Sometimes weeks go by with no communication beyond Facebook posts and comments.
And then ~ a flurry of longer messages and emails. We know, each of us, that there are three other mothers out there who have ears to hear and eyes to read. We don't have to be in the same mental or emotional or spiritual places any more than we need geographical proximity; there is no judgment, no insistence that anyone "move on," no sense of "there but for the grace of God" because, indeed, here, despite the grace of God, we are.
I'm not sure, anymore, when we met. One of the women lives fairly close to me, and there was an article in the newspaper at the time of the one-year anniversary of her daughter's death, a few weeks after Josh died. Thanks to that article, I was able to find her blog and somehow, over the next several months, the four of us discovered one another in writing that spoke across thousands of miles to hearts all broken at about the same time. Today, as I write: year five for two of us, and about year six for the other two. We have clutched one another as if we were lashing ourselves to lifeboats tossed about in the churning waters between Scylla and Charybdis.
What do mothers write about, in years five and six?
We write about God, often: wondering and wondering and wondering. We share our stories of trying ~ and succeeding, I think ~ to live rich and productive lives, to do our work, to care for our homes and families, to love husbands and children and step-children, all against a backdrop of shattered glass and torn fabric. We ask question about words like joy and happiness and despair and emptiness.
We are, each of us, making something beautiful and elegant of our lives. In very different ways. I think it would be accurate to say that I am awestruck by what these women write and do. Had you told me five years ago that it would ever be possible to crawl out from under the covers after the loss of a child, I would have cackled like the Wicked Witch of the West, and imagined that the best I might ever do would be to zip around Oz on my broomstick, wreaking enraged havoc wherever I went.
But as it turns out, I am always wishing for Glinda's wand. Always wanting to restore our lives with a dash of glitter and sparkle.
Having neither broomstick nor wand, I am grateful to have friends. Friends who write, and not angrily across the sky, but gently, into cyberspace. What would we do without one another?