The other day I wrote a blog post questioning if Cole and I wanted one more day with Joe. I was both touched and astonished by the number of follow-up comments. Here are a few of these gems of insight polished by the grit of sorrow:
Look for evidence that you did things right: One comment read, “When my three-year-old died, I was obsessed with finding out how I had failed. From that viewpoint, the world showed me that it must have been the vaccinations I had wavered on, the food I had fed her, and the signs I had missed that something was wrong. One friend, however, made it her mission to help me see a different view. No matter how hard I insisted I had failed, she showed me how I had succeeded. At times this made me very angry, but over time I started hearing her and was able to breathe the good moments, the happy moments in again.”
Let people love you: The one common thread weaving through most comments seemed to be that “going on” was not accomplished alone. Marriages fell apart, family relationships deteriorated, but each writer shared that they had someone (or many someones) to witness their pain and to show up for them. One reader wrote, “It’s a myth that you go on because you have to. You go on because you love someone else enough to make the effort.”
Complete your relationships: The single strongest piece of advice given was to clean up your relationships with people. Forgive them, tell them you love them, hug them more, enjoy them more, laugh more, and worry less, One reader wrote, “Never assume you will have later to get over something.” Another reader wrote, “Even when the ‘I love you’ is automatic, you might be awfully glad you can remember saying it.” This one was especially true for Cole and Joe. The last words Joe and Cole exchanged were, “I love you,” as Cole jumped out of the car and ran into school.
It sucks, but not all the time: Most of the writers explored how talking about the good times and the bad times was helpful. There is a huge fear of forgetting the details, the little things. I recognize this fear in Cole.
A few commenters expressed a longing for one more day with a loved one, with the hopes of answering a question, or confirming the possibility of a reunion in an afterlife.
Most people, however, commented that they did not want one more day. I think Cole articulated this best when he said, “Mom, I would only want one more day … if I did not have to have one more goodbye.”
Readers shared stories of children dying young, horrible accidents, loved ones suffering long illnesses, others dying suddenly without warning, and family members ending their own lives. They didn’t have to respond to “One More Day.” They could have tucked their heads under their wings, but instead, they opened their fists, showed us their hands, and let their gems sparkle. Thank you.
Glad you were in my Odd neighborhood. Feel free to drop by any time. Odd Loves Company and odd loves you and you and you!! I would love to hear from you in the comment section of this blog, or on Facebook or Twitter!