Sunday, March 17, 2013

Solidarity: Women Writing

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?

12 comments:

  1. Robin, women friends are faithful to each other; for me, women friends have been a gift from God and it seems the same is true for you.

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  2. Some of us are grateful that you blog and share your thoughts and experiences with others, who have, unfortunately, joined you on this journey. Your writings give voice to our feelings and a measure of hope that a time will come when life will have moments that are not consumed with sorrow. Thank you.

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    1. There WILL be those moments. My experience is that the sorrow tempers everything, but it does become tolerable after a few years, on most days.

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  3. I am forever thankful for you, Robin, and my other bereaved friends, for the support and understanding I have gotten on this rocky road. I've got a big lump in my throat after reading this. Thanks for writing, my friend. Love and hugs.

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  4. What a lovely and loving gift - thank you for writing this post. You have all been a lifeline for me, and I have begun to miss our blog. I have been "offline" so much lately, and am grateful to be able to come here and catch up with you.

    Thinking of books for you...do you like biography? The letters of the Mitford sisters, and the book about them called "The Sisters," as well as a number of books by Deborah Mitford Devonshire are fascinating, and even funny, in places. How about Anne Lamott - have you read all of her books? I'm reading a book called "The Path" by Laurie Beth Jones. Have you read that? It might be a good one for us to read as a group...(she wrote another called "Jesus, CEO" or something like that - great title, eh?).

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    1. I'll look at those . . . Anne Lamott has begun to repeat herself, don't you think? Although I used her new title as a springboard for a Lenten sermon.

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    2. I haven't read her latest, but did read the one before it (the one about her grandson's birth), and found myself getting impatient with it. (Perhaps that says more about me than about her writing, but I do see what you mean.) However, as I made myself slow down and take it as it was, it spoke to me more deeply, and became a very restful and comforting book. Not as entertaining, illuminating and surprising as the others, but good in a different way.

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  5. When I think about you and the aftermath of Josh's death, I think about praying for and with you. I often imagine us walking together but I do not share the path that you share with these women. I can see how that would be important and am glad that you found each other.

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    1. Someday I'll post about our group!

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  6. It is a blessing that at times our eyes and hearts see people who will become important to us.

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