Sunday, February 24, 2013

How do I say this?

Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation and you want to say something truthful, 
but with careful words, 
kind words, 
and you find yourself staring at the ceiling and offer...  

"How do I say this?"

This is post is kind of like that.

Death has been around every corner lately.
There were times in my life where I could go months and not think about death.

But the last conversation I had were questions from Jack about dying and also about the "baby in Heaven."  I'm not sure why this is all on his mind, but I wonder if he had a similar conversation like I did yesterday.

Yesterday was my nephew's birthday party.

When I got there I noticed a few faces I hadn't seen in years... people who I was always told were not welcome.  While I wracked my brain as to "why"... I realized they were there because Sam died.

Life is too short to hold grudges.

Sam is my sister-in-law's brother, my nephew's uncle.

And while I was also curious as to why some were there, I also wondered why some weren't and it all clicked.

Sam died the day before Jude was born in a motorcycle accident.

Sam's Mother was at the party, and I found myself unsure of what to say to her.  I felt guilty as I remembered a post by my friend, Connie.

I offered her my chair, I told her goodbye before I left, ... but that's about it.

Now I'm questioning if she purposely didn't look my way so I didn't have to think of something to say.

I wondered if my Jude was a painful reminder.

And as I sat in the living room with Jude on my lap... slowly a few kids cleared out of the living room and I found myself alone with Sam's seven year-old-daughter.

She looks more five than seven.

She asked me a lot of questions about Jude, we talked about clothes, school (yes lame school questions, I'm horrible) and as we were chatting I heard distant screaming.  I mentioned all the wild kids in the other room... and she said, "Those are my Dad's other kids, probably get their wild side from him... but he died."

Her eyes said a lot.

"At this point in my journey with grief, I think that all I really need is acknowledgement." - my friend, Connie

I told her I knew her Dad died.  I told her I use to go to church with him.  I told her he was a good man.

What I didn't tell her was how he actually visited my brother while he was in a mental institution three hours away when I couldn't even bring myself to go.

I wonder how many people have ignored her when she's mentioned her Dad, pretending they didn't hear her.

My mother-in-law ignored Jack last week when he mentioned the "Baby in Heaven."

I think it's easy for adults to ignore children, pretending they didn't hear or understand them clearly to avoid a difficult, emotionally charged conversation.

I take that back, I think it's easy for adults to do that to anyone... and it hurts more than saying the wrong thing (in my experience).

After I acknowledged what she had said, she changed the subject herself.


  1. olivia, i love the way you write with such beautiful truth. i remember reading your post about sam's death...sending love and prayers. it's wonderful you didn't try to avoid a conversation with his daughter and instead, talked about the good man that he was. <3<3<3


"Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime." -Dale Carnegie

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