Thursday, May 20, 2010


So the last year (the last two years, really..) have been difficult and insane and I kind of feel like I'm starting over from scratch. Like anything extraneous about the person I was has been seared away and I'm sitting down and trying to sort out what's left.

In the midst of this, the people in my life have changed. The people who find tragedy too overwhelming (or who don't have the patience for the fact that I average 4 months to return a phone call these days) have fallen away. But the friendships that HAVE survived have become stronger. And some support has come from places that seem surprising. People I barely knew when this happened. Family I had never met before this past year. And teh interwebs! Sometimes it's still funny to me how you can bond with people you never meet... but it makes sense in a way that this place where I put my thoughts and my lessons and my laughter has led me to some amazing people.

Tracey at Beyond the Pale always checks in with me and gives me someone safe to talk to (Thank you!)

And I don't think Greg, Sheila or Nina hane any idea how much it improves my day to hear from them and keep track of them via their blogs.

I drew into myself a great deal this year, and it was often misinterpreted as a desire to be left alone. As I explained it to one friend: I want to connect, but I don't know how anymore. I want to know that my friends are there and care about me, but I may not be able to talk. And sometimes the hardest thing in the world is picking up the telephone. Sometimes talking to the people I am closest to is far more difficult than talking to people who don't know what happened - because I can't hide things from the people who matter the most.

So she started sending cards to me every week. For MONTHS. How amazing is that? This weekly reminder that you matter enough to someone that they will just send you love. And know that you love them back without requiring anything in return? Those cards have been such a blessing.

One friend called me weekly for the first few months after the shooting and just left messages. Crazy messages. He told stories. He went on for as long as the voice mail system would let him. About silly things. Dreams. Monkeys. Anthropomorphic brooms.

My family in Australia had me come visit them and I fell in love with a big group of virtual strangers who took care of me and showed me their world and just let me in and loved me as if I'd been there all along. (I have to write about that trip. I'm not certain I even have the words to write about it. It was so important to me. I found a new home. Part of me feels like I belong on the other side of the planet.)

So I guess I'm saying: If, and when, you have friends experiencing profound loss - I know it's hard to know what to do. It's awkward. You don't know what they need and nothing makes it okay. We all know that. Just love them. The most amazing gift is to be shown love in ways that ask nothing in return. Love without conditions. Love that accepts that you are not yourself. Love that will be there when you put yourself back together again.

Sometimes the only light at the end of the tunnel was knowing that there were people who hadn't given up on me.

There have been people there to give me that and, in that, I am so blessed.


  1. You are not alone. You will forever be changed. But you can move forward.

  2. Amazing, that love of a few friends.

    And thank you for your kind words, hon.

    People love you. They do.

  3. Tears. It's true: when someone has been traumatized, it truly is too much to ask of them to "pick up the phone and reach out". Your HEART has been amputated - yes, it is too much to ask for me to pick up the phone "if I need to talk".

    It is up to the people who are NOT injured to "circle the wagons", and take care of their wounded. This is how it works.

    Your friend sending cards .... just a blinding example of love.

    Beauty. Love. Just "getting it".

    And I am glad my blog was a place you still visited. And Greg, and Nina and Tracey. Yup. Good good people, all of 'em.

  4. Came over from Tracey's to say hi & welcome back!

  5. You know, after you commented on my blog the other day I stopped by here and read your "Therapy" post. I didn't comment because of exactly what you talk about here. I didn't know if I should intrude on something so personal but now I know I was wrong and see six comments have already built up.

    Thank you, for considering me someone who brings you some measure of relief via my blog. I never knew I did that for anyone and feel honored.

    You've been through more than I can imagine and I'm happy that you're back and writing again. Very happy. Welcome back Marisa.

  6. Oh Marisa, I'm so glad you're back here writing in this space, and I'm honored to be mentioned as someone who has been some support in some small way. I, too, am often astonished at the connections I make with people via this weird machine. But I am very grateful for it, and them. Welcome back.

  7. I used to check your blog every single day and can honestly say I was sad when it stopped. You live so far away that it was kind of my insight into your brain, a way of talking to you when life had gotten to hectic for us to actually pick up the phone. I cannot believe a year has gone by and I did not know you were back to blogging so I have spent the last few hours sitting at my dining room table reading everything I have missed. My husband asked what I was doing and when I told him he nodded with understanding, kissed me and left me to reading while he took care of all the normal, everyday stuff. And now, as I sit here in the dark, I am crying. Part because I had no idea how much those cards meant... In fact I had wondered at some point if you were even getting them but I kept sending them just in case. Just in case they were one small fleeting reason for you to smile and know you were loved. And part because no matter how far we have come, no matter how much we have learned and how many new things and people are in our life, i long for the day that when you were only 15 minutes away. When 3 nights a week were at your house watching weird zombie movies or playing bored games or eating cheeze whiz inspired meals. I miss you and am so glad you are back on "the interwebs".

  8. The friend who sent those cards shared this post with me and I loved it. I understand it and encourage your continued healing, blog on!! :)