Most days you can find me ranting in a corner about how obnoxious and detrimental social media is for the human spirit. I mean it's a daily grumble, but then I have days like today and I realize I can put up with the demons if it means we get to keep the connections.
Backing up a bit.
Today I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw this beautiful picture of a blonde woman breastfeeding her son with her young daughter in her other arm and I just had to click. I was fully expecting a caption about freeing the nipple. Instead, I found a eulogy to the mother featured in the picture. She passed away yesterday... 37 years old with two small children...her son only a year old.
To say I lost my mind is an understatement.
I burst out in tears and sobbed for a woman I do not know. It didn't matter that I had never heard her name before; I found myself crying and saying over and and over again, "I'm praying for you Tori. I'm praying for your family."
I couldn't stop devouring the pictures on her account. The milestone moments of her son getting older...all of the sweet moments of her with her children. Her love for her family is splashed all over her page and the pages of her friends and family.
This morning I hit the ground running. Z is sick so I had to nurse her, give her a breathing treatment, feed her, dress her and get her out the door to her nanny's by 7:45am. I was patient and kind when she was with me (I say that because it's not always the case and when I do explode I feel terribly guilty), but the moment I was home alone I collapsed into a grouchy slump on the couch; totally pissed at my circumstances.
I know we should never discredit our feelings. Yes, my morning was overwhelming for me, but I couldn't help but feel guilty after reading that mama's story. She was sick for a year. She learned of her cancer when her son was born. She only had one short year with him. I'm sure she had days where she was in pain. Days when she felt like giving up and here I was kicking rocks because I was unable to eat breakfast before doing all of that. It put it all in perspective...really damn quick.
I lost my father when I was young. I've only had that perspective of loss in my heart: that of a child who has lost a parent. Now that I am a parent I feel my father's passing in a whole new way. What it might be like being the parent and knowing you'll have to leave your child soon. I'm grieving loss in a whole new way and I just can't deal. Figured I'd write and see if it made me feel better to get it off my chest.
Tori's story touched me in a really raw and powerful way. I have a feeling her story will stay with me from this point on. Years ago I interviewed Heather Armstrong from Dooce.com. She mentioned how motherhood had changed her...how it had connected her to every animal on the planet...every mother. I understand that connection now.
It's beautiful, but man is it painful.
I hope that father has endless amounts of support. I know she has a sister who was very present in her and her children's lives. For those who want to help...There's a GoFundMe for the family.
I'm going to hug my child just a bit longer...kiss her a bit more and not feel one ounce of regret when I document my love for her on social media. Those children will have their mama's account information one day and they'll see just how much she loved them. I never thought I'd say it, but I am so very thankful for social media.