And Then You Die.

by Lori Dwyer on February 28, 2012 · 19 comments

“Haven’t I been brave?” asks that scared, tired five year old girl in my mind, her eyes huge and blue and so clear you can see right through to her soul’ holding a flannel blanket that smells vaguely of my mother and still holds some of her warmth’ “Haven’t I been so very, very brave? Don’t I deserve a gold star now? Don’t I get someone to hold my hand?”


The short answer is- no.

Life is unfair. And bad things happen to good people, all the time.

Being brave doesn’t guarantee you’ll be rewarded in any way. It just means you feel better about yourself. You can say, ‘I’ve been brave’. ‘I’ve been strong.’ And that is the coldest, most horrible blessed relief.

Life is patently unfair. Babies die, husbands die, whole families starve. And, as they say, even worse things happen at sea.

Life sucks.And then you die too.

Sometimes I wonder what happens here, to this blog. Everyone else moves on from this much faster than I do. How much can you write about grief? How may times can I say “It hurts, it hurts, it hurts!” before the world world is sick of hearing it? No one likes self indulgence.
But this is my heart, my soul… the only thing that provides me with any kind of self esteem. What would I do without it?
“Surely” I ask my mate Bunny, “surely, knowing what I’ve been through, he wouldn’t deliberately hurt me?”
Bunny thinks about this, weighs culture and age and gender against the simple principles of humanity, and divides them by the argument that is unfurling around me.

“I doubt it. You wouldn’t think so. Most blokes have more balls than that.”
As it turns out, we were wrong.
Life sucks.
And then you die.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Shellye March 10, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Don't ever feel bad for writing about grief. Like you said, this is your heart and soul, and this is your place to write about whatever you want.

Ernest Hemingway said, "There's nothing to writing. Just sit down at the typewriter and bleed."

This is your place to bleed. Scream, cry, type the F word repeatedly if it helps. Writing is an amazing outlet. Bleed it out. I know I speak for others who are here when I say that you have many great people here supporting you and they love you no matter how sad or angry, no matter if you're having a bad day, we all love you no matter what.


T February 29, 2012 at 6:37 am

You have been extraordinarily brave Lori.

There is no self indulgence in grief. You don't get better, get over it or get through it, you can only learn to live with it. Until society accepts that, the pressure to not talk, not share your pain will continue. Be proud of how brave you are in sharing, how brave you are in saying stuff you society it hurts, it still hurts.

It's only been just over a year Lori, be gentle on yourself x


Brad February 29, 2012 at 1:56 am

Very brave little one. Hugs x.


Anonymous February 28, 2012 at 11:54 pm

+1 to what's already been said, I loved your recent blog where you were so relieved that someone had found your site 'and not known'. After a year of bad days, the good days should be appreciated but the bad days will still hurt and perhaps feel worse because it isn't fair, there should be some quiet time for you. But you are healing and you are doing SO well and you should use this blog however the bleep you want to, like Ashley says allowing us to be part of your life as readers is a privilege not a right, we're not owed good days or bad days and you don't need anybody who is here for any other reason than because they find you awesome. Keep up the photo tours of the neighbourhood BTW (so long as you're not giving your address away!) you live in a magical place it looks like.



Melissa February 28, 2012 at 11:10 pm

You grieve for as long as you have to. We'll be right here.
Lots of love.


Claire February 28, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Scream away, friend. And I totally agree with Rachel's wise and wonderful words!


sarah braaksma February 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm

you scream 'it hurts' as long and as loudly as you need Lori, we will be here to listen x


Tony February 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm

I think you are getting sent a few duds Lori, just so that when the Mr Good comes along he will really knock your sox off!(and by sox i mean panties,hehe)

This is your piece of space here! so you can talk about whatever you want for as long as you like, if you suddenly started loosing your followers by the hundreds, maybe think about it then :)


Miss Pink February 28, 2012 at 2:37 pm

<3 Nothing but love to give you. Life is fucked up sometimes.


whatkatedidnext February 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Oh, Lori. I agree with everyone above with regard to this being your space that you allow us to share. As you noted last week, your blog is not just about your grief. This space is not defined by grief and neither are you. That is the very reason you are vulnerable. Not because you survived the loss of your husband; really that's just timing. But you not only survived it, you have elected to keep living. Despite the pain, the fear, the inherent risk you have left yourself open to life and to people. The reality is, is that people we care about will hurt us – accidently, deliberately, because we witness their pain. We get hurt because we invest emotionally. No, life is not fair. It is brutal and painful and scary and glorious and wonderful and beautiful. "Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for." -Bob Marley
This guy wasn't the one. You are not your loss. It is part of you, and you are forever altered by it, but it does not define you. The right one will look at you and really, truly, see YOU – just see Lori. And that's who we see, too.


