If We Were Having Coffee – Spring 2022 Update
I first saw Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner do an If We Were Having Coffee post in 2019, which is an idea she got from a life coach. Since then, I’ve been doing them periodically. Lately, it looks like I’m settling into a spring/fall routine. So, here’s my If We Were Having Coffee Spring 2022 update!
If we were having coffee…
I would tell you that I just finished reading THIS REBEL HEART by Katherine Locke. It’s fantastic and also kind of brutal– not the story itself. It’s not particularly violent or anything. Maybe emotionally raw is a better descriptor? Either way, I loved it, but I read it kind of slowly, which is unusual for me. It felt like the right pace for me to read it, though. I posed my review yesterday, so it’s up if you want to find out more.
I’m also currently listening to NONVIOLENT COMMUNICATION by Marshall B. Rosenberg, which was recommended to me by more than one friend. Right now, I’m only about 25% of the way through the book, and I feel like it’s one I’ll need to listen to more than once to really absorb the whole message. I’m really intrigued so far, and I want to give myself a trial period and see how practicing nonviolent communication effects relationships for me. I’m not sure that it’s something I’ll adopt as an overall communication strategy, but we’ll see after I’ve read the whole of the book.
If we were having coffee…
I’d want to talk about hard things. I was reading a thread on Twitter in which tons of women shared their experiences with miscarriages, and many commented on how we don’t talk about this experience enough. And that’s so true.
When I’ve talked about my own miscarriages, it seems like often people don’t know what to say, and I want to respect that, but it can be really painful because it feels like this unspoken cue to stop talking about it. It feels like they’re uncomfortable and I can fix that by stopping talking.
We’ve all been in conversations that have a weight to them that we don’t understand, where we feel like we need to say something but have zero idea what the right thing might be. I hate those, too. It can feel like waking up in a minefield and having no idea how to get to safe space again.
If we were having coffee…
If we talked about miscarriages, I’d want to tell you what it was like for me.
I was talking about my miscarriage experiences to a friend last week and this was the explanation that clicked with him. I told him it’s like being betrayed by your body in a deeply painful way. Pregnancy is this process your body is supposed to be able to do all on its own. It’s supposed to protect, nurture, and care for the budding person inside you the way you will care for and protect the baby once they’re born. And instead, it kills your baby. Without your permission or consent. You can literally do nothing to stop this thing from happening. And it’s happening inside your body, so there’s no place to retreat from it.
Also, our healthcare system? Really freaking terrible at handling miscarriages. I couldn’t get one of the medications my doctor wanted to prescribe me. Another wasn’t covered by my insurance at all. At one point I was in the ER, and let me simply say that is NOT a place anyone should experience a miscarriage. Someone in the thread I was reading used the term “undignified,” and yeah. I can honestly say that I’ve NEVER felt more like an object in a petri dish and less like a human being in my life than I did that night.
Everyone’s experience is different. I really, really wanted a baby. So, for me, the grief was very focused on the loss of that person who I was already imagining to be a part of my life and the failure of my body to protect that person.
If we were having coffee…
I’d want to tell you I’m grateful that you’re listening. Grateful that you’re here. The last few years have been really isolating for a lot of us. I’m proud of the ways we’ve found to stay connected. For me, some of this has been through online contact. I have a friend who lives far away, but checks in with me every day or so on my phone to talk about family stuff and bookish or writing stuff. She’s amazing. I’d be lost without her.
Some of it has been outdoor get-togethers, and some indoor get-togethers. I have a friend who meets me for coffee outside (and now sometimes inside!) almost every week since the early COVID days. She’s also a mom, so we talk a lot about the challenges of raising kids. We compare notes on the sometimes impossibility of remembering who you are outside of being that caretaker/chief cook/cruise director. I’d be lost without her, too. She’s awesome.
There are new friends, too. New jokes. New experiences. Lots to look forward to. I’m grateful for all those relationships and moments, too, in life and on here!
If we were having coffee, what would you want to tell me?
What’s on your mind today that you want to share with me? Have you recently read anything you love? Have you had experiences with grief that you wish other people better understood?
Thanks for catching up with me. I appreciate you. <3
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m reading ‘Sum- Forty Tales From the Afterlives’ by David Eagleman. He is a neuroscientist and author who has really interesting, unique viewpoints on life after death in this book. Although raised in the Catholic church and being heavily indoctrinated on Heaven or Hell as our final fate, I’m interested in what others have to say about additional options ?
