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Some Things Do Not Stop Being

Steaming coffee cup on a rainy day window background

The subject of this blog post asked that I take it down based on the personal backlash he has received.  I have chosen to edit the post accordingly, since he had no idea what he was stepping into.

What a weird and terrible day for my heart.  Many of you watched it unfold on the interwebs. Throngs of you responded, in words, texts, comments, responses, emails, and essays of your own.  And I love you for it.

A few nights ago, Tuck was experiencing such severe breakthrough pain, so named because it breaks through all the barriers meant to keep it away, that I spent a a couple of hours alternating between holding my writhing son as he cried in pain, describing his symptoms on the phone with the ER nurse, and trying to decide at what point we should wave the white flag and go in for morphine and oxicodone.  When I spoke with our doctor the next day, thinking maybe there is something far greater going on and I’m not doing enough for him, he responded, “Actually, this is to be expected.  Don’t forget – his foot has just recently been put back together.”

I’m in a place of missing Robb and mourning the life that isn’t in ways that I just can’t articulate.  But maybe it’s because my exhaustion is so fierce in this sleepless summer of the broken foot, this summer that’s not what I was planning, this summer of fulltime care and endless sacrifice, that most of my heart seems inarticulate.  I wonder if I should call my doctor, if I should adjust my medications, if there’s something far greater going on and I’m not going enough for myself and my family.  But, so similar to the words of Tucker’s experts, mine have said, “Actually, Tricia, this is to be expected.  Don’t forget – you have just recently been put back together.”

The poet Jack Gilbert wrote that marriage is what happens between the memorable.  We often look back on our marriages years later, perhaps after one spouse has died, and all we can recall are the vacations and emergencies, the high points and low points.  The rest of it sort of blends into a daily sameness.  It is that very blurred sameness that comprises marriage.  Marriage is those 2,000 indistinguishable conversations, chatted over 2,000 indistinguishable breakfasts, where intimacy turns like a slow wheel.  How do you measure the worth of becoming that familiar to someone, so utterly well known, and so thoroughly ever present that you become an almost invisible necessity, like air?

When you lose an invisible necessity, you can’t wrap your mind or hands around what is so big you could never see its entirety at all.  And this magnitude can’t be measured, not in its grandness, its absence, or the timeline of its recovery.

Some things never stop being.  People are one of these things.  Heartbreak is another.

Thanks for loving me well today, my friends. You’ve got my back.  Thank you for believing in the courage of sadness, the strength of grief, and the beauty of being sad.

Blue is a beautiful color.

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. This is exactly why I love you. You show us your Real Self. So honest. I wish I could come to Colorado and take your spot care taking for a day or two while you went to a spa and a Starbucks. I would if I could!! Hang in there. And thanks for your unceasing willingness to document every part of your self and your life, even when it’s not the happiest or strongest of days.

  2. As always, so well written. It’s difficult to feel needy again but do let your friends and family help you this summer, don’t go it alone.

  3. “For believing in the courage of sadness, the strength of grief, and the beauty of being sad.”

    Beautifully stated truth. Grief is God’s provision for us to move into healing. It’s the only way to cleanse deep pain from our hearts.

  4. I read this person’s comment yesterday, and one thought I had is “Who are they to know what God wants. I have been married 47 years and can’t imagine how I will manage when that time comes if God should decides to take my husband first. To have your loved one taken suddenly, at a young age, I just can’t imagine how I’d cope. Everyone has to “move on” in their own way, and at their own pace, but as you say, this person may only learn that from experience. God Bless you.

  5. I am so sorry you were attacked in this way, but how awesome to see how many people stood up for you in the moment. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but a book I’ve used with kids from adults, “Tear Soup.” It’s amazing…the premise of the book is that sometimes you need to make Tear Soup, in the beginning of a loss you might have Tear Soup all day everyday, but as time goes on you make it less–but you still make it! People with loss don’t just lose the person in that moment and what they had but future losses. I remember in college asking a librarian for help. As I turned to her, I got a strong whiff of her perfume and in that instant I was reminded of my grandmother, who had passed years ago, and I began to cry. Always praying for you and your family, and I love how God has used your writing to heal you and others.

  6. Thank you so much for this post and all your posts. Your articulation of marriage as 2,000 indistinguishable conversations that represent an intimacy that becomes an invisible necessity really struck me. My husband passed away in March after a 7-year battle with cancer and I’ve been having difficulty remembered the pre-cancer marriage. I had never looked at it in the manner you so eloquently described. I am so sorry that the “troll” was so ugly to you. I am so glad you have the comfort of knowing God.

  7. This is such a beautiful and insightful post today, Tricia. Thank you for sharing out of your hurtful experiences. We learn, we benefit greatly from you. May the Lord bless you and your sons today and every day.

  8. It is my belief that someone that shallow will not remember they hurt another that was hurting. In their time of grief, they will only see their grief.

  9. “anyone who grieves for longer than a few weeks is internalizing their loss for attention.”

    I can not imagine that anyone who has lost someone special and grieved for them would ever utter such a ludicrous statement. Ignorance does not excuse being offensive.

    Thinking of you from NZ


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