Lindsey sent me a book titled ‘Tear Soup’ by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen after Nora died. It looks like a children’s storybook about grief, but it is written for all ages. The story talks about all the aspects of grieving and those people that come into your life to help you grieve. It is written around the context of cooking, and being a culinary arts teacher, I could really relate to that. My friends and family have been so important to me in the grieving process, but I would like to focus on one friend in particular in this post.
In ‘Tear Soup’ there is a part where “Midge” pays Grandy—the woman who experiences a loss—a visit.
“I’m here,” Midge cried. “I got here as fast as I could and I’ll try to be here whenever you need me. What a tragedy. I’m so sorry you’re having to make such a big pot of soup.”
Oh what a relief. Grandy knew she didn’t have to be careful what she said around Midge.
Midge wouldn’t try to talk her out of anything she was feeling. And Grandy could even laugh and not worry that Midge would assume Grandy was over her grief.
“Sorry I couldn’t get here sooner,” said Midge.
“No problem,” replied Grandy. “I’ve had plenty of help. But most of these friends will be history pretty soon. They’ll be over my tragedy long before I am. But I know you’ll still be around.”
“I don’t know what to say, but I’ll be glad to listen,” Midge said tenderly.”
I have a Midge. Her name is Holly and she lives a couple of miles from me. We have been friends for a long time, and our daughters, Lindsey and Staci, have been friends since kindergarten.
After my family, and sometimes before, Holly is the first one I call when something happens. She has helped me through some difficult family times, including Nora’s delivery. (She has been there for some very joyous times too!) I called Holly the morning of December 30th to let her know about Nora’s impending stillbirth, and I kept in touch with her the whole time I was in Minneapolis. Holly, and another friend Joan, came up to Minneapolis for the funeral. The two of them listened as I talked about Nora’s delivery, and the worries of losing Lindsey at the same time. They both understood the sadness I was experiencing but words could not convey. They cried when I showed them pictures of Lindsey and Nick with Nora. They both allowed me to lean on them, which I needed at that point in time.
When I returned to my hometown, Holly kept me busy. We went to a local antique mall and Holly let me say what I needed to say, let me cry when I needed that, and didn’t mind it when I went from crying one minute to laughing the next. She said she would take cues from me and that is what she did. It is in the antique mall where the vision of Nora’s Garden started and where we found some wonderful accessories for the garden. As we parted that day Holly reminded me that I could call her anytime to talk, or she could come over and sit with me if I needed that—whatever I needed. She was there for me.
When it was time for Bob to return to work after Nora’s death, Bob asked Holly to check in on me. Her remark was ‘absolutely’. She told Bob not to worry about me. She would be there.
True to her word, Holly has been there for me. She has been my ‘Midge’. I have shared with Holly my feelings and my tears over losing Nora. She has cried and laughed with me. She has helped me plan a memorial garden and given suggestions for my memorial scrapbook. She has never expected me to be ‘over it’. She understands that ‘getting over it’ may never happen. And I appreciate that. Hopefully, anyone experiencing grief will have his or her own Midge.
Thank you ‘Midge’.
“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.”