Breeching the wall

Every once in a while, even for someone like me who communicates her innermost thoughts only by writing them down, there are no words.

Sadness builds a wall out of weariness and pain and fear in my chest that is hard to reach around.  Completely contrary to my usual nature, my first reaction to every single potential interaction is “I don’t want to.”  Walk up to the front of the elementary school and stand in the sunshine with the other parents.  I don’t want to.   Talk to an acquaintance outside of Quinn’s annoying Christian school.  I don’t want to.  Ice cream social.  I don’t want to.  Cross country meet.  I don’t want to.  PTA meeting, volunteer as mystery reader, BBQ at a friend’s house, park play date, toddler class, book club.

I don’t want to. I don’t want to. I DON’T WANT TO.

Even the things I know I need, coffee with my dearest friends, a birthday dinner, a daily walk, my treasured writing time, require so much effort to shove the mountain of “I don’t want tos” out of the way and just show up.  I force myself to remember that showing up is the battle because the joy and the laughter and the love is there waiting for me. The way grief isolates is so human.  We are contrary creatures.  Right at the moment when we need connection the most, in my experience, it becomes the hardest.

I know – I know, I know, I know – that the layers of grief in life make the happiness more intense.  It’s like a damn cake, right?  The frosting on its own is too cloying and sweet.  You need those deep bittersweet chocolate layers to truly experience the joy of a mouthful of buttercream.  I get it.  Except right now there are chocolate crumbs all up in my fucking  frosting and I’m so angry about it I could jam the frosting knife through the whole damn thing until it is a cake corpse on the floor.

If you have lost the thread of the cake metaphor, that last stabby part would be a bad idea. Because we all like cake. And also life.  It’s full of these incredible people who reach out when I can’t.  Friends who call every day to make sure that I’m going on that walk and drink coffee and laugh and send favorite books and leave chai quietly on my porch and are there with their words in ways I’ll never be able to describe.

Then this happens.  I round our corner at the end of the day feeling defeated by the concrete around my heart and the knots in my stomach and the whining children pulling at my sleeves and there it is.

Someone – I don’t know who, and I’ve asked and asked, but I wish you’d write and tell me because I have a slightly soggy, teary hug for you – someone delivered my missing butterfly balloon right to my back yard.

Words fail.  My only thought is a stolen line from our 2012 Listen To Your Mother show:  I hope someday I can be half the friend to someone who needs me that you all have been to me.

34 Responses to Breeching the wall
  1. maggie may
    September 27, 2012 | 9:01 am

    Sweet girl. Look for me in the mail soon. xo

    • Anymommy
      September 27, 2012 | 9:14 pm

      It came today and it made my afternoon. xoxo.

  2. Kathryn
    September 27, 2012 | 9:47 am

    People who are amazing friends, have amazing friends. Wishing I could erase or at least fast- forward out of this heartbreaking time. The butterfly is like that first bloom of the season in a black and white landscape. Wishing you peace.

  3. Candice@NotesFromABroad
    September 27, 2012 | 12:51 pm

    I wish I had been the one to leave the butterfly for you. Words sent through cyber space never seem to be enough.
    love you

    • Anymommy
      September 28, 2012 | 6:39 am

      They truly are enough.

  4. Theresa
    September 27, 2012 | 12:53 pm

    No one can say, I know what you’re going through, because each of us experiences live differently. But I am struggling with the “I don’t want to” of grief and ppd. Lost my mom two days after delivering my second child.
    So, thank you for putting in words a way to describe my own personal fog.
    May your heart be healed soon.

    • Anymommy
      September 28, 2012 | 6:41 am

      Oh god, to have those two things tied together. I’m so sorry that you lost your mom and also that you lost the joy of having your mom there with you for your second newborn.

      • Theresa
        September 28, 2012 | 11:28 pm

        if you know how to answer the “how are you feeling/doing” question without tumbling into the darkness, let me know. I just say “fine”

  5. suburbancorrespondent
    September 27, 2012 | 1:12 pm

    Whoever left that balloon is awesome. And grief takes its own time. Your only responsibility is to keep on pedaling until it gets easier.

