Happiness -- by me.

"People think they know you. They think they know how you're handling a situation. But the truth is no one knows. No one knows what happens after you leave them, when you're lying in bed or sitting over your breakfast alone and all you want to do is cry or scream. They don't know what's going on inside your head--the mind-numbing cocktail of anger and sadness and pain. This isn't their fault. They just don't know. And so they pretend and they say you're doing great when you're really not. And this makes everyone feel better. 
Everybody but you."

— William H. Woodwell, Jr.

It is amazing really how so many scatter and disconnect from the grieving.  It is almost like a separate loss after already losing everything.  After Frankie's burial, we had a beautiful gathering, where everyone just got up if they felt like it and said a favorite memory, or a funny story about something they did with Frankie.  There were some tears, but mostly laughing out loud at the crazy things Frankie would do, or praising him for his amazing qualities.
I remember when his Dad got up, he asked everyone who was there not to forget me, and then had them raise their hands if they would be here to support me in the long-run.

EVERYONE raised their hands --- and at that moment, it felt great --- I felt a little reassured.

But now, most of those hands are just blurs of a broken promise.  Not all, but most.

I say I am doing fine, or great... and they pretend to believe me.  Or they just don't care enough to even find out.

Sorry, I usually try to keep things pretty positive on here, for Frankie ---
And for me, but this is such a strange reality for me.

I am a widow --- not a leper.

I am amazed by this concept really, and frustrated, but  I have learned there are amazing people out there and I have learned to rely on them ---

But mostly, I have learned to rely on myself, and on our love.

I have learned to raise my hand, for my own happiness --- and am eternally grateful for Frankie's unconditional love and for the people who have helped me when my arm feels weak.


Anonymous said...

You know after 9/11 where the heroes were them men noted as running up the burning staircase, while the others ran down?

I've come to learn that the same goes for our life as widows.

Only the few run up through any obstacle to try and be there for us, and in the beginning, that hero was Michael...his love...his memory...his words.

Knowing that alone, made me realize that it's not others faults for running from the "flames", they've just never known the transcendent and all mighty love we have...the love they may dismiss or not acknowledge...but if they knew it was the love that saved our lives...picked us out of the crumbled pieces...maybe then they would really understand the depth of it.

Love you and Frankie.

MandyMy said...

Losing "friends" was the weirdest, and one of the hardest experiences I've been through. In the end I'm stronger because of that. I've learned who belongs in my life because they proved it to me. Hang in there girlie, the ones that stay are worth more than the headaches the others bring! HUGE hugs and lots of love to you!!

Deni & Bo said...

Brooke, I wish I was there to hug you. You are so amazing. Keep your head up high girl. Love ya

DeRosa080208 said...

I know we've never been the closest of friends, and we don't talk much, and really that is my fault. I don't really KNOW what your going through and thus, I have no idea what to say, I don't want to seem insensitive and I guess that's why I've said nothing really, I don't want to be the one to bring tears or anger. I don't want to say something wrong, and in my fear, I've neglected a friend. I'm so sorry you have to go through this, you are strong, truly, because I would not know what to do if I were in your shoes. I'm so so glad that I got to know you and Frankie during my short time in NY, and I'm glad I was able to see the two of you together in real life. You were perfect for each other, you had a visible love, a love that most really couldn't fathom and it was visible, and I feel blessed to have been able to witness such a powerful thing. Just knowing Frankie for that short time really was a blessing, everyone looked up to him because he was so kind and loving and he had and still does have I'm sure a big full heart. I say little prayers for you and him all the time, and Matt and I love you both. Thanks for letting me in to this piece of your life.

Stacey said...

Great post for the reasons everyone has mentioned. I feel very similar lately, Brooke, and it comforts me to know those people I admire are feeling some of the same things. I am also comforted in your ability to use your strength to continue to lift yourself back right beside your love :)

Jenielle said...

I am still crying.....love you and you are NEVER forgotten in my conversations with God, just like Frankie and his shining example are NEVER forgotten!