I’m feeling very bitter today.
One of the hardest things about grief is that you have it forever, but the people around you eventually move on. The calls and emails and text messages slow down. It’s not that they aren’t sad, or stopped caring, but they can’t hold your hand forever. Nor should anyone expect them to.
I have always tried to be good about landmine days with my friends. I put important dates and reminders in my calendar…but I miss things, I know I do. I need to try harder and practice what I preach.
This is the rational part of me. The irrational part of me, however, is the part that is upset. Because sometimes I really wish that people would try harder for us. Yeah, I know it’s selfish. Yesterday I got a text from a friend that simply said, “I just wanted you to know that I’m thinking of you.” It was so simple and easy, it took maybe twenty seconds to type. But it made me cry. Because that friend not only remembered, but took the time to tell me. Something as easy as a text message can literally overwhelm me with gratitude. And I wonder, why can’t more of my friends and family do this?
I know it’s ridiculous. We are lucky in that we get comments and emails all the time telling us that Maddie is impacting lives. That should be enough – and it is, truly. But sometimes, I want the people that knew her, that know me, to also tell me that she matters. To email me during the week of her death and the week of her birthday. To take a few hours out of their day and show up for the March of Dimes walk. They’d certainly show up if I was having a birthday party for her, so why not come support us on an extremely emotional day? And yet, I have friends that have never ever marched for Maddie.
Honestly, I almost hesitate to publish this, because I know it sounds so whiny. But then I think of all the people who say, “What can I do? Can I do anything to help you?” My standard reply is, “Oh, I’m OK.” But really? I’m not. Not at this time of year. So, if you want to help me, you can tell me that you’re thinking of me. You can show up for the March of Dimes walk. You can tell other people about it. Send me a text. An email. Write on my Facebook wall. Send a card. I need this. I need to know that you still care. And I’m going to need to know next year. And the year after. And after.
And also, while you’re at it, make a note of the days that your friends and family might need a little extra love. Because really, who doesn’t want to know that they’re being thought of?