Monday, December 3, 2012

I am glad you were born.

So...I started this post in mid September.  I never finished it.  But I wanted to post it anyway, because it sitting there, dangling, is keeping me from writing the next thing...
I'm posting it, as it was, unedited.  I know I planned a lot of other things to say.  I just never said them.  :)

I haven't written in weeks.  I guess there are a lot of reasons for that.  I have a new job.  I am busy.  I am a teacher and it's the beginning of a new school year.  My water heater broke and flooded the basement.  And this:

September 8, was Leslie's birthday.  She would have turned 39.

It was also the date of my high school reunion.  20 years.

These things are closely connected in my heart and terrifically separate as well.

I ran into a man at the reunion ( I guess I cannot say that I "ran into" was my high school reunion and he went to my high school so he was supposed to be there and so was I, but you get the idea) who said he had been reading my Facebook, blog, etc. and had thought "Amy needs some help.." And he assured me, and I believed him, that it wasn't thought in an unkind way.  But in a pretty honest way.  And he told me in a pretty honest way.

Hearing that from him made me a realize a few things. And before I share those with you let me share THESE things with  you:

  • He knew Leslie, too...back then.  Not the Leslie I knew at the time of her death, but the Leslie of middle school and high school.  And the me of middle school and high school, too, obviously.  
  • We'd had some wine.  Not enough to lie to each other while falling over.  In fact, quite the opposite.  Just enough to tell each other the absolute truth.  
So when Doug (we'll call him Doug for our purposes...and because his name is Doug) told me that he'd thought many times in the last five years that I needed to get some help because I was having a really hard time with Leslie's death it made me see some things really clearly.  Actually, it made me see that, while maybe I already DID see a few things clearly, maybe other people didn't know that I did.  

By the way, for the first time in a long time, I feel like my writing is making no sense.  But bear with me.  Maybe it will when I'm done?

The first thing is the most important thing.  I want you all to know this:  I am writing this blog for a couple of reasons but the biggest reason is that it is meant to be helpful to other people who are going through this.  In some unusual way, this blog is meant to be some kind of substitute for an unwritten self help book.  Maybe it will inform such a book to be someday written by me.  Sometimes I think it comes across like it's catharsis for me.  And it IS.  But that's not it's main point.

When "THIS" happened to my friends...I was really struck by how HARD it was and how little information there was out in the world that was specific to our situation.  And it was particularly odd to me in a world where Sex and the City and "Chick Lit" was creating this big cloud of interest around female friendships...and yet we were left hanging when we lost one another.

My goal in writing this blog was to open up to other women (and men) who have been through what I've been through...they've lost their best friend to murder and violence.

The other thing it made me realize is that sometimes "help" comes in ways other people don't recognize as "help".  Doug sees this all coming out of me in the last 8 months or so...all of you do.  For the five years before this...none of this came out of me.  That was the problem.  Sharing these thoughts with you is the help.

I feel better about this than I ever have.  Things happen that make it hard.  This summer, for example...whoa, right?  I took that whole James Holmes thing way hard.  But being able to share it here, with whoever my readers are, it made it real, it made it valid, and I got through it.

And for my readers who ARE going through this...those things will happen.  And you don't know when and you don't know why.  But you ride them out.  You tell the people who need to know and who can help you, and you work through it.

And maybe someone reads this and feels even a little bit better.