Saturday, February 9, 2013

28 Days



They say it takes 28 days for a new habit to form. Four weeks for a new way of life to take hold.

28 days and our body will recognize its new existence, moving on and forward, with the way things will be for us from now on. After a lunar cycle, we're promised it'll all feel so natural.

It's been 28 days since we lost my nephew.

There's nothing that feels natural about this.

No new habit of learning to live without him has formed. Four weeks later, and the pain on my sister's face--if anything--has deepened.

We haven't moved on, a new way of life has not taken hold. There are no changes that we've implemented that help us stick to what we are now.

Except for waking up every morning, blinking our eyes to the brightness of the day as much as to the disbelief of what awaits us once our feet are on the floor.

And that is putting one foot in front of the other, trudging through somehow, each of us reciting our secret phrases. The words, only known to us, that make the everydayness of our day possible.

I love you, Tommy.
I love you, Tommy.

28 days and the only change that's taken place is the sound of my new heartbeat.

72 beats a minute
4,320 beats an hour
103,680 times in a day

It beats and cries out his name with each pulse, I love you, Tommy, I love you, Tommy.

***



39 comments:

  1. It's okay to remember and love and still be sad. It's okay to take on some small part of your sister's pain. It's okay to not have moved on... maybe you never will. I wish love and light for you.

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  2. hugs...grief take takes a while...esp depending on the connection and the person...let it have its course but take those steps...you'll find your way through

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for always listening Brian.
      xo

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  3. So sorry.

    There's a quote in Cormac McCarthy's The Road that has stuck in my head:

    "He lay listening to the water drip in the woods. Bedrock, this. The cold and the silence. The ashes of the late world carried on the bleak and temporal winds to and fro in the void. Carried forth and scattered and carried forth again. Everything uncoupled from its shoring. Unsupported in the ashen air. Sustained by a breath, trembling and brief. If only my heart were stone."

    But ultimately, I still feel the novel is about hope.

    Best wishes.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Neal.

      Really, truly, thank you.

      xo

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  4. Oh, Empress. My sweet friend. I wish there was something I could do for you and your sister. All I can do is pray.

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  5. Death proves that every EVERY previously held belief we had is incorrect. Death gives us new perspectives and not always for the better. But, death also teaches us about ourselves and how we should allow ourselves to change in relation to it. Everything else we believed beforehand has nothing on how hard death can and will teach us anew. Death looks at 28 days and smirks, so give yourself a break. There is no timeline, no deadline.

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  6. I'm so sorry for your loss. I feel like there are no words I can write to really help, but I am wishing you the best in these difficult times. xxoo

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  7. Alexandra,

    You are keeping his memory alive each time you talk about Tommy. My favorite quote about grief is that no one is truly gone if their memories live on in our minds and hearts. Keeping you, your sister and your entire family in my thoughts and prayers.

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    Replies
    1. You have been the kindest treasure of a find to me this year.

      Thank you, Jen.

      xo

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  8. People say "get over it" but we never get over it. We get through it...and there are no maps, there are no guidebooks, there is no schedule or timeline or blueprint. Just the vastness of the space to be filled. All we can do is love the people we're with and let them love us.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly, D.

      There is never this "new normal."

      It's all "knocked off the rails, find a different way now."

      Delete
  9. Oh dear I'm so sorry to read this. So very sorry. The only consolation that's ever helped me, but this has never been with a child, has been that death is not an ending but a transformation. Thinking of you and of your sister with love.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you, Anne.
      I owe you an email, digging myself out of not being online and things, but will let you know.

      We're still in shock, kinda thinking we forever will be.

      xo

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  10. I am so very sorry. For you, your family and your sister. Life isn't the same and will never be again -- in a horrible way. Again. So sorry.

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  11. Replies
    1. Thank you, lovely lady. Thank you.xo

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  12. Replies
    1. Thank you, Jennie. It's the mornings that are hard. That first moment of waking up and remembering, "its all real."

      xo Thank you.

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  13. I'm delurking to tell you that, unfortunately, I empathize with you. Four years ago my sister-in-law ended her life on my husband's (her brother's) birthday; 1-1/2 years ago the teenage son of one of my oldest friends did the same.

