Thursday, July 28, 2011

Like a Brick in your Pocket

A couple weeks ago I flew to New York to visit a few friends from college. The following moment has stuck with me since that trip...

As I got to the top of the escalator landing, I couldn't help but notice a small boy about 5 or 6 years old standing with who I can only presume were his mother and grandmother. His hair was sandy blond and he had on a light blue shirt and jean shorts. Yet his clothes weren't what caught my attention, but rather the large tears falling from his eyes.

His grandmother was kneeling on the floor next to him doing her best to console him. Sadly, she was failing. He continued to sob even harder the more she talked to him. I tried to make eye contact with him and give him my best "cheer up" smile but he wouldn't look in my direction.
My heart ached for this little boy. I have been in his position countless times. I remember choking up each and every time I have had to say goodbye to friends, my sister and of course how awful it was saying goodbye to my parents in airports. We have all had to say goodbye to someone special in the airport and in life. I believe that it is the hardest thing a person will endure in their lifetime. If you haven't experience either then consider yourself very fortunate.

Seeing that little boy cry, I was suddenly made aware of my own constant grief and sadness that I feel. For the most part, I do a really good job of pretending that everything is fine and my parents are still happily living overseas. My brain knows this is not true but my heart needs to think this in order to get through my days. This image with the little boy brought to my attention the fact that I'll always feel in my heart just like him. I will always have this sadness and pain deep within me. There's no escaping it. I'm not sure if it will ever go away. I don't even know if I want it to go away altogether.

Several months ago my sister forwarded me the following conversation from the movie, "Rabbit Hole". I think that these lines certainly explain to the outsider what it's like going through life after experiencing an intense loss.

From the 2010 film "Rabbit Hole":

Becca: Does it ever go away?
Nat: No, I don't think it does. Not for me, it hasn't - has gone on for eleven years. But it changes

Becca: How?

Nat: I don't know... the weight of it, I guess. At some point, it becomes bearable. It turns into
something that you can crawl out from under and... carry around like a brick in your pocket.
And you... you even forget it, for a while. But then you reach in for whatever reason and -
there it is. Oh right, that. Which could be awful - not all the time. It's kinda...

[deep breath]

Nat: Not that you'd like it exactly, but it's what you've got instead of your son. So, you carry it
around. And uh... it doesn't go away. Which is...

Becca: Which is what?

Nat: Fine, actually.


  1. Absolutely beautiful, sweetie. I know exactly what you mean. I don't ever want to lose that weight, as the weight is what reminds me of how precious every day is. Love you!

  2. Such a beautiful scene, Leah with such meaningful dialogue. It's so brief, but expresses so much at the same time. It's an interesting metaphor for loss. I know I've heard you mention this scene before and how you feel you can relate to it. Love you girl and am here for you in those moments when you need to talk, even if it's at 3am. Come wake me up. You have friends who love you very much.

  3. Thank you Courtney and Gina for your sweet comments.XOXO

  4. This IS a beautiful post. I wish I could carry your brick for a while...even just a few minutes when you need a break. A brick break. Perhaps that's what friends are. Love you so much! And be prepared for a bone-crushing hug soon!