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Exquisite Pain

I saw you at the party this week, and even though you smiled, you didn’t smile with your eyes.

I know what it’s like.

Because when someone we love is ailing it seems wrong that the world continues to exist. At the very least the parties should stop or pause and folks shouldn’t expect you to participate.

But they do, so you go and you smile with your teeth, but sob alone at night, in the car or when a reflection takes you by surprise.

I really need to let you know that I understand, I’ve been there. I’ve been the caretaker, blindly grasping for help in hospital corridors and begging nurses for real answers. I’ve been the one to stay up all night faxing letters to the administrators and still getting up early to bring my kids to school.

I’ve done this. And so many of us have. If you haven’t then you will soon, it will be your turn to care for someone you love and to ache in a way that makes you feel a little bit dead inside but reminds you that you are still alive all at once.

It’s why I started blogging, that exquisite pain than engulfed me when Steven fell ill for the last time.

I wanted to tell you that I saw your eyes not smile, but it was a party, and that wouldn’t have been the time or place.

Use your resources, I see them coming at you, they will be lifelines.

8 thoughts on “Exquisite Pain”

  1. It brought me to tears… I’ve been dealing with a lot of that lately… and its really to know that other people have been through it, and know that pain.

    Thank you dear, so much.

  2. After dealing with several young friends all passing within weeks of one another…thankyou for posting something so simple, true and beautifully heartbreaking.

  3. only one who has been there knows that smile. i have worn it myself. those who knew me best saw right through it. i hope the person you wrote that for was able to read your words and know they are not alone.

    you always hit it right, my friend!

  4. Wow. I’d like to have cards made with this post. Just slip them in someone’s unsuspecting pocket so they can have comforting words waiting when they get home. Thanks for always saying what we’re thinking perfectly.

  5. So extremely difficult to care for a loved one in chronic pain. I know what that is like, although, it wasn’t a child. How heart-wrenching!

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