    To be a survivor is gut wrenching and very isolating. People often don't know how to console grieving friends, and that is even more true when suicide is involved. Talking to other survivors and taking advantage of any professional resource have been the biggest comforts for our family. It takes a long time though. I am so sorry for you, your sister and family.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you.

      It's baffling, and we never get over it.
      For me, it feels like my family is book ended by tragedy.
      Our father killed himself, and now my nephew. My sister has lost a parent, and a child.

      It's ache is beyond description. It hurts.

      Thank you.

      Delete
  14. Twenty eight days aren't nearly enough to even begin to get your head around something so sad. I'm not really sure any amount of time will make it easier but I hope you know there are many of us that send prayers and strength to you and your family every day.
    xoxoxo jj

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  15. 28 days is nowhere near enough time for even an ounce of the pain to lift...maybe even a life time is not enough. I really, really don't know how people cope. A friend of ours lost her brother to suicide a year ago...I have not really known how to help her. We are closer to her husband than to her, and her husband tells us it's - she's - just different from day to day, from hour to hour. Maybe you just need to go from hour to hour...

    I am thinking of you, Alexandra, and your sister, and sending strength your way.

    xoxoxo

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  16. There is an inherent torture in unanswered questions and actions which defy all logic. As so many others so lovingly cautioned, 28 days is simply not enough. There is no magic number, no mathematical equation. So many hearts have been shattered into millions of pieces - how does one begin to heal? I can only fathom the strength required in expressing oneself through it, and doing so with such grace and love. You are so much to so many and each and every one of us is sending our love, our embrace, our support. It is your journey, but you are never alone.
    xoxo

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    Replies
    1. And that comforts me so much. Thank you. xo

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  17. My heart just breaks for you. So much. And it might not be something you can get over. You can't get over part of your heart being pulled out of your chest. You can patch it, but there's always a hole under there.

    I lost my best male friend this last May. He was like a brother to me. One day, he was there, we were texting about getting our families together. And the next, his girlfriend called me at work, left me a voicemail telling me he'd passed in his sleep. I miss him everyday. He was absolutely the nicest person I have ever met. Bar-none. He could have been an angel, straight from Heaven here to do good works and lift people up. I have never in my life met anyone so pure, so loving, so caring. So GOOD. And I don't know why he was taken away since he was such a beautiful, shining light of love and wonderment in such a dark place that has become the everyday world. That is something I will NEVER understand for the rest of my life. I make it a point to ask myself day to day: What Would Corn Do? (His name was Cornelius.) And I try to pay it forward as much as I possibly can because it's something he would have done. The world needs that. It needs a reminder that there is still hope, something to believe in, even though the person doing it is now gone, their spirit still remains. Just as your nephew's spirit remains. And that is something to cherish.

    28 Days? Not long enough at all. 9 months? Nope. Still tears me up inside. And I think it's okay. My heart puts it's arm around yours, sharing the memories of those who are still and will always remain inside. I love you, lady. ♥

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  18. I went to the wake of someone lost under similar circumstances tonight & instantly thought of you. No history, no hints, nothing. Total shock for the family. I have no words, just hope that each day somehow gets a little less painful.

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    Replies
    1. Shock. Shock is the perfect word. We are all in a state of suspended disbelief. Every thought, every minute...we miss you tommy. we miss you tommy.

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  19. If words made a difference, I'd write an ocean of them in hopes that they'd help. Be kind to yourself, Alexandra.

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    Replies
    1. Can't wait to see you, Cheryl. Thank you. xo

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  20. I wish there was something I could say that would take away some of the hurt you/your family are experiencing right now. I don't know how much time it takes to mend a broken heart, but I hope you find some comfort in knowing that we are all praying and thinking about you, Alexandra.

    XOXO

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  21. Oh Honey. A totally inadequate cyber hug to you. XO

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    Replies
    1. XO. I have a headache from crying today. Not a good day. xo

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  22. 28 days in this case feels like shock just perhaps beginning to wear off, maybe not even.

    Thinking of you and your family, and praying for peace for all of you.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Ann. Your friendship has changed my life.

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