The People Who Stay

You read it over and over on other widow blogs or forums- this kind of tragedy changes and defines the relationships in your life.  

The people you would've expected to be there- are largely absent.  The people from the periphery somehow step into the center of things.  Some relationships will slip away entirely.  Maybe the person can't handle it- or maybe you can't handle them- they're too draining and you have to preserve your energy now more than ever. 

I have found all of this to be surprisingly true.  Besides my parents and a couple of closer friends, the people I talk to on a regular basis are mostly people I didn't even know before your death Dan.  I think about this sometimes, how surprised you'd be.  People who just stepped in and watched Audrey while I attended your wake and funeral, or benefit concert.  People who arranged counseling for me, brought me food, take Audrey out.  

There is someone who messages me EVERY SINGLE DAY- at least once- and reads my blog and has even read grief books so she can relate to me and point things out to me that she reads.  She is someone I had never had a real conversation with before this, but is now volunteering to pay for a class for Audrey and knows our weekly schedule by heart.  For a while I took it for granted- oh, just another message from "her".  No one else writes me anymore," and basically felt sorry for myself.   But you know what, I am so grateful for these messages.  They are a constant reminder that I'm not totally alone- a reminder of faithfulness and steadfastness.  

Because it has gotten remarkably quiet lately.  I wonder, do people think I'm fine?  Are they just back to their busy lives?  Was I a novelty to some?  But I too have been feeling the need to spend more time alone reflecting and take back some sense at least, of control over my life.  So admittedly I have pushed some away as I enter this new phase.  But emails, phone calls, messages- I still would welcome after Audrey's asleep in her crib at night and I'm alone for another night.  

The widower I know who lost his wife and two children at once- (actually someone the above person also put me in touch with!)- told me this a few months ago when we talked- and even at that time I was worried about the time I face now- the quiet time, "Some people will stay...I had an older woman who brought me soup every week without fail for a year or more..."  

They are not the people you might think, but I think he's right- some people will stay.  What a gift.  What a treasure.  Thank you.