Checking In

I know it has been a long time since I’ve checked in here.  I do see that there are a number of people who still check the blog regularly … or new people who do!  And I am very grateful to all of you who do so!

I could probably come here far more often to write, but I’ve come to feel that all anybody wants to hear about is Michaela.  I don’t know, sometimes it seems as though some kind of a betrayal if I write about other things.  What if Michaela is out there reading this.  If I keep posting blogs about other things, will she think I am not thinking about her anymore?  I know, that is probably dumb.

The fact is that things are quiet regarding Michaela’s case right now.  I know the police are still working on it, but they don’t tell me everything they are doing, and they don’t need to tell me everything.  We used to get together for lunch semi-regularly, but I have been working full-time the last couple of months, and I work pretty far away, so that hasn’t happened as often.

And here is the other thing, and these are the things I hate to say because I don’t want anybody to take this wrong, but sometimes I just have to step away from it a bit.  Anybody who has suffered grief knows this.  There are times when it is inescapable, when it is a huge monster that sits on your chest and makes you unable to breathe.  There are times when the holes of loss are so huge in the fabric of our lives … times when an aching loneliness is all there is.  These are horrible, horrible times, and yet I know their value.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and if you can survive grief without letting it kill you off, or kill a part of you off, it enables you to love more deeply, because you know the cost.  It increases your sensitivity to the beautiful things in life.

But still, the thing that makes us able to survive grief is the fact that it wanes as time goes by.  I woke up sobbing the morning after my mother died.  Now when I think of her, there is an ache, and tears the well up in my throat and my eyes, but it is a gentle sorrow, rather than that sobbing that tears me apart and the grief that … well, I’m going to have to keep looking for the words for it, cause I haven’t quite found them yet.

One of the things you don’t get when your child is missing is really being able to move through the stages of grief and go on with life.  But in some way, you have to create that illusion, just in order to survive.

So I’m working, and I’m taking care of my family, and I’m dealing with life, and believe me all of those things can be hugely challenging all on their own!  I am trying to work on my book.  I am no longer writing the true story of Michaela’s kidnapping and life afterwards, but I am working on a novel.  I think it will be a really good book, but for now, I can tell you that it’s my therapy.  It is where I pour all my feelings, all the pain that has nowhere to go.  The main characters are loosely based on me and my youngest daughter.  The me character does have a missing child, and as far as that goes, of course it is based on Michaela, although the missing child in the book has a different name, and not everything is based on fact.  As for the story itself, it revolves around the themes of loss, and how it impacts us … hopefully in the case of my real family, even though we suffer our difficulties, we find positive ways to deal with the aftermath of loss.  But what if it caused us to miss a step along the way?  What negative effects might that cause?  More to the point, what are we to learn from grief, and if we don’t learn it the right way, in what ways might its lessons come back?

Right now the name of the book is Waiting for the Sky to Fall, although I’m not completely satisfied with it.  If you have any ideas for the title, let me know.

So I can come back here, just to let you know I’m still alive.  There are lots of things I’d like to talk about.  I am still struggling with religion, and questions of faith.  I just finished reading a really good book, called  Cutting for Stone.  Actually, I listened to the audiobook, from  I do that a lot these days because I spend so much time commuting.  The story is about twins born in a mission hospital in Ethiopia, and the narrator has just a light accent that was beautiful to listen to.  But the writing was so good.  The prose was spare, not at all flowery, and yet it managed to convey such depths.  It’s a test of an author’s talent to write about sex.  There were only two important sexual encounters in this book, but Verghese conveyed them with taste and delicacy.  (Unlike A Discovery of Witches, an absolutely horrible and horribly written book!)  It has some important themes that are also expressed with delicacy.  The twins were delivered by their father, a doctor, who almost killed them during childbirth, in an attempt to save their mother’s life.  Well … I can’t tell you how that theme develops, because then I’d be telling you the plot.  You will just have to read just about to the end of the book to see that for yourself.

So here I have been blabbering on, and not really saying anything.  So that’s another thing … I have actually written several blogs, which I haven’t published, because I felt as though I sounded like a blabbering idiot.  But oh well.  Sometimes that’s what I am.

Anyway, thank you for being here, and thank you for caring.

Love you all.

19 thoughts on “Checking In

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  1. I like to read whatever you write, so please keep writing.I did read an excerpt of the book Cutting for Stone and it had good reviews, will save it for my summer reading.Keep posting….From a mom who feels your pain.


