Let me take this opportunity to thank you all (I know this is lame: blanket thanks, but I am unable emotionally and/or practically to thank everyone individually.
There have been so many kindnesses, cards (people have said such heartfelt kind things, to us, about Kirby), donations, caring, for us ever to thank everyone for every effort. We have received and absorbed and it has all helped.
The efforts people went while she was sick continue to astonish and humble me.
Since her death, they have continued.
Even though we lost the war (she’s dead) the casualties could have been much worse without all our communities.
Also, thank you to everyone who has and is giving me space and time. For all the people who have not hugged knowing I have trouble with expressions of sympathy. And I know that all kinds of kindness associated with Kirby and this awful time are going on out there in the world that I don’t know specifically of: but thank you.
And to everyone who has offered meals, lunches out, walks…thank you. If you don’t hear from me or I don’t take you up on offers please don’t feel rebuffed or unappreciated. I am treading water VERY HARD trying to keep my head up and breathe. (Including with some good advice from my sister about how to breathe.) For me this means retreat, quiet, silence, very few things scheduled, gym. We’ve been told both this is the WORST loss (of a child) and that it takes TIME (possibly, probably a lot).
Finally, thanks for the comments. (And to Becca and Kate who set up this website.) I read the comments, weep, and feel connected, being reminded of company in misery. A number of people have thanked us for sharing: let me thank all of YOU for everything you have shared.
Cards (with stamps! The struggling USPS thanks you, too)
Offers for help/contact/time/food we never took you up on
TIME given to us by busy people taking time out from their lives to be with us, help us, do things for us
Amazing creativity (all the riffs on cranes)
The happy Kirby memories people are sharing as well as the letters and notes you’re writing her (I am, too. Sharing those anecdotes about family, friends, the Hill that made her laugh. My own eccentric news: I think I have figured out two-suit spider solitaire).
Your own stories about loss, cancer (it really does help me)
The incredible respect, and indulgence, accorded us when we said “no visitors,” “visitors allowed,” “no food,” “food welcome,” “come,” “don’t come,” “sing,” “don’t sing.” Even all the people who did their best to conform to our household’s strictures about precision in language (she DIED. “Pass” is too kind for the savage reality. No GIRLS here unless they they’re under 13. If asked if you want something, “OK,” noncommittal as it is, is not acceptable. Say “yes,” “no,” “Oh yes!” “Never!” and all rest of them…_
As I muddle through my days I remember. I remember her 28 years. I remember her being sick. Dying for five months. The roller coaster. And I remember things I want to thank people for, but probably won’t.
Please accept both my thanks and apologies.
If you wonder how Owen is doing, he gave me permission to share his final reflection for the English course he took winter quarter: