Miss Night's Marbles

Musings, mumbles, marvels, and sometimes mockery, live from kindergarten.

Hold me together

on 18 December, 2012
This post is a mess. But the world feels like a mess right now. And I feel like the only way we are ever going to make it feel less scary is to share our messes. This is not coherent. This is not eloquent. This is bare naked. From my head and heart to my keyboard to your screen, inspired by Jonniker’s messy post about her own reactions to Newtown. It feels more okay to be messy together than neat and tidy and alone.
Ok, so. So this is how things are now. The tears constantly a hair’s breadth from the surface. Alright then.

Two colleagues have candidly told me that they have chosen to push Friday’s events to the bottom of their minds. Like it was the simplest thing in the world.

One of them offered the smug “This sort of thing doesn’t happen in Canada” and I nearly smacked her.

I have no words.

This is a watery sort of grief. It is like swimming in the dark, never knowing when I am going to bump into something that hurts until… I bump into something that hurts.

I see blog posts about mundane things – reading groups and Christmas trees and crazy mothers-in-law – and I get all angry like people have no business writing about anything that is NOT SANDY HOOK.

But my God – can you imagine if all anyone was ever writing about was Sandy Hook? THANK GOD for reading groups and Christmas tress and crazy in-laws, really.

Here’s the thing, and I am putting it out there: I am having a  hard time with this. I am not high-strung or melodramatic. I am not prone to anxiety (other than some weird social quirks) or obsessive thought patterns. I am pretty stable, pretty no-nonsense, pretty grounded. I am, generally speaking, AWESOME in a crisis. I am good at keeping things in perspective.

I am not a particularly fragile person, but I am fragile right now.  I HAVE NO PERSPECTIVE FOR THIS. Earlier today I was panicky about that – what is wrong with me? Why can’t I just DEAL? What is WITH the mood swings? Why am I SO CRABBY?

Oh, right, yes. It’s called grief. This is what grief does. Yes, now I remember.

Okay. So. F*ck it. This is who I am for right now. I cry over the goddamn Christmas shoes song.

I know the things that soothe me:
  • Competitive cooking shows
  • Hot chocolate
  • Cool sheets
  • My ridiculous dog laying on my chest
  • Buying expensive groceries
  • Braiding my hair
  • Walking the hallways, seeking out the faces of my students from the last 4 years
 I know the things I am grateful for
  • Dinner plans with my best girlfriends on Saturday
  • Which is also an excuse to buy a new dress
  • A particularly huggy and snuggly group of kiddos in my class
  • A boss who lets me yell and rage at her and with her
  • My twitter people who share their own messes so freely and make me feel less weird
  • My friend Lauren, who has promised to post pictures of camp to Facebook every day until I am through this week, just because I asked her to, because maybe pictures of the most healing place I know will help to heal… this.

I have a friend, from grad school. She is probably the only Christian Conservative friend I have. I love and respect the hell out of her. No pun intended. I am not a religious person, (Catholicism and I broke up a long time ago), but on Friday night, I asked this friend for some prayers. And now, every night around this time, she prays the prayer I asked for. And this weekend, her whole church prayed that prayer. And you know what? THAT is frinking comforting. A whole church raising up their hearts to pray for something I am worried about? Yeah, there go the tears again. There is something to be said for a friend like that, who will pray for you just because you ask. And not just in a “you’re in my prayers” sort of way, but in a hands-clasped, conversing-with-The-Big-Guy way. Michelle, if you’re reading? Keep talking to the Big Guy, okay? Because if He is listening to anyone, it is probably you.

My dad will be home from Texas for Christmas, soon, and as I always do at weepy times, I want my daddy.

So there. This is how things are now. I usually try to write better than this – tighter, cleaner.

But right now, things are messy.

How are you?

13 Responses to “Hold me together”

  1. […] As you know, Sandy Hook hit me very very hard. It made me very angry, and then very sad. […]

  2. […] into Christmas break, I was so burnt, so broken, so tired, the pain of Newtown still so fresh, that I knew in advance: this break is not for Getting Things Done. I am a great one for having […]

  3. I’ve been crying a lot. I feel so much grief over this. It is making me question whether or not I am making the change I want to see in the world. I blogged a little about it here. http://1stinmaine.blogspot.com/2012/12/vacation.html Thank you for sharing. I always love to see what you are thinking.

    • Miss Night says:

      Kimberly, for whatever it is worth, know you are not alone in your tears. Mine come and go, and I’ve sort of learned to just live with them and their sneak attacks. I try to find little giggles wherever I can, and focus on putting love into the world. I sometimes have guilt about that, too, but… that’s the thing about grief – it is enormously complicated, predictably unpredictable. Sometimes, counting my blessings helps, and others, it makes me feel so selfish. Wishing you peace and joy as Christmas approaches. May 2013 bring magic to all of us.

  4. Meg says:

    Thank you, Amy. I’ve been upset for reasons beyond comprehension and words-so thank you for so candidly sharing your mess.

    • Miss Night says:

      Meg, reading that post I linked to, from Jonniker’s blog, and all the accompanying comments, made me realize that one of the things making us all feel so lonely is that many of us think we are the only ones who didn’t have their sh*t back together by Monday. Scared and sad and alone is ever so much worse than scared and sad together. Love to you, my friend.

  5. Thank you for sharing your wonderful mess and allowing us to share ours. I´am also having a hard time dealing with this.I had to deal with tragedy two years ago when one of my beloved students died.I was overwhelmed with an incredible pain. Even though my brain understood that life must go on,I asked myself,How can people laugh and talk abouth trivial things? Why is everybody going on with their lives so easily? And of course the crying (which I am doing right now as I write as well) Still I had to find the strength to go on for my other kids, who needed me to be there for them. Thinking abouth Sandy Hook, it´s beautiful children and heroic teachers brought back some of those painful feelings, feelings of sadness and frustration. That´s why it is important to share our feelings and thought and let it all out in order to start the healing process. BIG HUGS FROM GUATEMALA !

    • Miss Night says:

      Thank you, Claudia. I think that, for many of us, new grief brings up old grief, and everything gets mixed together in a big, messy, slop. For now, I have just made peace with the crying, as long as it stays away when I am with children. Love to you, and Merry Christmas.

  6. […] I now EXACTLY how you feel! RT @happycampergirl: Hold me together http://t.co/d01wadXB #kinderchat  […]

  7. Faige says:

    Your words echo the feelings in my broken heart. To hard to understand, don’t know how one copes with this kind of loss. When as a young mother, my kids were everything to me and I looked forward to watching them grow. Now a grandma of three delectable grandkids, my fear, my worries are just heightened when something like this happens. I thank God for watching out for mine, but want Him to watch out for others as well. On Monday I entered my kindergarten class, set up the room and went to greet my class! I was overwhelmed with emotion knowing how their parents must feel letting them go and entrusting them to us. That’s how I felt when I was a young mother and that’s how I feel about my grandkids. Does time heal all wounds. Don’t know, don’t think so. Thank you for sharing your feelings and for letting me share my comments.

  8. Thanks for normalizing these feelings for all of us. I sat around a campfire Friday night with some teen drug addicts and fellow staff, and we all cried. It’s grief…but also empathic distress (and a bit of empathic anger, both very pro-social :)). If you WEREN’T a mess…then start worrying.

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