Before and After

The first few times I talked to people after Tripp died, it felt like I mentioned him every time I said something.  It didn't matter what the conversation was about.  I managed to slip in Tripp's name.  I would come home and feel bad for referring to him so much.  I thought my friends and family might think it was weird that I was always bringing him up.  I also wondered if bringing up Tripp made people feel uncomfortable or awkward.  I didn't want my friends to feel these things, but I couldn't stop myself from mentioning him.

Recently, I have realized that I use Tripp as a marker on my timeline of the past few months.  I refer to things as "before Tripp" or "after Tripp".  This is how I get to bring him up.

  • We were thinking about a getting a new vacuum before Tripp died (really it was before Christmas).
  • Last night was the first time I drove the car since before Tripp died (really it was since I stopped teaching). Oh and I might add for those of you who were following my blog before Tripp was born (see?!), that the gas gauge was below E when I hopped in.  Thank goodness I only had to drive 4 blocks.  I have no idea how Hugh got to work this morning.  If you want to read about it see here and here.
  • Calder and I have been to the zoo a half a dozen times since Tripp died (really it was 1/2 dozen times this spring)

And the list could go on.

The great thing I have realized about my friends and family is that they are comfortable with whatever is best for me.  They have been so supportive of every choice I make.  Even if they did, at any point, feel awkward at my mention of Tripp, they wouldn't care.  They would just be happy that I felt good.

I guess it will only be a matter of time before my timeline moves far enough away from Tripp that I won't be able to use him as a reference point.  So, until then, it will be before and after Tripp.


  1. And so it should be. Tripp is a huge part of your life, and continues to be.

    I'm sure your family and friends understand. I think this happens to most people who are grieving... though I'm definitely not an expert.

    Continue to care for yourself!

  2. I was visiting with a woman at a Christmas staff party who had lost her husband 6 months previous. It was around Christmas time, and I brought up her deceased husband... asking her if he was 'really into' Christmas when he was alive. She got tears in her eyes, and thanked me for bringing up his memory, saying his name a loud to her, and giving her the chance to talk about him. She said that most people she visited with didn't do this, but that it meant soooooo much to her to be able to talk about her husband. He was such an important part of her life, just as we all know Tripp will always be an important part of your family's life. People talk about what is important and those who are loved. How can we ever deny them (you) of that opportunity. Take care.
    Shelley F.


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