Sunday, September 9, 2012

High school (!)

Msfitzita had a great post this week about Thomas's first day of Grade 2.  Entirely theoretical, of course, since her Thomas, like my Katie, never has and never will set foot inside a school. I could so relate to her words: 
"Back to school pictures, which began popping up on Facebook back in mid August as children of my American friends headed back, reached their agonizing peak this week. The annual assault... It was wearying...  I don't tell people that eleventy-billion milestone pictures coming at me for two solid weeks eventually starts to erode the stitches holding my heart together."
I wrote once before on this blog about how I can take it and take it and take it, and then, like raindrops eventually start to erode stone, my brave face starts to crumble. As I commented to Msfitzita, I don't mind the odd photo here & there... I don't want my friends to feel they have to hide their kids from me... but day after day, to read update after update & see picture after picture (and entire Facebook album after album of back to school pictures)(and they are STILL being posted...)... to read thread after message board thread and hear conversation after conversation focused on back to school stuff... it IS wearying to deal with -- still, even 14 years on.

I had already recognized, as I wrote a few posts ago, that this year (being Katie's first year of Grade 9 = high school hereabouts) might be a hard one for me. I welcomed our end-of-August vacation as one way to avoid dealing with the subject.

But a Monday (Labour Day) morning visit to the cemetery had tears rolling down my face. I had a hard time getting ready for work on Tuesday.. and I had to gulp back tears again as we drove to the commuter train station.

You see, our route takes us right past the high school Katie would have been attending -- would have been heading to that morning for the very first time (albeit not as early as we were driving by...!). And of course, the big sign out front that morning read, "Welcome Grade 9 students." For the next four years, I won't have to guess what Katie might have been doing at school. It will all be there for me to read on that sign -- report cards, pictures, exams, fundraisers, school holiday dates and early dismissals, drama productions -- all announced to the community via the sign outside. From now on, the kids we see hanging around outside and walking home in the late afternoon, won't just be any old kids -- they will be Katie's peers -- schoolmates and classmates and might-have-been friends.

I mentioned on Facebook to a few old friends from my pg loss support group, while complementing the back-to-school photos of their kids, that Katie would have been in Grade 9 & I was having a hard time with it. I guess I was fishing for support from people I knew would "get it." Thankfully, they did.

But as Msfitzita points out in her post, it would have been nice not to have to go on a fishing expedition -- to have someone remember and recognize that it might have been a difficult day for me.


  1. I'm sorry this was so tough for you. I'm lucky that I don't get so many of the FB photos - and the ones I do are actually in the US or UK, and it doesn't register for me here because we're stuck in the middle of the school year. I can only imagine how hard it is - and probably, just when you don't really expect it. Hugs.

  2. One thing I hope I have learned from the whole horrible mess of losing my baby is to be sensitive about things like this. I'm sure some milestones are much harder than others, and high school is a big one. I'm sorry Katie's not here.

  3. Sending a hug. This line was the one that hit me in the gut from this post: "From now on, the kids we see hanging around outside and walking home in the late afternoon, won't just be any old kids -- they will be Katie's peers -- schoolmates and classmates and might-have-been friends." So poignant.

  4. I think the last bit really resonates with all of us - that it would be good not to have to go fishing for people's acknowledgement or recognition for such a difficult time. It is so easy for others to forget or be totally oblivious, though this is something that stays with you.

  5. Oh,LB I am so sorry, it must seem like you lose Katie over and over, even as the years go by. My heart goes out to you.

  6. Loribeth,
    I so understand where you're coming from...

  7. The point about seeing the high school banners again and again and knowing those milestones are now milestones Katie would have participated in was particularly poignant. I'm so sorry. Sending (((hugs)))

  8. I hear on the pictures on Facebook... some of my friends say to me "Sorry for all the kid pictures on Facebook..." and I don't want them to feel bad about it. My closest friends, I love to see their kiddos. But, I find myself saddened by pictures of my friends kids from high school and what not after a while, and sometimes hide them.

    Hugs to you. I can only imagine how hard that is to have to watch other people's friends who have children in the same phase as life as your Katie would have been.

    I have a friend who recently lost a child in her 6th month of pregnancy and I've actually been thinking a lot about you...