In my family, I'm know as the strong one. The tough cookie. The one who can take pretty much anything. And Aaron, if possible, is then, by definition, even stronger - as he is the one I lean on when I need support.
When we had the ectopic pregnancy, not many people in the family said much - I'm guessing because they didn't know what to say. Someone did send flowers - and that struck me as a little weird. And when we had the miscarriage, not many even knew we were pregnant. So we dealt with it. I remember finding out that one of the women on my street with a broken ankle had meals delivered for WEEKS to her, and feeling a little cheated that after my m/c - no one even offered food for us, but didn't think much of it. And I recognize that we don't really throw out a 'help us' vibe. People did really step up when my FIL had he stroke, and that was wonderful. Of course, the pain of dealing with someone who has a stroke isn't a quick fix. Aaron is still struggling with issues with his father 2 years later (his refusal of PT, moving to new facilities, and his very obvious depression when we visit him). But since the major event has passed, it just isn't talked about much.
When Nora died, loads of people swooped in right away. And we were taken care of. We had friends basically move into our house for weeks and answer phones and be sure we were fed and help deal with things like memorial services for a child and things a 35 year old should never have to think about. To this day, I am SO thankful to the wonderful network of friends that we have surrounded ourselves with and am totally grateful for it. Now that I'm 6 months away from her death, and I have time to reflect on it... it was our 'chosen' family that helped us. Mostly friends and more removed relatives. One of Aaron's brothers didn't even attend the memorial service, and the other never even called him to check up after it. Never. Like in MONTHS. I guess people just assume we are OK. And we are pretty OK. But as OK as you can be when a child dies. Which, while we are coping pretty damn well - we still need help. And hugs. And people showing concern. And love. And support. Because some days, I just want to cry. Or scream. Or drink 15 margaritas.
We DO get great support from a select few. We have an aunt in town that loves our kids to pieces and checks in on us weekly. And there are friends on the block that will take care of the kids so Aaron and I can go to the movies to reconnect as a couple. And other friends have offered up vacation houses so we can go away for nice weekends - which we are taking advantage of this weekend, in fact. And I have friends that I have lunch with weekly that listen to my random freak outs.
But sometimes it is very apparent to me that we are the most put together couple in both our families. We have such a strong relationship that everyone just assumes we are OK. And while it is great - doesn't mean it doesn't hurt a little when people don't even call to check up on us. Or stop by and say hi. Or respond to emails that are blatantly reaching out for connection (as Aaron did this week to a brother. Who 48 hours later hasn't even acknowledged the email).
So I call bullshit. I don't want to be the woman who is so sad that she can't raise herself out of bed - but I bet I would get a little more attention if I was. I don't really know where I'm going with this post - but this is what I'm thinking about right now. It isn't like I want people at my doorstep asking 'How are you' (because in all honesty that is hard to hear and answer. We are OK. But there is a new level of OK. Like I say I'm OK pretty much anytime someone asks. But for me, a good day is one in which I don't relive that whole evening over and over and over again in my head.). I guess I just wish that those who are supposed to care the most did. Or acted more like they did. If that makes any sense.