I’d tell you that although I haven’t experienced miscarriage, I am here to listen and talk with you anytime you would like (without the kids.)
I’d tell you my most profound loss was the unexpected death of my mother. And although it’s been 13+ years since she passed, there are still days and occasions I miss her terribly. I still find it hard sometimes to accept that she is not in this world any longer. I ‘talk’ with her all the time because I will never want to let her go.
Gayle is right that loss comes in many forms, and grief can feel incredibly dark at times. I am also so sorry for the loss of your son, Gayle. May God bless you with peace and comfort as you navigate mourning for him. ❤
If we were having coffee, I’d share that this war in Ukraine reminds me of the time when my son was in his early teens, and a war was pending for the U.S. I swore that I’d NEVER let him be drafted! I’d move us all to Canada or farther to do what it took to protect him from irreparable harm. I’m all for protecting our rights and country but not at the expense of people losing their lives (a significant dichotomy, I know.)
I think the ‘good’ that comes from suffering is how it changes those of us who do not give in to the darkness. We do become more empathetic, compassionate, and loving towards others. Our difficult experiences help us to help others going through similar situations, when they feel there is little hope. And sometimes, we help to lessen their loads just enough to get them through another day. That’s pretty awesome! ?
What helps to get me through tough days, is a quote that my mother said to me often- “This too shall pass.” And yes, it will because we are choosing to stay in the Light.
My love to you and the family ❤
Thanks. ❤️ That means a lot. I am positive your mom was an amazing lady. Her life deeply impacted so many people. I’m glad you’ve found ways to keep her close. This life is a journey, that’s for sure. I feel lucky to have good people in my life to share it with, especially when it’s hard. ❤️
<3 <3 <3
Thank you so much for your sympathy on the death of my son. People often say nothing in the face of someone’s loss because they don’t know what to say. Nothing seems enough. Nothing seems right. What you realize once you’ve suffered a loss is that the words don’t matter nearly so much as the effort to comfort does. Just knowing that others care is what truly matters.
I’m sorry for the loss of your mother–no matter how long ago it happened, we are never ready to lose our moms. They are our ultimate protectors and nurturers, no matter how old we get and how frail they become. That connection is incredibly powerful and to have it broken is like being set adrift after always before having a tie to some safe shore. My mother died about 7 years ago and few are the days that I don’t think of her. Usually with a smile, because she had such a sweet sense of humor. But other times with a sense of deep sorrow and regret for the times we missed out on due to geography and “life.”
I too am a Catholic, although no longer practicing. But I believe there is more than what the church allows for. There is no hell. There is a another dimension beyond ours where souls live on.
My warmest wishes for your peace!
I’ll send as soon as I have the pdf file.
My MG novel, MacKenzie’s Last Run will be releaseed on August 9th, but I was planning to reach out to you about it, to see if you’d be interested in reading and posting on your site. Your post this morning just called to me in a way I couldn’t resist responsing to.
May I send you the pdf file when it is available in another week or so?
Yes, please! I would love to read it.
If we were having coffee I would inevitably share with you at some point that my son died one year ago saving a little boy caught in a rip tide. It shattered me. I’ve endured a year unlike any other, even the one 25 years ago when his father died of cancer. Somehow I have put one foot in front of the other and plodded through the hours, days, weeks, months to get to this point where I can finally write again and let go of the rage I felt for so long. He left 3 young boys and a wife behind. I put together a memory book for his boys to compensate in some small way for the memories they haven’t been given the Time to make. Memories from family and friends, coworkers and neighbors. People who knew and admired and loved him. It was a bittersweet process. Sometimes I laughed; sometimes I cried.
Loss comes in many forms. Grief is a darkness that can swallow us if we let it. It’s so easy to give up and let it.
It’s ironic that my newest novel for kids 10-14 is about loss and grief since I wrote it a few years ago. Years before losing my son. Many years after losing my husband. But once we suffer a great loss the depth of that experience is something we never truly forget. It changes us. Adds another dimension to our understanding. Makes us more compassionate. More empathetic.
There has to be some good that comes from such suffering, right? At least that’s what I tell myself.
I am honored that you shared this with me. I cried all the way through reading it. ? I’m so sorry for your losses. What you said about grief being a darkness is so true. Is your MG novel about grief on sale already? I’ll check it out. Thank you so much for taking time to visit with me. ❤️
And, yes, I sure hope some good comes of our suffering. I see it sometimes. Other times I have to trust it’ll come.