Friday, September 4, 2009

email communication therapy...

I mentioned in an earlier blog entry how email and text messaging had made things easier immediately following Andrew’s death. I kept family posted while it was happening and let them know all the details of the services and so forth. I kept in contact with work, and I had numerous messages from friends and acquaintances that I was able to respond to right away. I think if I had to return phone calls, a lot of things would have gone undone or unanswered. I did try to return phones call during that time, but after a week or so I just ran out of steam. Emails are less personal. It didn’t take so much of my emotional energy to answer an email or text as it would have to have conversations during that time. I was able to save my energy for my immediate family and all the decisions we were dealing with, and for that I am so grateful.

I soon made a folder in my email file to keep everything involved with Andrew in one place. It includes updates to family, messages from friends, obituary and service information to printers, newspapers and the mortuary, jpeg photo files and quick notes to Jayne, Rebecca, Taylor and Lee about the many details we were deciding on.

I think of it now because I just sent a note to one of my friends from high school and I mentioned Andrew’s death. I saw her on a television show last night—she is an accomplished choreographer in Hollywood. She reminded me she had sent an email to me back in April, which I had for the moment forgotten, so I went back and looked for it in my email folder. Oh yes, now I remember! I am so glad I saved everything. I can re-read all the messages and follow up with people now that I am getting back into things. I really want to connect and spend time with my friends and people who knew Andrew...its good to share and remember him.

I made a point to have lunch with another old friend about two months ago. She had come to Andrew’s service, and I remember making a little mental note on how frail she was looking...but she is in her 70’s now. When I had worked with her, I was a teenager and then young mother, and she had given me such gentle advice and guidance during those years. Do it now, I told myself, don’t wait on this one. We had a great visit over lunch that lasted three hours, sharing things that had gone on in our lives since we worked together over 20 years had the time sped by like that?

So now I plan to read all those emails I saved from four months ago and make some plans to catch up with people, my friends. I will have to plan it, one-by-one over the next four months or so—maybe it will take a year, and try to meet up everyone who said they wanted to get together for lunch and so forth. They are old friends from high school, parents of some of my children's friends, relatives, former co-workers and employers, people from the many sports organizations I had been involved with for the children. Many of us have moved on to other things and our children are grown up, but getting together will help me, I know. If I keep reaching out, I will heal all the more. As I heal, I hope to bring my daughters along with me, and their father, and my fiancĂ© and his son, and my nephews who were also Andrew’s brothers.

That is my wish, my plan, my therapy for the coming months.