Life After Beau

These are just a few things I've written. In this emotionally chaotic time, it helps to organize my thoughts.
Thank you for sharing this life with me.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Well, that was a huge relief! I just got my hair cut. And, got my eyebrows waxed, AND now have a mustache-free smile (that's what Holly and I used to call an upper-lip wax :) I have seriously been having near panic attacks at the thought of getting my hair cut for the last few months. And you know girls, once you start thinking you need a cut, you really do need one. Even if it's just a trim! I talked about my fear of this task, in our support group a couple of months ago. And since then, I considered cutting it myself (but I know better) and have been battling split ends, trying to ignore them, wearing my hair in ponytails, pigtails, claw clips, and yesterday when it was difficult to run a comb through my hair and I required five bobby pins to keep it all in place, I figured, now's the time.

But, remember that when you are in the stylist's chair, you are somewhat at her mercy for conversation. And well, that's where the anxiety came from. I was SO NERVOUS that I would be asked the "dreaded question", that I have been putting off this seemingly ordinary task for at least two months. I could just picture it: Poor innocent stylist woman asking the ordinary question (dreaded, to me): "So, do you have any kids?" and me freaking out, or saying something socially awkward like, "I'd rather not talk about it." Or worse, "Yes, but he died." and start crying uncontrollably, and then her saying something like, "Well, everything happens for a reason" or something as equally insensitive. AARGHH!! And then I'm trapped, in the stylist's chair, hair half-cut, with one of those black apron-things on, and nowhere to turn! The horror!!

I have a few rehearsed answers ready for the "dreaded question" but I STILL was dreading the conversation part of the haircut. Until the other day when I went to lunch with my friend Maya telling her my fears - she suggested I take a magazine. (Duh, seems so simple now! Thanks Maya!)

So instead of having a freak-out in the chair, here's what REALLY happened this afternoon: I walked into the salon, confident, unafraid, and armed with a magazine. And my stylist asked me, "So what are you up to today?" my answer was, "Oh, just running some errands. I'm going to let you cut away while I flip through this magazine, if you don't mind." And I smiled. And she smiled back! And she said "Absolutely! You go right ahead!" No social awkwardness! No alarm went off in the salon and no announcement over the loudspeaker said, "We have someone in Chair 2 that doesn't want to chitchat!" Ok, I'm being dramatic. But the whole time I was sitting there flipping through National Geographic while she's cutting away, I was like, THIS is what I was afraid of for months? And I sort of chuckled to myself.

(The girl that used to cut my hair on a regular basis, Tessa, was awesome and sweet and very interesting to talk to. I haven't seen her since February, when I was hugely pregnant, and I don't want to go back to her because she will inevitably ask me how the baby is, and well, I don't want to deal with that. Another reason for procrastinating the haircut. Sorry Tessa).

And the dreaded question will come up at some point in my life, and here's what I will say: "Yes, our son died in March right before he was to be born." Because that's the truth and it's simple and if I don't feel like I'm in the mood to deal with the reaction, I can say, "Nope, no kids" and not feel disloyal to Beau. Because he would understand.

So, here I am, with healthy hair and a mustache-free smile and....what's that, New Haircut? Oh, you want to go out for a drink to celebrate? Well, allllrriiiight.... :D


  1. That question is so hard in the start of this journey. The panic attacks, the created situations that play over and over in our heads...

    Your plan to take a magazine worked great! Wish I would had that years ago. My trick for making through grocery shopping, and craft store (this one was my source of panic attacks for months) was wearing an i-pod. Worked most of the time. We have to have plans to get through some days.

    I'm glad you got your hair cut! Good job!

  2. I remember fearing...dreading those questions too in the beginning of my grief journey.

    But now that it's been over 5 years since my son passed away and I've integrated my grief into my life, I find myself wishing more people would ask me that question that I used to fear so very much.

    And the reason is that as time goes by and our loved ones tend to talk less and less about our precious children that have gone too soon...the more I wish 'anyone' would ask me how many kids do I have?......Just so that I can get the chance to PROUDLY tell them about my son.

    It's amazing what changes take place as we work through our grief...I know you will find healing too in your journey.

    It sounds like you handled things just perfectly during your haircut...and I bet you look spectacular Minnow!!!

  3. Good job, Minnow! Congrats on getting through this one and coming out on the other side gorgeous : )

  4. hey Minnow I'm new to your blog, reading it all at once, I came from MISS.

    I'm so sorry Beau died. It's so incredibly hard to learn to live with the loss of our children and mastering these day to day challenges is a quest that doesn't come easy. They are what I call booby traps sometimes more or less expected maybe.

    My love to you and Beau.