Sunday, June 23, 2019

Life: It Goes On - June 23

This past week I had to question that title. Last Sunday morning, we got the news that some of our oldest, dearest friends' son had been killed the night before in a motorcycle accident. The funeral was Friday. And still today I struggle to believe that it can be true. I'm so sad for my friends and their other children; I worry about how this is affect them as a family. Their family is our family. He and Mini-me were great friends. We just went to his wedding last fall. Right now I'm as angry as I am sad. This past week has passed in a fog and the only thing that has helped me get through it is to throw myself into books. I've got so many reading commitments I need to take care of, but what I really want to do is re-read Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking.

Last Week I:

Listened To: I finished Hope Jahren's Lab Girl and started Mindy Kahling's Is Everyone Else Hanging Out Without Me?

Watched: A lot of the College World Series and, in an effort to find something that would be a comfort food kind of a movie, Reese Witherspoon in Home Again. I'm sad to say that I can't recommend it and know why I'd never heard of it before finding it on Netflix. In an effort to get over that Witherspoon memory, yesterday I started watching the latest season of Big Little Lies, in which she stars. I'm curious to see where they go with it now that they don't have source material to work from.

Read: I finished Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and read Melanie Benjamin's The Girls In The Picture. 

Made: It's been all I can do this week to scrounge up meals; I've had no interest at all in cooking so nothing note worthy has been made this week.

Enjoyed: Watching my three kids on Friday. I know they're all adults but watching them talk with our friends, meeting new people, and providing comfort to the family reminded me again of how incredibly proud I am of them.

This Week I’m: 

Planning: On getting caught up on things that have fallen by the wayside this week.

Thinking About: Starting up Marie Kondo's tidying up process soon.

Feeling: Helpless. What to do to help? What to say?

Looking forward to: A quiet week.

Question of the week: If you've lost a child or know someone who has, I'd love your advice on how I can help my friends. What to say to help them through it? How much should I check in? When does reaching out become intrusive?


  1. It is very sad. It is not the normal way that life should be. My condolences.

  2. I'm so sorry about the loss of the young man. It's hard to know what to say, how to help, what to do. I have no wise words, but I guess just follow your instincts. A kind word, a loving touch, a hug. And maybe allowing them the time to grieve - which has no timeline, right? Take care.

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's son. I can't imagine what all of you are going through. I've heard of the Reese Witherspoon but I wasn't particularly inspired to watch it. I love her but sometimes her film choices are questionable. I hope this week is better and you find something soothing.

  4. Oh Lisa, I'm so sorry to hear this news! This is just a devastating situation... no advice to offer other than trusting your instincts.

  5. So sorry about the loss you, your family & friends experienced.

  6. I am so sorry to hear about your friends' son. It sounds like you were close to him and I'm sorry for your pain, as well as the pain his family is suffering. To answer your question, the best thing we found after losing our daughter was when our friends just sat and listened to us talk about what happened and how we were dealing with our grief. They never offered platitudes and instead of trying to cheer us up, they simply listened and said they were sorry. The people who showed up with a cooler full of ice and food for sandwiches and fruit and snacks (so we didn't have to make room in our overflowing refrigerator) we so appreciated because we didn't want to cook but had to eat. The neighbors who got us a basket full of gift cards to many local restaurants so we could get take-out (we hated going to eat in a restaurant with all the happy people enjoying their lives, as they should) were so thoughtful and kind. The neighbors who mowed our lawn without being asked were kindhearted souls. The friends who called to say they were thinking of us and if we wanted company, they would like to come over, were angels. The people who said "let us know if we can do anything to help" were well-meaning, but of course, who wants to calls and say please help with this or that. The people who avoided us or didn't want to talk about our daughter because they didn't want to make us cry only made us more sad because it felt like they didn't care (which, of course, we knew was not true). We were fortunate not to have anyone say that it was time to move on. We probably would have punched them. :) We joined a support group for parents who have lost a child (Compassionate Friends), which I highly recommend. We didn't go until a few months had passed, but we both say it was the best thing we did for ourselves and our marriage.

    I thought about writing this to you privately, but I thought maybe some of your readers would appreciate the advice, as well.

    Again, I am so sorry Lisa. I wish I still lived nearby so I could get together with you for coffee. xo

  7. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's son. I have been listening to a podcast called Nothing is Wasted and it's all about grief. People interviewed talk about their loss and they all say that they don't really want anyone to say anything to them, just to be there for them, to sit with them and just be there, taking some of that weight from them for that moment. It's comforting for them to know that someone is there. That's it.