Hell is other people.
Isn't that what the author said?
I've heard it expanded--hell is other people at breakfast. Now, there's a sentiment I can get behind.! Last week Seth Mc.Farlane tweeted that, in the ninth circle of hell, you have to watch other people eat cereal for all eternity. All of the hair on my back is standing on end just thinking about the slurping and crunching. I might join twitter just to get more insight on this issue.
I started off the month thinking that I needed my own version. Hell is other people...in August.
Other people getting riled up about memos and grammar, treating work like life, acting like we can only prove we're something more than random collections of cells floating through space on a rock by pushing each other around.
My skin is thinner this time of year. The accumulation of coping and accepting stretches me into an overinflated balloon of memory, regret, and knowledge. Beware...other people...beware. I might explode if you try to cram anything else into my brain place. Not to mention my heart place...oh, my poor, sore heart...how it hates having to deal with other peoples' issues with bullet formats and passive voice. In weak moments it urges me to say things like, "You've clearly never had a real problem if you can get so upset about subject-verb agreement."
I stifle it and feel myself swelling further--the balloon pushed ever closer to bursting as I suck down the anger and focus on love for my fellow humans.
I don't say anything smartassy. I don't say anything at all. And the other people thank me for my patience.
I want to tell the other people that I am only patient with them because of R.
"When my daughter died," I want to say, "I decided that I was through with getting upset about small things. I realized how precious every life is and I celebrate her by
But dead daughters are not discussed in the office. If you bring them up, you minimize other peoples' s
Five years ago, during most of August, she was still alive and we thought she had a chance.
I review the12 sacred days between August 14 and 26 carefully every year. Was she wearing pajamas yet on day 6? Did I get to hold her? Is this the day that T took off from work to sit by her bedside?
And the questions that sneak in unbidden and unwelcome. How didn't I notice? Why didn't I do something?
Other people everywhere and I just want to sit still and remember. Just for 12 days. Surely I can have 12 days. It's hardly any time at all. Believe me, I know.
Other people take up my time with conversations about women who flirt with their husbands and complain about being too busy with their 100% alive set of children. Other people put things up on their FB walls in August like pictures of bumper stickers that say "falling down doesn't make you a failure. staying down does."
I think other people ought to try staying down every once in a while. The view is something from here.
Then we inch closer to August 26 and I change my mind. A door-to-door salesman takes the time to ask about my MISS Foundation t-shirt and turned out to have two second trimester medical terminations. My uncle posts an FB status about supporting people who have experienced stillbirth, infant loss, and pregnancy loss. Parents volunteer to help me with my insane plan to coach C's soccer team.
The other mothers just trying to make it through August.
My friend, Catherine, plants some rosemary in her yard on the other side of the ocean.
Other people can be alright. They can be part of the swirling wonder that is my daughter. Five years after we said good-bye to her. Miss you, always, R.