Monday, March 8, 2010

In a better place

Since we are now more than a week after the first anniversary of Drew's death, life it a little less intense at the moment. Which is good, because both my and my husbands work life have had their rough points since the anniversary. I am now on break. Break is nice since I do not have to teach. Break is not much of a break since we use the preschool associated with my college and so when I'm on break, so is Meg. No catching up with grading during the day for me.

I'll try to write about the ups and downs of hanging out with Meg for a day soon.

Near the anniversary of Drew's death we donated money to two places, his preschool, where Meg still attends, and a school in Guatemala which is funded partially by my church. We got the thank you for your donation letter already from the preschool donation.

Since the preschool is associated with the college a donation to it is officially a donation to the college. The letter was written by a staff member at the college and not part of the preschool. I don't know the letter writer well, but the letter was mostly okay. It mentioned the preschool appreciated the donation and they were sorry for our loss. Then the letter said "at least you know he is in a better place now."

Cue the swearing at the letter writer, which I will not repeat here.

I know the letter writer meant well. Also I like to think that heaven is a wonderful place where we can be with God. However I don't think that it is a better place than being here with us, his family. I think the phrases "he is in a better place now", "God needed another angel in heaven" and "at least you have Meg" should all be banned. Not that I don't take comfort in heaven and in Meg, but that the presumption that the comfort of these things should some how make things better is false. Nothing will make Drew's death better. Some things make it easier to tolerate the process of finding the new normal, but nothing will heal the wound.

I can hope that someone points out to the staff member before next year never to use that phrase again. I will tell a couple people I can trust to pass it along and hope it reaches there.

I take sad comfort that the thank you letter from the school in Guatemala is likely to contain no such platitudes. The director lost two sons in early childhood. He has walked our road.


  1. I'm sorry that you have to deal with people like this who think it's their job to tell you what's best for your family. Perhaps you could design a card to hand to people who don't get it and need help with appropriate things to say and a list of faux pas to avoid. I know that's a bit passive aggressive but so what?
    I look forward to reading about days with Meg when she's not in school and hearing about your adventures!

  2. Oh ick. I hate all those phrases. I know that they are meant to be comforting but they just make me mad. Anything that starts with 'at least' is doomed to failure in my book.

    Hope you have a good break with Meg.

  3. I'm sorry about the letter you received. I hate all those phrases. I know people are trying to comfort or just don't know what else to say. Sometimes, I wish they wouldn't say anything at all.

    I really wish none of us had to walk this journey.