I was planning to write about part two of my vacation from real life—when I returned to New York City after my trip to Barbados just in time to greet my fellow authors from faraway lands who were in town for the Book Expo America Conference. I had such a fantastic, if not exhausting, time but I don’t feel like writing about it. My friend Samantha Stroh Bailey wrote a terrific recap here if you’re interested.
I was also thinking about doing a mass giveaway of my most recent novel, How Do You Know? I think it’s my best writing so far and I want to reach a larger audience but I don’t feel like promoting today either. (Although if you want a free ecopy, send me an email as I’m in a generous mood.)
My books are lighthearted, fun reads but my heart is too heavy right now to write a light, fun blog post. I miss my boss/best friend Alan so much and I can’t shake it off. Maybe I don’t want to shake it off. Missing him keeps him alive but the pain right now is excruciating. Don’t get me wrong, not a day has gone by since he died that I haven’t missed him and thought about him a hundred times an hour. But sometimes it’s a dull pain—I know he’s gone and I hate it but I go to work, write, spend time with friends, exercise, watch television, date, and yes, enjoy being alive. Other times, more often than not in the last week, the pain is sharp and I feel the grief so deep in my bones that I can’t breathe. The silliest things set me off and I break down while doing my ab routine at home, while doing sprints in spin class, while making coffee in the pantry at work etc. For instance, I cried remembering how Alan would sometimes reply to my emails/texts with a simple “Ok” and when I would complain that he wasn’t really listening to me, he’d respond, “Ok” again just to piss me off. I couldn’t be angry with him because I was too busy laughing. Another example: I was getting ready for work one morning, listening to a concert on the Today Show, and from out of nowhere, I heard Alan’s voice saying, “O No You Dit-ten” and I felt my heart in my throat.
The man could read my moods like no one else. He would take one look at me and know when I was having a bad day without my saying a word. He’d say, “What’s wrong, Merrybeth?” and my lips would tremble and the whole story would come pouring out. The amount of time he spent trying to cheer me up when I was down could be measured in years. I think about going the rest of my life without hearing his voice or his laugh and I’m terrified. I wonder how I will navigate this crazy world without his encouragement, guidance and humor. He had such faith in me and tried tirelessly to make me see myself the way he did but he died before he succeeded. Every day, someone’s life is irrevocably changed due to the death of a loved one and somehow the world keeps turning but right now, as I hover over my tablet at the coffee shop blinking back my tears, I can’t breathe.
It’s called a grieving “process” but a process suggests that it will end and I can’t imagine a time when I won’t miss him with a fervor. I don’t publicly dwell on my grief very often and only share it with a select few in sporadic outbursts. I think I’m embarrassed. Like I should be “over it” by now and the fact that I’m not makes me weak. Maybe I’m not trying hard enough but how does one “try” to stop missing someone? Alan used to implore me not to dwell on things I couldn’t control and I’m dwelling for sure. I’m sorry, Alan.
When I first started blogging on this site, I wrote a post called Blog Vows promising, among other things, to keep it real:
I vow to keep it real. I will not paint my life as one of perfection because we all know that no one’s life is perfect. I will post the good, the bad and the ugly. But the ugly will not include pictures of myself after a two hour run or after just waking up in the morning. I vow to post about my books and my writing but also anything on my mind I think might be of interest to my followers, including but not limited to events in pop culture and humorous observations about life in New York City or anywhere else my travels take me.
So, today I’m keeping it real by admitting that I’m having a difficult month. But it’s time to wrap this up. My plan for this afternoon was to spend an hour on my blog and two hours on my fiction but it’s almost five o’clock and I need to get home and prepare for my evening out. Stay tuned for my next post which will hopefully correspond to the humorous, light tone of my novels! Similar to a good book, I like to keep you guessing and, truth be told, I often surprise myself.
I like that you can express in words so well how you feel. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you grieve. There really is no time schedule for grieving such a great loss.
Thank you so much. I hate having no control over my feelings but like Alan always said, “It is what it is.”
Reblogged this on Susieqlaw's Blog and commented:
On grief by @meredithschorr author
Meredith, you need to go easier on yourself. Like you said, grief is a process, and this is something you will never get over. You will just learn to live with it a little better, day by day. I feel your pain and can relate whole-heartedly. When you’re in the midst of that raw grief, it’s difficult to believe life will ever be less excruciating. It will — you just have to accept that it will take a long while, and know the grief will continue to slam you in the most unexpected moments, but the moments will be fewer with time. I wish I could take this pain from you. You’re in my thoughts. ♥
Thank you, Shelly. I know you are no stranger to grief. I appreciate you sharing your experience.
Thanks for being so open with us. You keep Alan’s memory alive by sharing posts like this. I feel like we really get a chance to know what he was like and why he was so special to you. I can’t even imagine experiencing such a loss, but I also know that grief doesn’t just go away. It hasn’t even been a year yet, right? HUGS
Thank you, Melissa. It’s been 11 months today (exactly).
Hi Meredith, I’m sure you’ve been told that no one grieves the same. It’s different for everyone including members of a family who have lost a loved one. My dad died March 21, 2012 and I’ll never be “over” the loss. It’s left a huge hole in my heart and in my life. Sometimes I think I’m obsessing or not healing quickly enough but there’s no such thing as grieving too much. Life is a gift and should be cherished during and after the life. You will have more days like this I suspect. I do. I’ll wonder why I’m feeling down and remember: Dad’s not here. I can’t call and listen to his silly jokes or long, long stories of his life. But I have wonderful memories and I make an effort to think about them as well.
