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.
Superhero Sitcom Dies a Quiet Death
13 hours ago