Finding the Right Words, Pt.2

When my brother Elden and his wife Susan were engaged in their battle against Breast Cancer last year I wrote about not knowing what to say to someone when they’re “in the fight”. I of course didn’t know that soon I’d be the person who people wanted to reach out to, but weren’t sure how they could, or what they could say.

I can’t express how weird it feels to receive so much love and kindness from so many different directions. It feels really good, and it is important to me that people to know I appreciate their efforts in supporting my family, no matter how well they know me. I’m acutely aware that the choices Anson and I have made for our family, and ending this pregnancy, may be different than the choices others would make. There is no part of me that believes there was a Universal Truth somewhere inside all the circumstance, that there was One Right Choice.

I’ve simply had to trust myself, to have faith in myself, to believe that I’ve collected all the information I possibly can, from the best sources I possibly could find. I’ve had to exhaust every single option for a test, for an opinion, for guidance. And then I’ve had to sit alone with it, feeling this baby boy kicking inside me, and wonder what this mother is supposed to do. Over and over the same answer comes to me: what would I ask someone to do for me, were I this child? And undeniably, the truth is I would ask them to do the same thing as if I were suffering in old age, or suffering due to any terminal illness. I would ask them to not prolong it, to please let me go.

This answer has not brought me peace but I do not doubt it. Every email I get, every comment, every hug on the playground or squeeze of my hand in passing helps bring me peace. The strangers and almost-strangers that share concern, bring me peace. The unending gifts of conversation, time and love bring me peace. My friend’s confidence in my ability to discern and choose the best path for my family brings me peace.

I still don’t know what to say to people when they’re struggling with their own battles. But I do know it is this confidence in me radiating from those around me that has given me the strength and clarity to make it. And that gift of support and strength is exactly the thing that will get me through this week and able to move forward without regret or guilt. It provides me the magic to continue to enjoy the love and happiness in my home, and in the world at large. I am writing today full of sadness for the process that begins today, but also full of gratitude for the gifts given to me by those around me, near and far.

33 thoughts on “Finding the Right Words, Pt.2

  1. Good luck getting through today Jodi. One breath at a time. I continue to pray for your peace. And thank you for letting us know how you are. You are loved.

  2. Jodi,

    I am thinking of you and your family today. I hope you find all the love you need and all the healing you need.



  3. P.S. “If I ever feel better”…..brilliant! Hope you have your mix tape with you right now. Music is a mighty healer.

  4. All my love to you today. Your words are healing and courageous. Thanks for letting us all in. Really.

    I was faced with a stranger in class today who lost her mother to suicide and was crying about it. For all my previous “I know more than all you kids about death” attitude, I was speechless. What words are there for people going through extreme pain and hardship? I ended up thanking her for her courage to speak up and reveal her pain. Now I had the opportunity to put love and compassion in the place of false superiority.

    Must be the theme for today.
    Keep talkin’ and being vulnerable so we all have more chance to practice our loving empathy with each other.

  5. Peace is a most wonderful gift. One I have wished for you, for Anson, and for Roan. My love to you all. Mom

  6. Such a “Sophie’s Choice” for you. I feel for you, I don’t know what I would do in the same situation. God’s peace be with you and your husband.

  7. My thoughts are with you. As with Eldon and Susan’s battle, I can only admire the courage it must have taken to come to this incredibly impossible decision. I hope that courage can help you find the peace you deserve.

  8. It amazes me that you are able to find happiness in this situation, and you are such an amazing person to know that you made the decision and although some wouldn’t have made the same decision it is right for you and your family and that is whats important. I admire your strength and reasoning abilities in this time!

  9. From one of your many readers, I’m sending strong thoughts to you and your family. I can’t help but admire your strength and courage.

  10. I’m so sorry that anyone would have to make such a difficult decision and I’m terribly sorry that you are sucked into this vortex of pain. I’ll be here when you come back, want to write, and need an audience.

  11. I am amazed by your strength, courage and grace. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in this difficult time.

  12. Such amazing grace under such intolerable pressure – it obviously runs in the family. I am just so glad that I have never had to face such a difficult choice or handle the consequences of it. You seem as certain as you can be that you have made the right choice for you and your family and for you and Anson I truly hope this proves to be the case. I am know your little boy will never be forgotten by those closest to him but may the immediate pain and sadness of his loss soon pass. My very best wishes to you and yours from me and mine.

  13. Jodi, Anson, and Roan,

    I didn’t want to email you about something so profound but also want to give you time and space without pressure to feel the need to talk and share things you may not be ready to. Steve and I have been thinking of all of you for the past few weeks wondering how we can help ease this pain, but realizing through our own experiences that we just can’t and that there is a process you will go through as a family, that will ultimatley bind you deeper than you could have ever imagined. Please know how much we all love you and respect you and your difficult choices. We are here for you in spirit and any other way you need. I look back and remember how your friendship helped us through some very difficult times and I want you to know we love you and that you are important people in our lives despite the distance.
    Much Love,

  14. I am a fan of your writing as well as your strength and unfortunately know the pain of ending a pregnancy. I am not religious person but something that my mother has alway said to strangers and friends alike during difficult times strikes me as appropriate right now. It comforts me and hope it does the same for you. May God hold and keep you.

  15. My heart and prayers go out to you. I cannot imagine what you are going through, and I admire your faith in yourself, and I wish you peace and continued strength. You sound like an amazing person, and I’m glad I stopped in today. Be well.

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