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Bette Midler had it right: you got to have friends...

When it comes to going through the loss of a child or grandchild, friends are NECESSARY. If you don't have them, you "gotta get some". They come in all shapes and sizes you know. All kinds of personalities. Every one of them filling in part of the puzzle that you need to put together. That puzzle is your psyche, and there is no piece of paper showing you what the finished thing is supposed to look like. I used to say that a lot in the early days after my son Chad died. I'd say "I feel like I'm putting together a puzzle and I don't know what it's supposed to look like." That was a pretty terrible feeling, but anyway...

It's really easy to mess this friends thing up when you're in the deepest grief. I did. I was fussy. I said snappy things. I said jerky things. I vacillated from one thing to the other in a heartbeat. I forgot what I was going to say mid-sentence. I contradicted myself. Let's just say I was not at my best. But the best of my friends still loved me. The less brave-hearted of them (no fault of their own) ditched me. It's ok, I get it. Not even I wanted to be with me. And then of course there were the new ones, some very interesting ones indeed. The old ones, the new ones, the weird ones, the ones you never woulda thunk.

The song says "you got to have friends" and Bette goes on to tell us that "you got to get you some". So listen up and scrape some up. When you start looking, you will find them in the most curious of places.

You'll know what to do by listening to your heart. And, since your heart is cracked and broken and bleeding and open wide now it senses things in ways you couldn't even imagine. So follow the brokenness and it'll bring you to - well, it'll bring you somewhere. Not sure where actually. Wherever you next need to be. I'm pretty sure you can trust that.

Just remember - when people show you who they are, believe them. Let them off the hook for not being what you want them to be. Drop the expectations. Take what you can get. Be grateful for it. You're not so easy to be with you know. Don't be judge-y about these people who are willing to love you through this. I know it's not easy to hear but the you that you think you are is not the you that you are anymore. And you need the friends who see differently. Those are the friends to look for - and it won't be so hard - because you see differently now too.

And it's all going to be okay. Because you will, and you got to, have friends.


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I was so grateful for my friends. They were kind and helpful and loving. Every parent knows it must be the worst thing to lose a child or watch them suffer. I knew that too. But when I lost my son I would say it is so much worse than I could ever imagine. The pain was so deep, so devastating. It’s not something everyone can share with you. They can be there though. This is why I found it helpful to share with other mothers who did know. When I was with them I felt a sad closeness with them even if I didn’t know them well. They understood the depth of the pain. The emptiness. The longing for…

Sep 04, 2021
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Thank you Kathy for your comments. They really resonated with me. I appreciate what you said about "feeling a sad closeness with them even if I didn't know them well". The friends I have who have lost children or grandchildren are a special new group of women in my life, and I appreciate them, and all of you here on this site, very very much. 💜


You are right Rita. The tragedies we face during the course of a lifetime can only be endured by sharing with those who have the courage to hang in there with us, even/especially when we are not our most loving selves. I thank God every day for the love and support of those who have carried me through those tragic experiences ♥️

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