Thank you. I’m so sorry for your loss too. I sometimes forget he’s not here and I will go to send him a text and then I’ll remember… It’s amazing how this aspect of life is shared by everyone at one point or another.
I found a great poem by Maya Angelou that may be of comfort to you:
Perhaps the process of grieving goes through a cycle, but I don’t think missing someone ever goes away. I do not have a mother–mine was never what one would hope for in a mother. I have not gone a day not wishing that I had a mother like others have. Does that ever go away? Nope–and I was told to “let it go” and “get over it” by well-meaning folks.
I think your grief speaks to the kind of person Alan was, and if anything, I commend you for loving and caring so deeply. That is the essence of the human experience, and you have embraced it. Rather than try to get over the emotion, maybe the time has come to allow it room to exist as worthwhile? We are made up of our hurts and loves, our joys and our losses.
Thank you, Ally. I like to think that the way I feel now is a testament to how much I really loved him. That capacity for love is amazing but damn it hurts!
So very sorry for your loss. A wonderful article, however, that I can certainly relate to. Be well and much success.
Thank you so much.
Now i know what you meant by grueling blog post. I am sorry.. I wish i could have been at the coffee shop sitting next to you to give you a big hug… Life is hard. Death sucks. There is no right or wrong feeling. Grief comes in waves. Ride them. Cry when you have to. Smile when you want to. Alan will always be alive in your memories…
Thanks, Hilary. XO.
I love you, Meri. I love you for your courage, honesty, and ability to put into words what so many of us experience and don’t know how to express. This post will touch so many people who have gone through the crushing loss you have. You get through every day the best you can and keep Alan’s memory alive, while surging forward step by step. I am sending you my tightest hug. xoxoxo
Thank you so much, Sam.
I applaud your courage and honesty. Your words will be a healing balm to countless others. Don’t know if you have read Sheryl Sandberg’s thoughts on the sudden death of her husband. You can find the essay here …
Sending thoughts, prayers and hugs your way.
This post of Facebook by Sheryl Sandberg (a mover and shaker for Facebook by the way) is one of the most profound, moving baring of a soul in grievous pain I have ever read. She’s an amazing women to have had the courage and strength to share so publicly her emotions and broken heart and spirit. Everyone should read it because we all will lose parts of our soul as our loved ones leave this world.
Thank you so much for sharing this with me. It is incredibly brave to be so raw and honest publicly about one’s emotions. It’s also very scary! I will read this again when I have more time to truly take it in.
Reblogged this on Macjoyful's Minimal Musings and commented:
Grief is something we go through whether we’re ready for it or not. You think you’ll be strong and help carry the burden of grief with your family and friends. But some days it’s just not possible. You wonder “When will this dark night of the soul end? I’m walking in the shadow of death and I feel so removed from those who seem to have no cares in this world. Why? There are no answers. But there is hope of a light at the end of the tunnel.
My dad was a Baptist minister for 50 years. He has so many, many friends from all the various parishes he pastored. Not just friends but church members who are like family. He never knew a stranger. He was the life of every part, every family get together and loved to share his “gift” of corny jokes. I will always think of him with that huge grin and mischievous twinkle in his eyes. His life touched many people and it has a rippling effect. It’s true of anyone’s life.
If we can reach out and share experiences with others, I believe it helps not only those one attempts to comfort but helps in ones own healing process.
Poem by Maya Angelou read at Joe Biden’s son’s funeral. It’s a moving, eloquent poem of life lost.
That’s beautiful. I’m waiting for the peace to bloom part 🙂 Thank you for sharing.
I’m so sorry for your loss… thank you for sharing that with us. I hope by writing it helped you to feel better, at least for today… One day at a time I guess. Good luck – surround yourself with all those who love you and whom you love – they’ll give you the strength and courage you need…
Thank you so much. Yes, it’s a one day at a time thing. Writing makes me feel better but it also brings the emotions right to the surface and in that way, sometimes makes me feel worse. But it’s the way I cope.
Such a beautiful post, Meredith! Alan will always be with you…
Thank you, Isabella! There is a song that Ringo Starr wrote for George Harrison after we died called “Never Without You” and it always makes me think of Alan.
Isn’t it amazing how some people touch us so much that the fact that they’re no longer with us is mind-spinning. I think it’ll always hurt, and you’ll always miss him, but the important thing is noting how this one person helped shape the person you’ve become. When you have friends like Alan, you’re lucky for having known them.
It’ll get easier. I know it will. There’s a quote, I can’t remember if it’s from the movie, or book, “Zoya,” by Danielle Steel, but I hope it helps.
“Time has a mysterious kindness. It gives back to us what we have lost through wisdom and memories.”
That’s a great quote, Becky. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
Meredith, this is a beautiful post and it honors Alan by referring to how much he meant to you – – even the little things. Your words about Alan’s wit and personality brought a smile to my face and made me feel as if I knew him.
I lost my aunt last month and understand exactly what you’re going through. It’s perfectly normal to feel guilt for enjoying and experiencing the things we do every day. It’s very cliché but it’s true that time does heal all wounds. In the meantime, be very gentle with yourself.
Sending you virtual hugs.
Thank you, Lori. I’m so sorry about your loss as well. Hopefully, time will heal both of our wounds!