Do you have kids the salesman asked?
No, I awkwardly reply. It just feels wrong to burden a stranger in this way. To bring him into my world and leave him lost for words to say; feeling guilty over something he had no part of and can do nothing about. No. It doesn’t seem right to tell him about the club I’m in. You know, the one no one wants to be a part of. The one I never agreed to join. The one I can never leave. It seems easier, more compassionate and cordial this way; so I lie.
How are you doing everyone always wants to know?
I’m fine, I quickly reply as I swallow the lump in my throat fighting back the tears, fighting for air & trying not to burst. It seems easier, more compassionate and cordial this way; so I lie.
How am I doing? If you really want to know, I guess it depends on the week. The day. The hour. The minute. You see I look the same on the outside. I may seem the same even to those who know me best. It makes everything so hard and so complicated too. Everything looks exactly the same yet I am changed in the most profound ways. Your life went back to normal but for me nothing will ever be normal again. Nothing is the same. No, nothing at all.
The biggest lie of them all; one I will not tell.
I know you’ve heard it time and time again. You’ve been told the lie about time and how it will pass by magically washing away all the pain in your heart. I used to believe this was true and oh, how I wish it was. How I wish hearts with scars like mine could be healed. The truth is though, time cannot heal the pain that comes along with losing your child. With a piece of your soul being taken, a bit of your essence erased and your heart so broken you wonder if you will ever feel whole again.
So for all the momma’s who are grieving this Mother’s Day.
The momma’s out there who have lost a child or a pregnancy or those who like me, who’ve experienced both. Maybe you got to hold your child for a few special moments or maybe not even at all. Maybe you got to have your child for 18 years or maybe even more. Whether your child was just a few days old, a toddler, a teenager, a young momma or an old man; I’m sending you extra love today and everyday because life wasn’t supposed to turn out this way. I’m sending you strength and courage whether it was last week, 10 months ago, 2 years ago or twenty years past .
I want you to know that I see you. You have not been forgotten and neither has your child. I want you to know that I understand your pain. I want you to know that you are not alone. I know how hard it is to carry on each day; to crawl through the storm that has become your life. I know it feels overwhelming and scary too. You feel everything and nothing at the same time. You are lost at sea, you can’t see the shore and nobody even knows that you’re missing.
I want you to know I’m right there with you fighting for air and searching for my way back to shore. I’m right there with you willing to hold space for you. Willing to sit with you in the dark. Willing to be with you in the depths of your pain. Willing to hold your hand. Willing to listen. Willing to be brave with you. Willing to lean in when no one else knows what to say. Willing to take off my armour and say nothing at all.
I want you to know that I see you. I feel you. I am you. Our collective losses connect us in the most profound way. Our hearts are the same and we are tied together with a unique bond even if we never met.
Our grief never ends because our love never dies. It’s simply the cost of true, unwavering, never ending, motherly love. Our children may have been called back to heaven but momma’s we still are; strongest of them all.
Mother’s Day is still for us because….
“A mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but by the love she holds in her heart” ~Franchesea Cox
Even though time does not heal our pain our hearts grow stronger with each passing day; even when it doesn’t feel that way. Eventually we learn to dance with our grief, we learn to move with the storm and make space for everything that should have been but never will be. We learn to carry both sadness and joy at the same time. We learn that broken hearts still shine.
Gone But Never Forgotten…..
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