Grief up close and personal…

In July of 2010, I lost two children, two days apart. I have been force to create a new life while living within the circle of my old life. There are three dreaded periods where I barely exist, the month of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas. In the beginning of July, I start my countdown for those feared dates; the holidays are shrouded in hidden sadness.

No two people grieve the same, mine is in silence; held within to be strong for my other children. I turned from my love of writing fiction and short stories to poetry. In poetry, I poured out my grief. It soon became an outlet for not only the loss of my children, but my life as it used to be. After publishing five books of poetry from 2010 to 2014 my well of words are still filled with sadness. Grieving remains hidden within me.

I have been to see doctors, on medications and to counseling on grief, which has not changed my pain and sadness, lived daily, in the quietness of self. I wanted to share my thoughts on grieving with my readers, not everyone can come back from losses in their lives. I have created a new existence, yet the old me lives close, right there under my outward self.

I want to share that time does not always heal. There is supposed to be a process but it does not work for many who have lost loved ones. Life after death for the living is a frenzied hell. The peaks and valleys of my life are never ending. The grieving never fades; it becomes covered by a mask that I wear.

There are many with more education, experience and well versed than I who have written “how to grieve and how to heal”; my contribution is from my own experience and I will say to you that time does not heal for everyone. I have tried to weave my grief within the tapestry of my life while living a new existence, it is difficult.

I understand that people do not know what to say to a grieving person, then do not say anything as nothing eases the pain. I have heard the following, which I cringe at the onset from the person who is trying to comfort me.

  • NUMBER 1 FOR ME… “God must have wanted them with him”.  Well this one hurts worse than all the others do; and God and I are still having long conversations about his needs over mine as a mother.
  • “God will not give you more than you can handle”.  Those who say this cannot fathom how wrong they are, imploding within a world of non-existence filled with grief cannot always be “handled”.
  • “You are handling your loss so well”.  My not screaming and crying does not mean that I am grieving less.
  • “You should be happy they are no longer suffering”.  Yes, I am happy they are not suffering, but understand that the suffering remains behind.
  • “Talking about you loss will only prolong your grief”.  I have found death and divorce are on the same level as far as no one wants to hear about it.  If you begin, a conversation on either the subject is changed quickly.  Most people do not want to hear about your pain or loss.
  • “I know how you feel”.  No, you do not, I have friends that have lost children, and we all agree that there is no way anyone can know how you feel.
  • “At least they were old enough to experience a full adult life”.  It does not matter if they are one hour old of in their fifties (as mine were), this statement is wrong on so many levels.
  • “It’s been years (five for me); it’s time to get over your loss”.  Few say this but the statement has been said to me…I have had to create a new existence but the old one lives in silence within me.

This entry is meant to be helpful in what not to say to a grieving person. It is to let people know that grief does not have a deadline. I have been told recently that much of my poetry is “dark”, well then you did get the reason for its creation. I will say that there is a small light in the corner of my world yet words of happiness rarely appear upon the blank pages of my creations. I continue to fight to emerge from the void of non-existence, but time is not on my side.

Remember when you approach someone that has lost a loved one, the old saying in relation to words is true “less is more”. A simple, “I am sorry for your loss” works for me.

In this coming season where sadness and happiness are intertwined like garland on the Christmas tree, to those of you who have experience the death of loved ones I am certain that you understand the reason for this entry. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

For my Children

11.13.2014 ajm

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15 Comments

Filed under Grief, Life, Poetry, Thoughts, Words

15 responses to “Grief up close and personal…

  1. Well said. I’m one of those who are lost for words in the face of other people’s grief. I cannot gush nor rush easily to give hugs. I hope people don’t misread that for lack of feelings.

    Lily

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    • No they do not…silence is for me met with the unspoken words of “I am so sorry that I do not know what to do”, that is better than mis-used comments. Thank you for your comment. My entry just had to come out on this day. Ann

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  2. I think a lot of us use poetry as a release for emotions we can’t out speak out loud. Grief is surely the most painful. I try not to be too hard on those who do not get it or know how to react, they are only human. A very fine and helpful article, Ann.

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  3. I am sorry not only for your loss, but for you, my dear friend Ann.

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  4. My heart goes out to you, Ann. I lost my husband in 2012. Forty-eight days later I lost my son. My son was 45 years old. May God heal your heart so you can once again enjoy your life. Grief hurts more than people imagine, and some hurt far more than others. Your tender heart has been crushed. Blessings to you…

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  5. So powerful and deeply moving. Thank you so much for this, and for your poetry. There are no words…maybe a heartfelt hug.

    Warmly, Audrey

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  6. Yes! A thousand times Yes! Silence is better than words. Reverent space with presence is better than hugs that want to make it all well again and, sometimes, avoid looking at the faces of the grieving. Thank you, Ann.
    Elouise

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  7. I’m so sorry for your loss. I cannot fathom the suffering you endure. Nor can I even begin to imagine what you live with. And your grief is your grief, no one has the right to tell others how to handle it. Thank you for your words. I hope I never add additional suffering to anyone living with grief.

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