Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"That Conversation"

A month or so ago we were invited to the March of Dimes fundraiser in Salt Lake. Several chefs from around the area came and cooked a small sampling of their best and we tried lots of wonderful new dishes. The food was great, hands down had the best caramel apple ever there! We had been asked previously if a few of Aaron's pictures from our blog could be used for the event. We consented and were ready to hunt him down when we arrived. We did not have to look far, his picture was pretty much on every other table there. In the ballroom there was a large screen showing other pictures of him and the kids visiting the NICU. We ran into a few of his doctor's and nurses and NICU friends there and met several new people. I think because we knew a little of what to expect we were prepared for the emotions the night would bring.

This last weekend I ran into one of Aaron's nurses at Target. She literally jumped in front of me to say hello. It was nice to see her and meet her boys she had told us about. We had a nice conversation and she wanted to know how we were doing. Its these times when I'm not quite prepared for "that conversation" that I come home and need to have a "time out" to get myself put back together.

"That conversation" goes like this:
Them: Denise, how are you doing? Me: Fine or Good and you?, depending on the mood I'm in. Them: "How are the kids doing?" Me: They are doing good.
Then the big stuff comes.....
Them: "We/I were/was so sorry to hear of Aaron's loss." Me: "Thank you", because really, what are you supposed to say to that???
Them: "How are the kids dealing with their brother being gone?" Me: cringe, sigh, Just fine, thank you for asking (and me thinking, why do people ask these questions?)
Them: "How are you and Ronny doing since Aaron died?" Me: cringe again, "We're good or We're surviving."
At this point if I can find an out I take it (like having to chase down one of the boys or needing to get somewhere in a hurry). If not I do what I can to smile and get through it (like when someone you've never met in a very loud voice for the entire building to hear starts with those questions and you are totally cornered by your primary class waiting to get into the primary room, yeah it happens at the most awkward places).

My emotions as of late seem to be a little on the full side. Much more in the last few weeks. I don't know if its because the holidays are here and I had so hoped to have Aaron home for Christmas, or if its because I feel like I'm getting blind sided by something or someone every other day, or if its because the adrenaline from having to plan and prepare things for Aaron is finally gone, or large family events that seem to be going on every weekend. Maybe its a combination of all of it, who knows.

Ronny and I are planning to go visit his parents this next month. His Mom asked what we want to do while we are there. My response: Nothing! She laughed, and I told her I was serious, Nothing! I don't want to have a schedule, I don't want to be busy, I just want to have a place the kids can entertain themselves and I can just sit and watch them, or sleep, or read. I told Ronny I wasn't in the mood to go visit a million people or to have big family gatherings while we are there (as inevitably "that conversation" will be ongoing). He looked at me and said, "You are going to have to do that at some point." I told him I agreed, but NOW is not that "point" and that Aaron has only been gone 2 months, don't I get more time? He hugged me and told me I could have as much time as I wanted. What a smart guy!


Brian and Wendy said...

Denise, I appreciate and admire how well you sincerely express how you're feeling. I have to be honest and say I wouldn't know what to say to you if I saw you. It's like the elephant in the room...do you talk about everything but the elephant, or talk about only the elephant? I guess I would ask you if there was anything I could do to help you. I wish there was. You are an amazing woman, Denise. Your one of my heros

Melissa said...

You are such a strong person. My dad died a year and a half ago and I still get sad every day, and I can only imagine how much harder it is to lose a child. So in my opinion take your time and the space you need. Those you love will understand.

Elizabeth said...

This makes my heart ache. I know I have never met you - but I feel like giving you a big ol' hug and bringing over your favorite ice cream with a big ol' spoon. I hope you have a nice visit with the Bjarnasons this month -- and I hope you get to just sit...and read....and nap.

A LDS mother to three busy kids said...

Ditto to what everyone else has said. You deserve all the time you need. You're such an inspiration and woman of strength. I hope you get that much needed time away! ♥

Becky said...

My sister gets similar questions and sometimes people filter those questions through me so they don't offend her. People really do care but it's hard for us to know what to say and we wonder if we are being calloused if we don't ask but then intrusive if we do. How about a big hi and a I hope all is going well? I really do hope that for you and your family! Do take it easy, let the season of Christmas absorb at a calm pace, and therefore receiving the meaning and beauty of Christ's life for what it really was and for what it means for your entire eternal family. I miss you Denise but am soooo glad to keep up with you in Blogland! :)