What helps

In most of my blogs, I talk about what not to do, what’s hard on me. I’ve got people walking on eggshells and that’s the last thing I want. I’m writing this to let people know what does help. What I find comforting. Keep in mind that not all people grieve the same way, so what works for me may not work for others. Just like what hurts me may not hurt others. For example, little babies around Nash’s age break my heart. I have a hard time even being around them. However, Todd finds them comforting. He loves being around babies. I can see him almost reach to grab strangers’ babies. I’ve had many conversations with him about our next baby. I truly feel that he will have to be the loving one for a while, because I may pull away. In some ways I think that makes him happy. I’m scared for the new baby to be here and he wants him or her in his arms right now. In our situation, it’s good that we are grieving differently. One compensates for the other.

Phone conversations are rare. Random texts always make my day. My friend Lauren and my cousin Keith are terrific at this. I would say that once or twice a week very randomly, Lauren will send me the same text that says “thinking of you.” It’s nice to know that when I’m out doing something or in an uncomfortable situation, my phone will go off and I look and see “thinking of you.” It always puts a smile on my face. My cousin Keith will text “I love you” and I always text back “I love you.” If you scroll through our last hundred texts, it will crack you up. Sometimes I do it just to smile. They say I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you…it’s pretty funny and very sweet.

I love every card anyone has ever sent me. They are the one thing I actually have the energy to read. If I’m having a bad day, I sit down and reread them. I was in such a haze when Nash died that I barely remember who was at the funeral. I go back through the cards and the book people put their addresses in at the funeral and I smile. There are so many people, so many cards, it’s hard not to feel loved. I want to scrap book them all at some point. It’s strange, I have never been more thankful in my whole life…and even though I read through them often, every time I sit down to write thank you cards, I become immediately emotional. To this day I haven’t wrote one and that is very unlike me. How do you put a random thank you on a card and send it to someone who has done so much more than what a simple thank you on a card requires? My friend Melissa sends me cards to this day. They have little messages in them telling me she is still thinking of me everyday. Every time I see one in the mailbox, I smile.

My dogs are also a huge comfort. I truly believe now that animals have the ability to heal. I can tell that they sense how I’m feeling. I can’t walk by Nash’s room without going in. I feel horrible if I just walk by. So I’ll go in and sit down in the rocker, talk to him, and cry. My dogs will come in and lay at me feet. They look up at me with these eyes. It’s hard to explain, but it’s almost like they know he is gone and they know that’s why I’m sad. If Todd is having a hard day, my boxer, Mokey, will not leave him alone. He will even get on his lap when he is driving and he is by no means a lap dog! Todd can’t even walk anywhere without tripping over him. He can’t even go to the bathroom alone. He was not like this before Nash died. They really enjoyed Nash, and I’m sad for them too. I brought Nash’s car seat in the house a couple weeks after he passed. They got so excited…they thought he was in it. I cried; it broke my heart. I can tell they wonder where he is. Because of them, even when I’m alone I’m never alone. If someone lost a baby and didn’t have an animal, I would highly recommend that they get one. They don’t talk, they don’t judge and they love you with everything they have.

Writing helps. People reading what I write helps. Todd and I always talk about how nice it is to not have to explain how we are doing. Most people that know us or know of us already know. The fallback of this is that every time I write something, people take it very literally. The last time I wrote it was about wanting to be alone. Now my friends will text me “I’m sorry I’m bothering you. I know you want to be alone.” When I wrote about possibly selling the house, people were calling me left and right about setting up funds. When I said I had a hard time going to grocery stores, I had at least five people contact me saying that they would do it for me. It’s extremely nice that people care and only want to help, but the problem is they want to help so badly that they don’t realize that sometimes I’m just venting. When I say I want to be alone, it means that I don’t want to go to big parties. I don’t want to be around crowds. I may not even get dressed all day, so the possibility of me leaving the house for that reason alone keeps me in.

I love visitors. I have more days off than I work now so I find myself alone a lot. Having someone stop by for a few is always nice. I love the movies. I can go there in my sweatpants and not talk to anyone. My friend Natalie and I do this. It’s nice to get out of the house but not have to do a lot with myself. I also love that I don’t have to keep up with a conversation. Its funny because by saying this I risk getting hundreds of gift cards to the movies now. I don’t need that I’m just letting you know why it’s easier for me to do this then other things. Yes, I will be devastatingly sad if we ever have to sell the house, but it’s a decision a lot of moms make when they decide to stay home. It sucks and it’s Nash’s home, but I will do what I have to for our next baby. What touches my heart the most is that so many people understand why I don’t want to move and how hard that would be for me. That it’s not just a home, it’s where I raised Nash. I love that they get my feelings behind that. It would be the most painful thing that could happen at this point, and I love that people know that and only want to help. I have also learned to do my grocery shopping at night now and in another town.

I have found ways around the things that are hard. Most of the time I write to just vent. Get it all off my chest. Express what I’m feeling. I’m not asking for anything, just people to listen and try to understand. If you have seen Todd and I since Nash died, if you have been around us at all, you will see that we are pretty easy to talk to. We may look sadder then normal, but we don’t mope around. We may cry randomly, but when we are not we are smiling. We don’t take offense to anything!!! Even when I think I can’t believe he or she said that, I know no one has ever had bad intentions; they just don’t know what to say. We understand that very well. What people should know is that we are just as scared to talk to others as they are to us. I try my hardest to comfort people when they see me. To put them at ease so they feel comfortable around us. I don’t want our family and friends to feel helpless. To be scared to say something wrong. If I had a penny every time someone said something to me and immediately followed it with, I’m sorry I shouldn’t have said that, I would be rich! What’s funny is that ninety percent of the time I didn’t think what they said was even bad. It’s incredible to see people so attentive, to see them so sensitive to our feelings…it’s endearing.

If you want to say something, say it, nine times out of ten it’s fine. If you want to visit, visit. I can’t tell you how many times I have been in bed having a bad day and I wish someone would stop over and watch TV in bed with me. If you want to call, do it…if I don’t answer, text me and say answer your phone! If I still don’t, be thankful I text back. If you take any thing from this, let it be that we love all of our friends and family and the new ones we have made since Nash died. As much as we can never do wrong in your eyes, we feel the same about you. If you are worried you did or said something wrong, ask. We aren’t mad if you did. We will tell you nicely and if it didn’t upset us, we can put your mind at ease so you aren’t worried you hurt our feelings. We feel lucky that our biggest problem, other than Nash not being here of course, is that people are worried that they may have said the wrong thing when trying to comfort us. We are all human. Everyone who knows me knows that I have not only put my foot in my mouth at times, but I have damn near swallowed it whole. So I get it. We are the same people just sadder. We like the same things we did before, we just lack the energy. We love you, we just forget you need to hear this. We are hurt, but we are okay.

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5 thoughts on “What helps

  1. I am a stranger to you, but I read all of your blogs. This was such a nice entry. Sometimes I comment and sometimes I’m at a loss for words and worry about saying the wrong thing. No one should ever have to go through what you and Todd are going through. Thank you for sharing and helping others as you muddle through this tragedy. I want to mention that many years ago, my parents lost an infant, my brother Benny. He was the same age as Nash when he passed. I was a one year old and have no real recollection of him, but me and the rest of my siblings all know who he was and still is part of our family. It wasn’t until I had my own family, that I asked my mom how she survived such a loss? I remember her saying she and my father never “got over it”, but life forces you to keep living. You survive. They also had other young children that needed their parents. Not long after Benny’s passing, they too had a rainbow baby-my sister Bonnie. We were all loved by our parents, but when Bonnie came along, she brought a new special joy to our parents and family. Both of my parents are gone now and Bonnie is 58 years old now. She is still “the baby” of the family and we love teasing her that she was always “the favorite.”

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  2. You truly inspire me. I don’t believe we have ever met but we have tons of mutual friends. I read every article you write.
    I am addicted. I cry most of the time and find myself wanting to be your cheerleader God bless u both!

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  3. First I want to apologize because I was one of the many who sent a book. I always turn to books for understanding, self help and most recently my question of what I believe. I read Heaven is for Real because I was on the fence and I thought it was a nice story and wanted to share it so I sent a copy. Definitely no bad intentions but I’m glad you shared that in your blog about not finding them helpful. I love to read what you write. I cry every time and wish this wasn’t your reality. If you ever want a night time grocery shopping buddy I go every Friday night to the Kroger in Grand Blanc.

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  4. I AM AMANDA MULLINS GRANDMA RUBY, I KNOW EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE COMING FROM AS YOU WRITE, I LOST A WONDERFUL HUSBAND OF 30 YEARS TO A SUDDEN HEART ATTACK 24 YRS. AGO, I AM STILL THE SAME PERSON, BUT I WILL NEVER BE THE SAME ALSO, YOU WILL LIVE LIFE, AND SMILE AND FUNCTION THRU PAIN FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, I HAVE PRAYED FOR YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND, FOR GOD TO EASE THE JOURNEY OF PAIN , I EXPIERENCED THAT, I WOULD THINK IN THE EVENING, OH , I HAD A FEW HOURS THAT I COULD FOCUS ON OTHERS AND SMILE. I TRUST YOU HAVE THOSE TOO,

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