Sunset over Arizona - Feature
Sunset over Arizona (Miranda Hernandez)

12 Feb 2018 – Hard Things

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on tumblr
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on print
Share on email

Sometimes I look back on things I’ve written and I feel surprised. I had forgotten about that day, forgotten about that phrase. Sometimes, my own innocent words can make me cry. I hold on to those entries. They feel like portals.

Love Means Talking About Hard Things

When I was pregnant, I went through a bad week. It started when I received an email informing me an old co-worker had died. I then heard that my cousin’s 10 week old infant, who I had only recently found out existed, had also passed away. I didn’t know how to deal with either of these things. I hadn’t been close to my co-worker or my cousin, and I hadn’t spoken to either of them in more than seven years.

That week, I was at the mall shopping for some last-minute necessities, sitting down in the food court with greasy take-out Chinese, when it hit me — the desire to write. I wrote to my son throughout my pregnancy, and I realized that day this was a key decision: do I write and tell him everything, or do I hide it all away?

I know from reading mommy blogs and many conversations that parents often hide things from their children. To their credit, I think a lot of it stems from a desire to protect, to save them from worry. I don’t know what a 10 year old could do about money problems or a grandmother who favored the male grandchildren. I do think, though, there are things that can and should be shared, used as discussion points to help us understand our world. When I paused that day in that mall, I realized I believed death was one of those things.

And so I wrote to my son, I wrote to him about death. I wrote to him in a way that I hoped would be understandable, inside of a framework that explained that I told him these things out of love. Because I think love includes talking about hard things. Because I think love includes telling someone, “When you fall on hard times, I am here for you. When things go terribly wrong, I won’t run away.”

And this is what I told my son. I told him that these deaths had saddened me, and I told him about my confusion on what to do. And I told him that, for his sake, I wanted things to be different. I wanted to build tighter bonds with family, I wanted to become a better friend. I wanted these things for him.

And here is where it becomes ironic, because although I made those statements for him, everything I did afterwards became so important to me. And I read this letter at the end of a retreat last summer, and I realized that although it was written for my son, it could also be addressed to me.

And I went for Chinese food yesterday, greasy take-out in a food court in a different city, and it all came flooding back to me. And I read this letter again last night, and I realized it will probably never not make me cry. And I treasure that, because it’s real. Because I chose to talk about the hard things. Because I chose to share that with my son, and I will always have that, and he will always have me.

Related Posts:

Adrian’s Story: Letters to Adrian
Topics Page: Death Positivity
Topics Page: People & Relationships
Letters to Adrian: 33w2d

Posts written in response to prompts from Megan Devine’s Refuge in Grief writing program.
Return to Write Your Grief Homepage

Share this post via:

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on tumblr
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on print
Share on email
Amy's collar (Miranda Hernandez)

12 Sep 2018 – Three Dishes

19 March 2021 – Where I Live Now

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

22 May 2018 – I only write to ghosts. You must be one of them.

Birds on the Pacific Coast in California - Feature

22 Feb 2018 – Fuck

31 March 2021 – Clarity

Limp hand holding a cell phone

26 Mar 2019 – The Worst Thing that Never Happened

A Letter from the In-Between (Write Your Grief) | overlaid on image of Miranda staring off into the distance (Synch Media)

28 Jul 2018 – A Letter from the In-Between

Lakeside in Incline Village, North Lake Tahoe, Nevada (Miranda Hernandez)

13 Feb 2018 – The Condition of My Heart

27 March 2021 – Community

Pinecrest Lake 1 - Feature

26 Feb 2018 – The Nuclear Bomb

The first blanket and baby toy Miranda purchased for Peanut (Miranda Hernandez)

29 Oct 2018 – Baby Things

Palm trees over the Pacific Ocean - Feature

7 Feb 2018 – Beauty

Sunset on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

2 Jun 2018 – Peace

Sunset over the California desert, with highway signs in the distance (Miranda Hernandez)

1 Feb 2018 – Photos

30 March 2021 – The 13th Guest

31 Jan 2018 – Choice

Hiking the Sleeping Giant Trail, Kapaa, Kaua'i, Hawai'i

3 Feb 2018 – The Kindest Thing

Title: My Personal Experience with Grief | overlaid on an image of Miranda in Kaua'i (Luna Kai Photography)

29 Jan 2018 – Grief

21 March 2021 – Does Grief Mourn?

Sleeping Giant Trail 1 - Feature

25 Feb 2018 – That Day

17 March 2021 – Who I Used to Be

Miranda with Adrian's First Blanket - SQ

2 Feb 2018 – Elephant Onesies

Seagulls on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

27 May 2018 – Fairytales

Memories (Write Your Grief) | overlaid on image of Miranda on the California coast at sunset (Synch Media)

18 Feb 2018 – Memories

20 March 2021 – The Absence of Memory

Title: A Letter to My Fellow Bereaved | overlaid on an image of the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

18 Feb 2018 – I Love You

Tree branch in California - Feature

5 Feb 2018 – Akhilandeshvari

Matthiola flowers on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

26 Sep 2018 – Dear Grace

Miranda on the Pacific Coast 2 - Feature

10 Feb 2018 – This is How I Feel About Life

Wide angle view of Miranda standing on a deserted beach in California at sunset. She is wearing a pink kimono fluttering in the breeze (Synch Media)

30 Jan 2018 – The Second Death

Incline Village, North Lake Tahoe - Feature

20 Feb 2018 – Time

18 March 2021 – What I Wish You Knew

Miranda on the California coast (Synch Media)

21 Jun 2018 – The After

Chalk drawings on the sidewalk (Miranda Hernandez)

18 Mar 2018 – Someone Else’s Birthday

A Letter to My Belly (Write Your Grief) | overlaid on image of Miranda making a heart on her belly (Synch Media)

24 Feb 2018 – A Letter to My Belly

North Star Resort - Feature

20 Feb 2018 – Flight

22 March 2021 – Kindness…

4 April 2021 – Memories Part 2

24 March 2021 – Emulation

Title: Grief is a Mother, Too | overlaid on an image of Miranda and Elephant on the coast at sunset (Synch Media)

2 Feb 2018 – Grief is a Mother, Too

A seagull over the Pacific Ocean - Feature

9 Feb 2018 – No

Keālia Beach 2 - Feature

20 Feb 2018 – Unspoken

Julia Pfeiffer Burns Plant1 - Feature

7 Feb 2018 – Tests

Keālia Beach 1 - Feature

8 Feb 2018 – Prickly

26 March 2021 – Landscape

Sunset over the Pacific 1 - Feature

26 Feb 2018 – Nuclear Bomb Part 2

Miranda on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

28 May 2018 – Planet Miranda

30 March 2021 – Subsumed Grief

AdrianHernandez_newborn-6 - Feature

6 Feb 2018 – Regret

Lakeside in Incline Village 3

14 Feb 2018 – I love you. Please.

24 March 2021 – The One I Avoided Last Time

Miranda on the shore of Lake Tahoe, California (photo used with permission)

23 Aug 2018 – Windows

Sunlight through the trees, North Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

25 Aug 2018 – Amy Anne

Explore more of Adrian's Elephant

Scroll to Top