One of the first things people told us was “Be ready, your address book is about to change.” I immediately thought “Shit! What are they talking about? Why would that be one of the first things you say to someone that has just lost their child? I don’t want to lose friends! I can’t lose friends. This is just not the right time!”
And then… days later, weeks later, months later, they were totally right. My initial reaction went straight to the negative, because, why not? Everything seemed negative. I noticed people were afraid of us. People started to realize that whatever they had to say wouldn’t fix the problem. They couldn’t bring Simon back. We were isolated as we realized we were now THE elephant in the room. I say THE because it’s a big elephant. People stopped texting. Stopped checking in. Stopped sharing their feelings with us. Some people were all in at the beginning, and then life for them went back to normal while our lives remained in hell. Just as the books we read predicted. There are some people we have still never heard a single word from, not. one. word. The disappearing acts surprise me even to this day. But that’s okay. It was predicted. We were warned. Our address book would change, and it has.
You know what they didn’t tell us about? They didn’t tell us about how our address book would change in such unique and beautiful ways. I didn’t know which people would come out and be our biggest champions. Some of them I could have predicted, but others blow me away. I didn’t know that people across the country, who have experienced the loss of their son would be just a text or a phone call away. I didn’t know that people I haven’t talked to in years would be right by my side and climb down my hole and sit with me. I didn’t know that I would have a network of people I have never even met in person sharing the most intimate details of their lives with me. People that allow me the space to do the same. I didn’t know that people from our support group community would immediately offer up phone numbers and email addresses with the directives to call or text anytime, day or night. I never would have imagined sending packages to Arizona or Australia and anxiously awaiting there arrival to hopefully brighten up someone else’s day, someone I have never met in person. I didn’t know that I would be receiving care packages from other loss moms as a way to brighten up my day. I didn’t know that I would have butterflies in my stomach as I prepare myself to meet a fellow loss mom. Someone that has supported me through so many of my spiraling days. I didn’t realize that I would hear stories from friends that they have shared with few people. Stories of hope and stories of sadness and stories that now give us an even greater bond.
For all of this, I’m okay with the address book changes. And for these changes, I feel fortunate.