Acknowledging My Grief
Grief does not demand pity; it requests acknowledgement.
Grief is not simply a feeling; it is a deep indescribable anguish of the soul that permeates our entire being. It exists whenever there is trauma and loss. There is no getting over the loss of a child. There is no moving on from it. You only move forward with it. The pain becomes a lifelong companion.
A part of our soul has been violently torn from us. Yes, bereaved parents go on and find a manner of functioning that may appear to the outsider as if they have “gotten over it,” but appearances can be deceiving. Any unexpected “trigger” can cause a downward spiral that breaks the sound barrier. In an instant, we can find ourselves emerged in a mire of quicksand, sucking us down a black hole of torment, flooded with memories of what was…that can never be again. Another child will never replace the one we no longer can hold. The anguish is simply indescribable.
We don’t “choose” to dwell on “negativity.” We aren’t desiring anyone’s pity. Child loss is in a category all its own. Therapy may provide some coping options that can be beneficial, but that grief is carried with us. We think about our children daily.
I will never be the person I once was…ever. It will take however long it takes simply to appear to you what might be perceived as “normal” and “better” to others. We may smile again or laugh again. But that doesn’t mean we’re the same again.
All I ask is that my grief is acknowledged. I don’t want you to “fix” me. I request that you validate my sorrow, and give my grief recognition.
What you can do is simply be kind.
Stand alongside me.
Accept the “new me.”
I believe God will sustain me. I believe he will carry me, He will not forsake me. He, Himself, is well “acquainted with grief.”
Isaiah 53:3 — “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
I believe God “gets it” even if no one else does. It is in Him that I place my Hope. I believe it is in Him that we know there will come a day when all our tears shall be wiped away.
So, please, know that I love you. If you need to grieve the loss of the “old me,” then please do so. I am still here…though different. My perspective on life has been forever altered. Having to embrace a parent’s worst fear imaginable does that to a person.
Understand that if I am expecting you to call or stop by at a certain time…and you don’t…I now have a new fear. I no longer take such things for granted. I now live in a world of awareness of how quickly things can change in an instant. I no longer take life for granted. My values have also changed. What once was important, may now seem trivial. What once I perceived as trivial, has become of great value. You do not need to walk on eggshells around me. I can hear the crunching when you do.
Just be you and let me be me…the “new” me.
Jude’s book, “Gifts from the Ashes,” is available at Direct Textbook.
A version of this post originally appeared on Jude’s website.
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