Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Things I Don't Do Anymore

Since you died, I don't sign all of our names.

I used to write: "The Sommer Family - Michael, Phyllis, David, Sam, Yael, and Solly"
Now, I just write The Sommer Family. I tried this week to write our names. It looked so bare. I had Solly add a turtle drawing. 

I miss writing all of our names. 

Since you died, I don't count heads any more.

I loved having six of us. I loved counting us, taking pictures of the four of you, I reveled in it, perhaps more than I should have.

We're always incomplete, so I don't count heads in the same way. It's always hard to set the table. There's a gut-punch every time. I know that it's practically useful to know how many people are sitting at the table. That doesn't make it any easier to count out the plates. 

Since you died, I rarely use the word "perfect" to describe an experience.

I fully understand the lesson of keeping something undone in your home to indicate that the world isn't finished, that it isn't perfect. Perfection has left the the same moment that you left our physical world. That doesn't mean that things aren't wonderful, beautiful, special, and even amazing. Our lives are full of goodness and love. But as Leonard Cohen, of blessed memory, taught us so eloquently, there's a crack in everything. 

Since you died, I don't have a lot of patience for nonsense.

And by nonsense, I mean small worries about small things that might very well be big to others. I know that. And so I keep quiet about it. But I know that my very presence often brings others perspective. 

Since you died, I don't stop talking about you.

I know sometimes it makes people uncomfortable. And I've noticed that stories about your healthy days are easier for people to hear. A story that starts, "when Sam was in the hospital...." can make other people cringe. But I don't know how to stop. So I don't.

Since you died, you are always on my mind.

It's been 1081 days.

New Year's card in 2012
right before we left for Israel, 2013
this year's Thanksgiving


  1. Been thinking about you lately. Sending love.

  2. Thinking about you and your Sam. I will be forever moved by your deep, deep love and loss.

  3. Hugs
    Yes, you should keep talking and writing. I think it's much healthier than keeping it all bottled in. And it does keep Sammy alive in people's minds and hearts.

  4. My compassion and prayers are with you. I don't know you beyond your text, but I try, by proxy, to have empathy for your pain. I teach community college students and meet people in many stages of life challenges. Your candidness has given me insight, and I seek to use it with my students. I ache for you and appreciate you, and I wish you solace.


  5. Hi Phyllis

    We lost our beautiful little 3 year old son to this awful disease aml last January, I feel your pain so much. Please keep writing. For you and for others. It helps me more than you know

    From Christina, all the way from Northern Ireland.

  6. Keep talking about Sam. He's your son. We all care about you and your family and we all learn so much from you. Thinking of you often in Nevada.

  7. Thinking of your family on this day, your grace during your grief, both moves and humbles me. Don't stop talking about Sam.