so much to say … #selfie

I have tried to sit down and write countless times since Rachel passed [eight weeks ago tomorrow]  … but with my heart  not in it and attempting a fake-it-til-you-make-it  attitude (not to mention parenting two wild and crazy kids) words on paper screen just didn’t happen.

Like the gym and taking care of myself (enough sleep,  healthy food  choices) … in spite  of  knowing what to do and doing it (even in small increments)… writing has fallen to the wayside.

Of course, this isn’t the first  time I’ve uttered that phrase (and surely not the last),  but nonetheless  it saddens me … mostly  because she and I both had writing/blogging in common,  and our writing styles were  even similar — long  before we knew one another.

Life is funny like that, isn’t it?

This  weekend, I had one of those moments of clarity. Following  an amazing visit with my sister, I intended to take a cheesy selfie for her, showing her how sad I was  that she had left (because I was! I missed  her already!).

The kids were napping and Luis was out running an errand. So I stood huddled in a corner of  our playroom and looked down, clicked a shot … and figured that would be that.

But when I actually  looked at the photo I’d snapped (below), it told a completely  different story. I was taken aback by the raw,  genuine emotion displayed on my face; emotion I had  been feeling but haven’t truly expressed to anyone except my husband, mom, sister and best  friend.


Typically, I hate selfies and think they are ridiculous; a deep dive into our narcissistic  society is a blog post in and of  itself.

But in this case  … it wasn’t ridiculous at all. I’d somehow managed  to capture the essence of my own grief and sadness … a  reflection of exactly  how  I’d been feeling these past nearly eight weeks. This photo somehow evokes far more  than I could ever  explain.

Upon seeing it, I teared up … angry and sad and confused, all at once. Because  that’s grief. It comes in fits and bursts,  sometimes out of nowhere,  sometimes a tornado of several emotions  at once and sometimes it lingers, even when everyone around me seems “normal”. And then sometimes it dissipates, as life goes on.

And life has gone on … as it should. There have been parties  and work functions and date nights and visitors and delicious  meals and laughs.

But there have also been moments when I burst into tears out  of  nowhere. There was her Celebration of Life with hundreds of  people, and our big Pitch Perfect 2 viewing party [on her birthday] I organized that she should have been at … There  was the lulu coat her husband gave to me that still smells like her sweet laundry soap — impossible to miss. And of course  there are the lunch dates/gossip fests at the Kalamazoo Beer  Exchange  that I am longing  for (“Agent Henriquez  and Agent Doxey reporting  for duty!” we’d tease). Those precious lunch dates broke up the work day and left me feeling rejuvenated before heading back to the office for the afternoon;  her energy was  contagious.

And though she isn’t here, she’s still everywhere — and there’s comfort  in that.

When I type  “R” into Outlook, her  email address  still pops up first. (We  were regular email buddies).

Photos  of her appear in my newsfeed as family and friends  continue to tag her  on Facebook. (This  is how we mourn  in 2015).

Maya has had a lot of questions about Rachel that appear out of nowhere — like today on the way to school — but I’ll save  that  for a future  post. (I will say, kids are very intuitive and  both Luis and I have been shocked by some of her questions and her  the maturity of her thought process).

One of the things my mom instilled in me at  a young  age (she lost  her dad  at 9; my uncle — her brother — died when I was  3) is to speak their name; talk about  those we have loved and lost. It keeps  their memory alive and helps us grieve and also carry on. It helped me cope  when Jason died and he’s  still someone I talk about  and think  about  regularly. Like Rach,  he was unforgettable … one of those special people who we will always hold close.

Whose name we will always speak … through laughter and tears.



3 thoughts on “so much to say … #selfie

  1. You’ve captured grief so beautifully here, though I wish you didn’t have to. I’m so sorry you lost your friend.

    (And I look forward to a future post about the narcissism of selfies.)

  2. Xoxo.

    You know how I feel about soaking in this stage for a bit… Just keep celebrating Rachel all along the way.

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