  6. Alyssa
    September 27, 2012 | 1:12 pm

    You already are that friend and more. I can only imagine how your RL friends must see you–because without ever having met, I know that I can come here to your blog, no matter what mothering joy or sorrow I am in the midst of and find the comfort I need to keep my facing my day. I think the “I don’t want to’s” are an artifact of growing up. This past week I have watched in amazement my my two teenagers and their friends as they mourn the loss of their friend Hank, and I have been struck by their ability to reach out and ask for what they need from each other in ways that I feel like I have long forgotten. Not everything is meant to be gotten over–some things just have to be gotten through. I hope you are able to take the time you need to feel what you’re feeling until you are ready to feel the next things that comes your way…sometimes I think peace is the one thing worth wishing for.

  7. Issa
    September 27, 2012 | 3:28 pm

    There is a time to grieve my sweet friend and you are in it. It is soul sucking at the time and doing anything but being angry and hiding is bull shit. Yet, that is life. Grieving and still doing is something that must happen, even if we hate it.

    I hope the moment comes soon for you. The moment where grief steps aside for a little bit and lets in the sun. It will come friend. It will. I swear to you. When? Well I’m not so sure. Hopefully soon.

    Know that I’m here. That we’re all here. Patiently waiting for you words when you’re ready to share them. In between? Silence is okay too. Much love to you darling.

  8. Yo
    September 27, 2012 | 5:02 pm

    love this love this LOVE THIS.

  9. Lady Jennie
    September 27, 2012 | 7:50 pm

    I am slightly soggy and tear-stained as I read this. :-)

    Did my comment come through on your post before this one? If not, e-mail me and I’ll write you. I’m having trouble commenting today.

    • Anymommy
      September 27, 2012 | 9:21 pm

      It did come through. And I know. I’ve thought of you so often in the last few weeks. I wish we could teleport across oceans to spend an evening together.

  10. Amelia
    September 27, 2012 | 9:48 pm

    Do you see love that you inspire? Just wonderful.

  11. Amelia
    September 27, 2012 | 9:49 pm

    Do you see love that you inspire? Just wonderful.

  12. Mama D
    September 28, 2012 | 1:24 am

    Fighting through the “I don’t want tos” is so hard. Most so when we actually need to do whatever it is that we don’t want to do! Sending you a hug and another balloon for your collection…

  13. Lyndsay
    September 28, 2012 | 2:37 pm

    So glad you have these people in your life. And don’t kid yourself – it’s a reflection of your own goodness and character sweet lady.

  14. Lyndsay
    September 28, 2012 | 2:41 pm

    I’m glad you have these people in your life.
    And don’t kid yourself – they’re love and goodness is a reflection of your own.

    • Lyndsay
      September 28, 2012 | 2:43 pm

      Good lord. I also use the wrong they’re/their/there. Going to go pour another cup of coffee.

  15. Lyndsay
    September 28, 2012 | 2:42 pm

    (oops, sorry – the first one wasn’t showing up).

  16. Alexicographer
    September 28, 2012 | 2:49 pm

    Oh Stacey. Out here, thinking of you. Last night I climbed on a horse and decided — no, realized — that if you feel like leaving Matt with the kids and flying to the East coast and climbing on a horse, I can find one for you (because, really, that makes perfect sense, right? Well, no — though if you think it does, just let me know. But because as I emailed you earlier that climbing on a horse thing has gotten me through some trying moments.).

    Here’s to the butterfly, and the person who brought you the butterfly, and you, and to the passage of time and its hopefully healing effects.

  17. Elaine
    September 28, 2012 | 3:53 pm

    Wow, you have some amazing people in your life. I mean, just WOW. xo

  18. Alexandra
    September 29, 2012 | 5:56 am

    It’s so hard to do anything with the weight of sadness on your bones.

    Thank you for writing, it relieves me, to know and read someone else’s words, someone who knows the work it takes to even fold the laundry, or think about putting a dinner together.

    Everything is so monumental when you’re sad.

    Hope you know how we are all here for you.

  19. Alexandra
    September 29, 2012 | 5:58 am

    Love your blog, love your writing, why does the comment section make me lose my mind?

    Did my comment get eaten up?

    IDK.

    I’ll watch.

    If I see two, then I’ll learn to just let it go … let it go …

  20. jen
    October 1, 2012 | 3:31 am

    friends truly know what to do when we really need it … don’t they? love to you.

  21. Ani
    October 3, 2012 | 3:46 am

    Metamorphosis.
    Thank you.

  22. Galit Breen
    October 5, 2012 | 11:23 am

    Oh how you are loved, and oh how your words are stunning.

    (Stabby chocolate cake and all.)

    xo

  23. Jonas Martins
    October 8, 2012 | 7:51 am

    You have so many amazing people in your life. That is a blessing from above I must say.

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