Compensatory Skills

It happened, a couple of weeks ago. I experienced happiness. I do not want to call it joy, happiness is more accurate. It has been a long, long time. The happiness overtook me and I yelled “Woohoo!” repeatedly, and jumped around. This amused my son and my S.O., who were as surprised as I was. All of this, because of the snow day. Extra time afforded to do homework and clean my house. Not only a snow day, but one that was decided and heralded at seven o’clock the night before. In New York “We Never Close School When it Snows” City.   It seems simple in hindsight, but I have not written a blog in a long time, and I felt that here was the place to express the momentousness of me being happy. I think I believed it would never happen again.

I have been away from my blog to study and write. Some writing is research in APA format, some is a sea of braille dots. I am daunted by mistakes, dots or rules missed, but I believe my studies are bringing me back to life. And I, this person who has been waiting for three years to feel a moment of happiness, will tell you firsthand that, if you try to do things on its behalf, the universe can heal you. The universe can bring you back to life.

This week I have been studying hard, matters of visual impairment. The way the eyes can see certain fields, certain distances and directions. The way small children and apprehensive adults learn to compensate for what vision they are missing. I think of how, on the very edges of my periphery, there seem to be tiny flutters and colors which disappear when I try to place them. Since Susanna had to leave, I feel an impermanence, an otherworldliness, a crack in the veil between the worlds. There is a parallel between the work I am preparing for and this grief experience I am living. My eyes are not impaired, but I am not sure where I am.

I came back to my blog yesterday, feeling a bit nostalgic, and found that in my neglect the domain had expired (welcome to the new one, I read for a while, and remembered how many times I have written about how I was waiting, waiting to be happy and for the nightmare to end. Waiting for grief to leave so “happy” could come in. It doesn’t work that way, not at all. I still collapse, inwardly, whenever I remember that she is not here. When I remember that other people have daughters who did not die. When I remember that this happened to me, and I could do nothing to stop it. These realities persist, but they coexist. They live together with ways to see, ways to be, ways to frame things in a way that I could not before. Compensatory skills.

There is a place, Susanna, where I can find you. I cannot see it, but I know it is there. See you in my dreams, Angel Princess. Save me a spot.

By trishfreer

Mother, writer, artist and teacher grappling with grief and loss.


  1. Lovely to read, and to know a glimmer of peace maybe found a place to sit for a while. I see some bit of healing and it’s great to feel it in your writing. I enjoy reading your blog!

    Christine Carson Comer Purcell


  2. Thank you for your courageous embrace of life & love…Joy, Acceptance & Gratitude for all you are breathing through gives me HAPPY & renewed focus. ❤


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