Awkward Appointments & Awesome Acting

December 4, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, mourning | 6 Comments
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I was cast in one of the lead roles in my 6th grade play, The Taming of the Shrew.  Andrew Schulz had to kiss me on stage but that is different story.  My acting career pretty much began and ended right there in 1982 in my elementary school all-purpose room.  Until I became a bereaved parent.  In 2005, I was cast in the role of a mother with a newborn son who died.  In 2009, I was cast for the role once again.  

William Shakespeare wrote, “all the world’s a stage.”  This is so true in the life of a bereaved parent.  I will be out to dinner or talking to someone on the phone and they will say “you are doing really great.”   I will try to remember what exactly I said or did to give such a good impression.  And, I think to myself what a good actress I am.  

Then there are other times that I seem to forget my “I am doing really great” lines.  For example, I went to the dentist the other day.   I have not been to the dentist since the week before Sawyer was born.  I have gone to the same dentist for over 10 years and I don’t mind going there.  I knew they would ask “how is the baby?”  We did not send out birth or death announcement for either Sawyer or Jake.  I could have avoided the whole thing and switched dentists (I did switch hair salons for this very reason).

I chose to stay with the same dentist and play my part as the bereaved mother.  However, my “I am doing great” lines had all been forgotten.  I am pretty forgetful these days so I should not be surprised.  Instead, I cried.  I cried and explained that our perfect baby boy had died.  Luckily (or unluckily depending how you look at it), during a dental cleaning there is only so much crying and talking you can do.

After crying through my dentist appointment I was happy to get out of there.   As I drove away I realized this was the first time in months that I had spoken about Sawyer for so long.  Now that I think about it maybe the title of this blog works both ways – it could also be awesome appointments and awkward acting.


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  1. Lanie,
    I know about acting. We get pretty good at it don’t we? And the Emmy goes to… he/she who grieves…
    But you know what? Maybe if we ACT okay, we will be okay. Maybe the acting isn’t just for others but also for ourselves? Maybe, just maybe, one day we will find it isn’t all an act – that we actually can be happy. Don’t we owe our loves that much?

  2. I think you are doing great. Even if you don’t feel great. You get up every day, take a deep breath and take care of your family. And I’m proud of you. xo

  3. Dear Lanie – What a poignant post. And what superb writing and acting. You have pain, regret, shame, perspective and humor all combined in this remembrance not only of Sawyer but also of your own story since his death. It is beautiful. Thank you.
    Love, Cornelia

  4. Faking your way through the tough parts is a totally acceptable way to make it through. Sometimes it takes more acting than others, but either way it’s okay to cry at the dentist.

  5. Lanie, this is so well written. It should be published on an even wider scale so others have a chance to read it!

  6. I admire you my brave friend. I think if we are all honest, we are all acting on some level. I am sure you feel you have to do it a lot. Please continue to be real, talk about your beautiful children and share your grief with others. We can all learn from you and your vulnerability.

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