Julia February 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm

He was a bad egg :< But a good egg will come your way one day (and I'm not referring to Ethel and Lucy heh heh) xx


Bella February 28, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Why don't blogs have a like button? Too much Facebook in my time apparently, because I went to click like on Rachel's comment. She nailed it.

So my comment I guess really is – what she said!


Anonymous February 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Hi, Lori. I haven't commented in a long, long, LONG time, but I'm still reading every day. I know that "life sucks and then you die" feeling all too well. All I can tell you is that I for one will NEVER get sick of you saying "it hurts." Since that's your truth, you speak it and speak it as many times and as loudly as you need to. I think I speak for quite a few of your readers when I say that we're here to listen.

Thank you, by the way, for reminding me that we all have the strength to carry on, that we all have the ability to be brave. You remind me that if you can, I can, and I am unspeakably grateful for that. HUG!



KateOnTheBike February 28, 2012 at 12:17 pm

I agree with the others. This is your space to grieve, hurt, or feel any emotion you need to feel on whatever day of the week it may be. I don't think it matters to any of us how many times you say it hurts. If we weren't able to cope with hearing it, we'd simply choose not to read your blog. We just wouldn't concern ourselves with you, on good days or bad. Stick with the ones that do want to concern themselves with you, for the time being. Like Bunny.


Annabellz February 28, 2012 at 11:08 am

No time limit. It's painful to know that a "friend" is hurting but it's not tiring to hear the honest truth that it hurts to be you right now. Please don't feel you need to spare anyone the details. ((((hug)))))


Rachel February 28, 2012 at 10:11 am

So when I was about twenty, I was unleashed on the world, wide-eyed, heart-bruised and searching for love. When I looked back at it, I could see what I was – aggressively vulnerable. I would seize hold of some bloke with a desperate need for them to take care of me, not to hurt me. Surely they could see how vulnerable I was? Surely they wouldn't hurt me? And you know something, they did. They didn't care about my hurt, my vulnerability, my need to be taken care of. They were as the old saying goes, young, dumb etc. they were usually drunk as well. Why I expected any depth or sensitivity from them bewilders me. But they weren't being malicious, they were just being selfish, young and the truth was they didn't really care about me, they were just looking for a good time, without complications. Whether they're 20 or 40, I think a lot of blokes really have all the emotional depth of Homer Simpson (with notable exceptions of course). They are not so much heartless as clueless. What does this mean for the tender-hearted? Unfortunately it means in my experience that the protection you would dearly love to be wrapped in has to come from within. Build the wall. The right man will crash through it, or use a teaspoon to excavate a way through. In the meantime, the shitheads will be stuck on the other side. I used to ask myself why I had to do this – and the answer was, because if I don't, I will be the one that gets hurt. Those that don't care, don't hurt. And the broken hearted care too much and are too delicate to be handled by the careless.
PS I agree that Bunny is the bomb. Every girl needs a friend like that.


Ashley February 28, 2012 at 9:49 am

You scream out the pain as many times as you need to, Lori. This is your space, and viewing your life is like anonymous comments- A privelege not a right. We'll be here.


Karyn February 28, 2012 at 9:31 am

Lori – you do what you do to get through this time. Tehre is no time limit on grief. I can't remember what I was watching, but they said that at first, it's an open cut that bleeds, then it scabs up. A hard shell that cracks so easily, the red stuff coming out again. Finally there's a scar that is there, ugly and shiny and red against the skin, part of you forever. Eventually the scar will fade, lose the raised edge, and become a memory. Until that time – and past that time – you do what you have to do. Limp. Put a bandaid on. Immobilise the limb – anything to stop it bleeding.

*hug* you are an amazing woman. And Bunny, he's a pretty amazing mate to have.


Madmother February 28, 2012 at 10:42 am

Never sick of you, and I am sad you found a rotten apple.


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