  2. Dear SharonI came across your website missingMichaela by accident this morning and it gave me shivers. No one should ever have to go through what you and your family has been through.I am busy working my way through you blog and have found myself completely forgetting that I am sitting at work and should actually be working.I am so sorry for you loss and hope that you will get some type of closure soon.Please keep posting!All the way from South Africa


  3. Blabber away, Sharon, blabber away! If we don't like it, we can GO away! ;-)When my mom's best friend passed away, I was having such a difficult time with it. I finally posted about her on my blog and it felt like a weight was lifted. Now I have a place to return to, should I ever need a reminder of what a wonderful lady she was (which I don't think I ever will, but at least its there!) which is my reason for blogging – memories – good and sometimes not so good.


  4. I'm glad you are back to posting..whatever you are feeling or feel like writing don't feel any guilt about it. Honor yourself and your thoughts and just know that sometimes your words are reaching out to more people than you can imagine. The anniversary of my mother's death is coming up and I am feeling such a sense of longing for her. I like what you wrote about surviving grief and how it allows you to love more deeply…. it makes life seem a little bit more bearable.I continue to pray for you Michaela, and your family Sharon..God Bless


  5. If you are reading books on faith, maybe I can suggest “90 Minutes in Heaven?” by Don Piper. It is about a pastor who was killed in a car crash. 3 EMTs pronounced him dead and he was placed in a body bag, but he came back to life 90 minutes later. He experienced Heaven, and his book is very uplifting. I believe he was there. He is a Baptist pastor, so I don't agree with everything he believes (like there is a hell, I don't believe it) but it is a good book. Highly recommend it.


  6. Sharon,It's good to know that you're working again on your novel. You've been away from this blog for some time, and I'm happy to see a post from you. I'm keeping Michaela and you in my thoughts and prayers everyday.Love,Radhika


  7. Sharon, I am always checking up on the news about Michaela and I was so sad to hear that Phillip Garrido was a suspect in Michaela's disappearance? Is there any truth to this? They said that Garrido lived in a halfway house about 20 minutes from a market parking lot where Michaela was abducted. What are your thoughts on this?


  8. I don't know when you started check up on the news about Michaela, because the coverage Michaela got in the news in 2009 was at least as great as at the time she was kidnapped — in fact, probably greater. She was on all the major news shows, several newsmagazine shows, on Oprah, People magazine, and the coverage was international with numerous articles in newspapers and magazines in England. And all this came about because of the possible connection with Garrido. The Hayward Police Department spent a week searaching his property, and were responsible for completely demolishing and clearing away all the outbuildings on the Garrido property. It is without a doubt the biggest news that has ever come up in Michaela's case. As for my thoughts, I really have no idea. He has certainly not been ruled out. Michaela's case and Jaycee's case were always tentatively related over the years, because of the similarity of the method of kidnapping, the description of the kidnapper and the car, and the similiarity between the girls. At the very least, Garrido put a spotlight on Michaela that has brought in a great deal of information, and hopefully something somewhere will help to solve the case even if they were not involved.I don't, for the record, think Garrido is particularly worse than anybody else who might be responsible. I do not figure that some scraggly stranger kidnapped my almost 10-year old daughter to be adopted by some nice childless couple. Whoever took Michaela was up to no good, it's guaranteed.


  9. It was in the news a couple of days ago..I have read all the news since 2009, but was surprised to see the latest…that Garrido lived in a halfway house 20 min. away at the time of Michaela”s disappearance? I can send you the link. but I'm sure you already have it. I'm sorry


  10. it was on CNN April 7, 2011 here is a clip….Authorities have wanted to question Nancy Garrido because her husband has been a lead suspect in the case of 9-year-old Michaela Garecht, who disappeared in 1988 in Hayward, California.That case was profiled in February on HLN's “Nancy Grace America's Missing,” during which the lead detective, Rob Lampkin of the Hayward Police Department, said that Phillip Garrido was their top suspect in the girl's disappearance.Lampkin said Garrido lived in a halfway house about 20 minutes from a market parking lot where Michaela was abducted. Also on the show, the girl's mother said she believed Nancy Garrido could provide answers to what happened to her daughter.


  11. Sharon,Although I have never met you, I feel such a want in my heart for your daughter to come home. I found your blog by accident and was just crushed as I read blog entry after entry. I am a mother also and cannot imagine what you've gone through over the years. You have my highest respect, admiration and prayers and support. I just wish you peace most of all and know in my own heart you will have it one day.Jessica


  12. “but sometimes I just have to step away from it a bit”you couldn't have said it better Sharon.that is absolutely true because if you don't step away from it every once in a while the grief will devour you.if you have to go to work and provide for your family and lead a normal life the only way you can do that is to forget about your grief at least for a little while.


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