Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Phone Stopped Ringing-

Over 40 people came to the hospital.

Over the first few weeks our home was a-buzz with people.
People bringing food.
People listening.
People crying with us.
People asking.

And then the visits got fewer and the phone didn't ring so much-
And when it did ring it was about the new baby full of life, the movies in the theatre, but he was forgotten.
It was about the happenings of the day, the plans for the weekend- They talked about everything and anything... except him.

Where had they gone?
Where were all the people who sent the cards, made the calls, came for visits?
Was our time up? Did this mean that the world started spinning again? Work would start soon and the past was in the past- Our grief had passed?

I watched the people walk by. I heard the conversations around me. But all I saw was him and my grief and how all of that was invisible now, yet it was the only thing that I saw. The world was spinning, moving at an incredible speed and I was stuck.

Where had they gone?
They thought I was better.
They spoke of babies, and twins and pregnancies.
They laughed.

My time was up. But I wasn't ready- I wanted them back- I needed to talk more- to say his name- to hear them say his name-

But the phone stopped ringing, the mail contained only bills, and it was quiet.
I hated the noise of the silence.

When his wife died I was so sad. What made me the most sad was I knew that in a few weeks his home- which was a flurry of visitors- would be empty. Silent. And I hated that.

So each week I sat down, and penned a card. Sometimes telling about my everyday happenings, but managing to slip in her name, as if to say, I remember.

Each week.

Sometimes a line, sometimes a page but always a remembrance. Always a little butterfly tucked in there somewhere- to show I remembered.

I saw him one day- months later. He told me how he was worried he wouldn't get a card that week, but then he had- and I knew it mattered. I knew that remembering mattered. -Although I hadn't heard from him- it mattered.

So now I wait- I wait until the days when you think I've forgotten. The days that you slip into my head- The days you think I've forgotten- and then I send it. The card that says, "I remember. I'm thinking of you. I'm remembering." I send it because I remember- and they probably do too. But perhaps they think the time has passed and by remembering they would be hurting you- removing the scab that had grown over your horribly broken heart.

I know that when my time was up- they were scared. Scared to say his name and make me sad again. Scared to bring up someone at a moment when I appeared o.k.- and I was o.k.

What I know now is that even in my laughter- if you bring him up- say his name- it does not make me sad. It makes me smile. It makes me pause. It makes me happy. You remembered. You remembered the boy that is only a whisper away- close to my heart- You remembered my invisible boy.

For that- that act of pure kindness I will always remember. And thank you.


  1. Andrew and Baby E.
    I remember for you. I'll remember with you. And yes, that's why often I will say very little in the initial flurry because I know it is in the months, perhaps years down the track, is when I can really help. That's a time when I can really comfort someone. because I know how important it is not to forget. Lots of love to you. xxx

  2. Laura, you manage to say it perfectly every time!! HUGS

  3. how true, my friend...i think we can all learn something from this post...i know how good i feel talking about the people that i have lost...i feel closer to them when i mention their names...i want you to know that your time will never be up with me...i may not have mentioned andrew or baby E recently, but i will always be there for you to talk or reflect about them...<3 and hugs

  4. you are a true friend, you always remember for all of us. And I am always here for you. I love you so much and I am so glad you have this blog it is amazing.

  5. That was really beautiful. That's exactly how I feel too.

  6. Laura,

    Perfectly said! I want to pass this onto to everyone I know... I remember with you and for you and all of us. HUGS, I think this is my Fav!

  7. Hi Laura,
    I want to thank you for sharing your story. I know it is not the same type of loss but I had a serious boyfriend pass away suddenly 6 years ago. Though I have "moved on", the pain is always there. I've just learned to live with it. Reading your blog has helped. Reading that you had to talk about Andrew all the time, even when people didn't seem to want to hear it anymore, telling strangers about him, seeing him everywhere, needing to just say his name and how it felt when the phone stopped ringing all made me feel a little less alone. I'm very sorry that you lost Andrew, but please know that in telling your story you have helped me and I'm sure countless others. I know that Andrew is looking down at you, proud to call you his Mom.
    Thank you again.


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