect to be smiling and laughing at Nova's funeral, I DID expect to be hiding under the covers again.

    I don't feel badly about it, I'm just, I don't know, a little confused, I think, at how differently Scott and I both are dealing with losing Nova.

    I know that as bad as it sounds, there is a huge part of losing a child that we've already done. As a parent, it never enters into you mind that you might lose a child. It's a subconscious guarantee... you're pregnant, you'll have a baby... you have a baby, you'll raise a child, forever.

    Losing Alexis shattered that illusion of permanence, and it's something you never get back, so losing Nova wasn't so shocking - if that makes sense. It's like we've already done a few of the steps, learned some of the lessons.

    It isn't that his death is any easier or less painful, but it has made the process surrounding his death somewhat easier.

  11. It's no surprise to me, excluding the obvious, why you might feel somewhat anxious about talking to someone, anyone, right now. Here, for the most part, we say as close to what our minds can express to what we actually want to say, by backspacing, adjusting our words. When we speak, we don't always have that luxury. As artists, we, at least I, am my own worst critic. Presentation is everything, and, in forums where we present our work, we are all too aware of that fact. Even if this is not why we gather here, it is how we have interacted with one another in the past.

    True. Ideally, especially at this time in your life, the last thing you want is an awkward moment on the phone or elsewhere, something making you feel more uncomfortable than you already are. But this is all you. At your own pace, do these things. Do whatever it takes to cope. Don’t feel like you have to talk to anyone. You have a special license right now. It says I’m overwhelmed and confused. I have all this stuff inside that I don’t know what to do with. How do I know this? Because I am as human as any man can be. And just knowing how much love and beauty is out there, well, that’s a little overwhelming for you too. I know it is for me. Just remember, if and when we speak, I have no expectations, only friendship to the highest degree. After all, I could be a bumbling idiot on the phone, making strange noises, and singing songs in a language that no one can decipher.

    This is the captain speaking. That is all.