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Monday, January 10, 2011

Balance Beam...

I realize that all of my relationships are very one-sided right now. They should be reciprocal but they’re not. I’ve never been great at reaching out and making an effort to stay connected with people, but right now it’s worse-it’s just more than I can handle. It takes all of my mental energy to just exist and I don’t have the ability to think about connecting with others, much less actually follow through.

It’s like when you’re a little kid learning how to walk on a balance beam. Each step precarious, and requiring great effort. One little distraction that breaks your concentration sends you tumbling and you’ve lost your balance. After giving birth to two children at one time my equilibrium was off for a while. My focus was on learning how to incorporate two humans into my life who depended solely on me and my husband to exist. Just when I was back on my feet I lost my husband and once again I’ve lost my balance. Now those two little humans depend solely on me and me alone. My confidence has been shaken, and I have to focus and concentrate very hard to just make it through the day. Each step, no matter how small, is scary. One little distraction and I go tumbling…

I know I’m pushing people away, or at the very least not pulling them in my direction. I don’t want people to forget about me. I don’t want people to forget about Andie. I don’t want people to quit talking about him, or sharing things about him. Now that I’m on the back side of a year, past the first 6 months, and this is no longer considered “new” or “fresh” by most standards, I’m terrified that people will forget. I don’t want people to stop checking in or making the effort, but I also understand it’s hard to be on the giving end all of the time…

I wonder if this is why the theme of losing old friends and making new ones is so big in the widow world; lots of widows talk about how the very people they thought they could depend on are suddenly nowhere to be found. We simply don’t have the mental energy to devote to keeping up with friends, and I wonder if they fade away because they get tired of making all the effort. Because they don't understand that they are requiring too much from us. Because just when things are getting back to normal for them, our lives are hit with the full gravity of the situation just as the shock has worn off. Yet, there are those who never give up and keep checking in. I truly thank God for them, and am blessed to have many people like this in my life. I'm just terrified that they too will eventually tire of shouldering all the responsibility to keep our connection going.

I guess what I’m trying to say is…I promise I’ll get my balance back. I'm working on it.
Just please, don’t give up on me...


  1. Brooke,
    I can completely relate to this post. I am terrible at returning calls and messages. I make a menatl note that I need to catch up with someone or give them a call back , and I literally forget it a minute later. Socializing is exhuasting and overwhelming. It seems as though no matter what the subject, conversation with friends and family is compltely draining, even if it's positive.

    I asked the same of my friends and family, I literally had to say "I'm sorry for being bad at communication, just please keep trying, don't give up."

    ...Keeping you in my thoughts <3

  2. Brooke-I have been following your blog off and on since I posted a few months back. I admire your strength during this time and ability to be vulnerable to all who visit this site. I definitely don't know what you are going through but pray for strength in your life and for the balance to return. Losing a loved one is never easy. I lost three family members at the same time due to an accident and was close to each of them. Never second guess yourself. You have to do what is best for you and your girls. Everyone should be able to understand that. It is not about them at this point. It takes a selfless person to realize that. Keep on eventually that balance will return. I have been very inspired by your blog and I think you should turn it into a book. It may help another widow who is going through a similar time. Maybe not now but in the future. Just food for thought. Take care.


  3. I did not loose a husband, but I am learning so much from you. I lost a child in 2007. If you have time and can please read my post from this week...Hope it helps in some tiny way...

    visit: Buddhabelly

  4. I've just stumbled upon your blog,I'm sorry for your loss. I have a friend who too recently lost her husband and in all her messages she writes "thanks for standing by me, please don't give up." I could never imagine not being there for someone who needed it. I'm sure your friends understand. For you and her both we'll keep waiting no matter how long it takes, ready when your ready :)

  5. In a blog I read one day, she said as a widow with children, you are not just a single parent but the sole parent. As a one time divorced parent and now a recent widow with 3 kids, those words "sole parent" really hit home. My true friends and family are there for me. It is the emotionally needy friends that I can not deal with anymore - they really do not get it and sometimes I do not think they even try to get it.