“Be honest. Be blunt. Rave on. Rant on. This (blog) is where to do it. No apologies. Just brute truth. How else can grief be? We are empowered by our own grief because as weak as we may seem no one can hurt us anymore than we hurt now. We can say what we want, think what we want, ‘grieve as fast’ or as slow as we want. The outsiders who are only guests in our brokenness have no say in the matter. Grief has given us a certain freedom while we are bound in its ugly grip.”
(From my response to another grief-stricken mom.)
Because we all grieve differently from our losses, there are no rules to follow. We are merely reacting to a most horrendous situation that has altered our lives forever. Yet, even those who are grieving along side me have judged me. While I do not allow people whom I have never really met in person to affect me negatively, I find it is easier said than done. It’s kinda like being “unfriended” on Facebook. It leaves me bewildered and wondering. But, it is right here that I emphatically stomp my virtual foot and fist pound the keys! Exclamation point included! I almost feel as if it is my faith that has caused others to abandon me. That what I find peace in is of no consequence to them and yet, I feel compelled to share it with them.
I am a woman of faith who, while swirling in the vortex of unbelievable emotions, is grabbing onto the God I have been angry at and the God who has comforted me…the same God who gave and took away. My God. I can’t help those who do not have the same belief system I have, nor can I help those whose faith has been irrevocably shattered. I wish that I could but meanwhile I am still grappling with my son being absent from me. I haven’t seen him, heard him, touched him, in five and one half years! That is a very long time for a mother who spent 29 years completely involved in his life as nurturing mother while also trying to step back from his married life so as not to intrude. It is a difficult balancing act. When no one else was praying for him, I was. Isn’t that my role as a mother who has devoted her life to being caregiver to my family? While faith does not have all the answers, trust is an act of surrendering to all I cannot know just yet.
I do not apologize to anyone for how I see fit to grieve. After all, grief is the stranger who came to stay. I do not apologize for finding comfort in my faith, although it has sorely been tested, there has been knowledge and wisdom imparted to me because of it. The grief process will challenge everything familiar and bring with it the sobering reality of growing pains. In the beginning, amid shock and disbelief, I tended only to myself, then over time I began to share the comfort I have found. I had to go searching for it…it did not come seeking me. It is the domino effect in reverse; instead of knocking each other down because we are truly already ‘down’, we reach and pull the next one up. A continuation of our gravity being tested.
I have no pat answer that tidies up the mess of this loss. On any given day I can be stricken to the ground with wails of sorrow and anguish and by nightfall be changed into someone who has accepted her ‘fate’. I can now go long periods of time without a tear and then all of a sudden, someone says something, a song plays, a memory surfaces, dreams are dreamed, words are read, and I am again in the unbearableness of being again. Grief is inconstant. Always there but undulating like the soft sand under foot. It can make my “new” existence seem as if it has no firm foundation. The difference for me is my faith. It has been built on rock and those things that shake and shift are relentlessly trying to topple all that I know. While I must endure the unsteadiness and vertigo, the despairing days of loss, I will find rest in the knowing of a heartfelt peace that I can only tell about. For to truly realize it, is to experience it personally.
It is my utmost wish that all the mothers and fathers whom I have come to know through grief sharing will find peace. It will come in time but not til their foundation has been tested.