There is an art to grieving. I didn't know this and even as we began our efforts to grieve well last April, I was unaware of the magnificent attempts I was going to need to make it each day. I just figured I would cry a little, laugh when forced and the earth would rotate on, oblivious to to my new role.
Sometimes grief numbs and sometimes it floods with more emotions than are easily worked through.
A friend who recently lost a child was telling me how hard it is for her to simply get out of bed. That there is little to no desire to thrive and surviving is simply because other babies rely on us. Living lacks joy and brings tears.
She no longer feels her worth as she did before losing her flesh and blood.
And I get that.
See, when you are still alive and your child is not, you will despair. You will feel helpless and overwhelmed and sad. A sadness so deep that you probably just nod at it in acknowledgment every once in a while knowing full well that if you were to fully acknowledge it you simply would die.
This is the truth and it is ugly.
People who have not lost this magnitude cannot comprehend. I have learned to be selectively honest when asked how I am doing...many women who would hear me talk would be concerned. They cannot understand and they somehow need to still see me moving on and praising God and smiling. They need this almost more than I do, if that is possible.
And that is where the art comes in.
Where being honest collides with being depressing and I am left a grieving but emphatically/weakly faithful woman. Where I can tell you all about how dark my thoughts grow at times and still show you that I am wearing pants and my hair was recently washed .
This is the art.
Grieving honestly while breathing still.
Sobbing then showering.
Staying in bed for the extra moments so you have the strength to mother.
Again, people want to see me as strong. I imagine in the dark parts of their fears they need to know one can survive loss like this...they don't want to know that it is simply by the Grace of God that I am still here.
Still making the decision to live.
So when you hear a woman say she is okay, she may be in that moment. And in the next she will be hiding in the bathroom at church because there are way too many almost 4 year old little girls running around, reminding her.
Love this woman.
She doesn't have a clue how to be this sad any more than you do, but she was thrust in to the balancing act of remembering how much breathing hurts and how much and many rely on her to do so anyways.
One year later this hasn't changed.