my heart looks like your heart

my heart looks like your heart

Friday, October 18, 2013

that's all

six months ago my friend callie left this world. it was unexpected. it was shocking. and it was her choice. 

callie's bracelet was on the table.
when i held it, from her wrist to mine,
it was like feeling the pulse of her life.
six months, in the big scheme of things, when you look at a whole entire lifetime, is not that long. 
when you look at a baby and the growth and development from the moment they're born until they're six months old, six months' time is tremendous. 
when you look at it not day by day or even minute by minute, but breath by difficult breath, it can be an eternity.
it can be a nightmare. 
and unfortunately, it can be a reality.

i spent some time recently with callie's mother. we cried a lot. we laughed a lot. how she laughed, i don't know. we listened to each other. we taught each other things we didn't know about callie. we held each other. 

sometimes it happens that we are gifted with the presence of another person and we don't know why it happens when it does ... we might not even think about it. but afterwards we know that it was necessary. that's all. we can feel that we needed to be sharing life with each other at that moment.  life. strength. love. 

as i sat with callie's mom and felt her love and heartache, there were times when her laugh or her words would sound exactly like callie.  it was amazingly freaky and comforting at the same time.  i stared at her in a way i never have before.  i remembered how we first met and how we never would have imagined we would be in this position now.

after holding each other and breathing the same breaths with our faces touching, she got up to get something to give me.  i had not come for anything and certainly did not expect to leave with anything. she knew this, and she placed a bracelet in my hand.  a bracelet of callie's.  i held it in the palm of my hand, i held it to my face, and couldn't let go of it.  again it was like the pulse of her life.  the pulse of the universe.  i put it on and have not taken it off even for a moment.  when i first had the experience which i wrote about, of sitting next to the man on the airplane, taking pictures of his bracelets representing suicide prevention, not knowing that it was just hours after callie had left us, i had no way to fathom that i would be the one wearing a bracelet of the same heartache ... same yet different ... 6 months later.

there are some things that are never the same.
no one's life is ever the same as another's.
no one's grief is ever the same as another's.
and a mother's life after the loss of her child is never the same as her life before.

it isn't an experience that she ever "gets through." 
it isn't something that ever becomes "normal."

as mothers we often questions ourselves when it comes to our parenting:  should i have done that differently?  did i get that right?  was i wrong about that?  did i handle that in the best way?  was that a mistake i just made?  am i screwing up my child? over and over and over.  

a mother who has lost her child to suicide has her own set of additional questions that no one else has. 

i am grateful for callie's life.  i am grateful for the ways she touched so many lives around her.  for those who know callie, they know what i mean, and they know that i am not sanctifying her.  i am grateful for her mother, without whom callie would not have been the person she was and remains to be, to so many others in this world.  

as i sat with callie's mom i could feel not only her heartache and her struggle, but also callie's strength and tenacity.  i could feel callie.  and regardless of anything else, i was so proud of her mom.  not everyone grows up to have such a positive lasting effect on so many others.  not everyone grows up to be a giver.  not everyone grows up and asks that their mother live near them when they don't have to.  not everyone lives with the fearlessness of callie bradley mooney.  she exercised her right to make her own choices, that's for sure.  and her legacy will live on in the hearts and minds and lives of countless other people.  and that will then trickle down to the other lives that those people touch.  and callie would not have done that and been that, if her mother had not been her mother.

i knew while we shared this time, that there were no words i could say that would make anything better.  we both talked in circles with no logical thought patterns, just whatever came to mind and came out of our mouths.  i knew there was nothing i could do.  and i can't explain why or how, but i also knew i needed to be there ... we needed to be there ... at that very moment, having that very experience.  that's all.

you know how when someone's life is over, you have things you wish you had said, things you wish you had done ... it always happens, whether you knew the end was near or whether it was a total unexpected event.  yeah i have those things too ... 

i guess at this moment, with callie's pulse on my own wrist, i just miss her.  

that's all.

american foundation for suicide prevention
cards callie would love LOL

november 23 is international survivors of suicide day.  click here to get involved:
international survivors of suicide day 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013


i promise that you will have at least one moment in your life when you will feel scared.
you will have a moment when you feel misunderstood.
or alone.
or inadequate.
or just plain sad.
you are going to have times that hurt.
and times that aren't fair.
this is not because there is anything wrong with you.
there isn't.
this is life.
and life isn't always fair.
instead of asking "why me?"  learn to ask "why not me?"    

i promise that although i have never been in your shoes, and i haven't been You, i have experienced all of those things too, and i understand how hard life can be. 

i promise that when you are facing something i have never experienced, i will face it with you. 

i promise that you can come to me with anything, and i will stand by you.
i promise not to fix your problems.
not because i don't love you.
but because i do.
and because i believe in you.
i promise you are stronger and braver than you think you are. 

i promise that i will not scold you.
i will not judge you.
i will not use your words against you
and i will not tell you how to live your own life. 
your life is YOUR journey. 

i promise to love you, always more, and never less.
i promise that this will be true every single night when you lay your head down to sleep. 

i promise that you are never, ever, alone.