Last Thursday afternoon I quickly stopped at Panera Bread for soup (of course) before I headed to the WMHT studios to tape the Health Link segment with Benita Zahn. I didn't know it at the time but one of the employees recognized me. She did not reveal she knew who I was until later when she posted me a note on the RIP Chris Stewart Facebook page.
First of all let me say to you from one mom to another, I'm so deeply sorry for your loss. It doesn't matter what the age, a child who passes in an untimely manner is devastating. Miscarriage, stillborn, two weeks, two years, seventeen years... I don't think any age is easier than another. We love deeply and with all we have and the pain sits on the surface of our emotions regardless. Grief is so hard to maneuver.
What I also want to anyone who sees me and wants to approach but is at a loss for words is; do what you feel is right for you in the moment. If you want to stop me and just say "I'm aware of who you are" then fine, do that. If you feel you'd like to say more, do that too but if you don't feel comfortable speaking to me than just do me one quick favor... acknowledge to yourself that you know who I am and say a quick hello to Christopher.
Let him know you see me and that I look OK and I'm doing fine. It would make my day and be a really nice gesture even if I never know you did it. There's something about it that makes me feel like it eases Christopher's worry.
Sometimes I think he's up there worrying about me. Don't get home and regret that you were afraid to speak to me. Life is too short for regrets and anyway, I'm just another mother. I'm a member of this community, same as you. I just happen to have had something quite public occur in my life and my face is now recognizable. I'm very approachable. You won’t be reminding me of anything I'm not already acutely aware of. I do realize my son has passed away. And turn the tables for a sec, do you consider yourself approachable? Would you be bothered or annoyed or put off if someone said hello to you? I'm no different.
We all live here together. We shop in the same places from time to time and eat in the same restaurants. I would think the only time I would prefer to be left alone is when I'm with my family and actually in the midst of a meal. That might be a bad time to chat; other than that I can't really think of a time that a quick hello would ever be an issue.
This blog has really been a godsend to me. Not because I get to talk about Chris and Jeremy and SHEN and my childhood (which I have to admit I love to do) but because I have met many of you now and we actually have virtual relationships! I even met a few of you out and about. One of my readers had a brother who passed away and she could not find a Chinese lantern anywhere to light with her children on his one year anniversary. We made arrangements to meet and I gave her a red one (his favorite color). I need to check back in with her to see how her night went. I also chat with another woman who is going through two incredibly trying times these days. The two of us will be meeting shortly for a hug and a coffee. I can't wait. She says I inspire her but she is the strong one!!!
I'm writing early because I'm on my way out to the Shen/Shaker basketball game. It's a fundraiser for the exorbitant medical expenses Matt and Bailey face on a weekly basis.
My heart just breaks for them and for the pain and suffering they endure. Not only did they lose their friends, they've been physically beat up and are recovering. It may seem like every time you turn around there's another fundraiser and you're probably right but you would never be able to wrap your head around the size of the bills. I'm sure you know what your own insurance charges for the simplest of procedures... magnify that.
Thank God we have such an incredibly giving 518 and beyond. These fundraiser gatherings are helpful in so many ways. Thank you for giving and for participating! It's helpful beyond anything I can explain.
Thank you for reading.