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Terrible, Thanks for Asking.

I’m a podcast lover…ok, I’m a podcast binge-er. {…I devoured Serial in 2 sittings, Ted Radio Hour is on constant loop in my car…} But, I’d put off listening to Terrible, Thanks for Asking.

Why? I think the answer is in the title. It’s about a real woman who has real {hard} conversations with other real people. Episode #1 was about her life: How she miscarried her second pregnancy while her husband and father were both dying from cancer. In the span of 6 weeks, she had buried her dad, widowed, and was raising a toddler by herself.

Yea. Doesn’t that sound like a ruckus good time? Actually, it’s like a car accident – or a fire – you can’t look but you can’t look away. I don’t know what compelled me to start listening a couple weeks ago, in May, just days before the anniversary of Madelyn’s death. I think it was because I had a longer than normal commute and all my other listening options were stale.

On the return trip from the ‘longer than normal commute,’ I stopped for a quick happy hour drink from Sonic. An hour later I’m still sitting in the stall, bawling like a little baby, wondering if I just lived there now. And the moment episode one was finished I started into episode two.

I took three things away from that afternoon in the small town Sonic parking lot.

  1. As much as it hurts to relive your past sadness. Hearing others stories {even if they are from strangers} builds connections and lets you know you’re not alone. No normal functioning human being would ever want to cause this type of pain to another – and also, it’s nice knowing you’re not alone
  2. I was finally able to put words to the feelings that I’ve had ever since Maddie’s death. I remember wishing my c-section wound would stay unhealed forever. I thought as long as I had physical wounds to show then the intense emotional wounds were still allowed.Sometimes I crave those raw, bubbling to the top, feel all the feels, never know if/when you’re going to explode emotions of the early days. Just like my c-section scar, my emotional wounds have begun to scab and scar over. That intensive throbbing pain of my loss has mellowed into a constant ache. While most days, and in most situations, that is ideal – there are times I want to feel that extreme emotion. I feel like having those hardcore emotions sometimes remind me that my love and loss was, and is, real.
  3. Schadenfreude. And also, anti-schadenfreude. I don’t care how long it’s been since your loss. How far you’ve come. How you’ve turned your pain into purpose, mess into a message, and suffering into soul-searching…There will always be a part of you that compares your story to others. You look for the similarities and the differences… 

    It’s human nature to want to compare and contrast. I find myself thanking God I “didn’t have to make that decision” and {on the flip side of that coin} saying to myself “…well, I had to _____ and she only _____”. There’s almost something healing in being able to ‘objectively critique’ another’s misfortune compared to your own. {Go ahead, throw your rotten tomatoes and judge me for that last statement. I’m standing by it.}

All that being said, I’m kinda hooked {in small doses – otherwise, I’ll have a mental breakdown…} and I invite you to take a listen too. Again, you gotta be ready for REALLY REAL discussions, and in that sense, it is very refreshing

Oh, and if Nora McInerny wanted to invite Madelyn and I on an episode, that would be cool too 😉

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