A few friends and I have been talking about the grieving process lately and the things people say.
“I’ll be praying for you.”
Have you told someone that you will be praying for them after a loss? A child, a pregnancy, a mother, a brother, any kind of loss.
You might be praying wrong. Yeah, you. Have you been praying we will just stop being sad? Have you been praying that one day we’d just stop grieving altogether and that would mean we were healed?
It’s uncomfortable to see someone in pain and so people just naturally want to wish it away. But how could we not be sad? How could losing someone just suddenly not affect us anymore? It’s insane for anyone to think you could ever just suddenly stop grieving a loss. Grief is love with no place to go. Grief is the price of loving someone. If they were loved, they are grieved.
“I don’t know how you do it.”
I don’t know how I do it either. But I do know I don’t have a choice. I go on because I have to, I have other people who need me. My husband, my friends, my two children at home. I am sad he died but I am not sorry I was chosen to be his mother. I am still his mother. My grief for Reece has become part of who I am.
If you are a praying person, pray for the ache that person feels to manifest into something good. Pray that they grow to become compassionate BECAUSE of their pain. The loss happened and I assure you, they won’t forget and nor would they want to.
True healing is simultaneously experiencing grief and gratitude. Pray that person can live gracefully while experiencing both. Because loss can turn people bitter. Loss sucks. Pray that as the waves of grief recede and they wash up on the beach, that the place they land is a mostly beautiful place.
“Everything happens for a reason.”
Stop saying this to people. Seriously. Stop.
It is THE STRUGGLE with death and grief and the challenges to our assumptive world views that causes growth. The struggle. Not the death itself. It isn’t because my son died that I have become stronger, more outspoken, more compassionate. So do not misunderstand. It is rising from the ashes of my world on fire. I am not lost in my fire. I am forged in it. My strength was not gained from his death, but the fight to find joy after experiencing hell on Earth.
The grief will always be part of my life-that is my unspent love for my littlest boy. Don’t pray my grief away. Grief is not the enemy, it’s the first step to gratitude. If we are not aware of what we have lost, how can we measure what we have? Gratitude comes from the work and the growth of seeing who he has made us become. He is still very much a part of our lives. And we would be less without him.