Some of you understand and some of you do not, the ongoing torrents of pain after losing a child. So walk with me, and understand my strong word.
As children we are taught about the words we shouldn’t say. Hatebeing a big one. We are told, “ that’s a strong word, don’t you think you should use ‘dislike’ instead? I think you ‘dislike’ the way your friend treats you, you do not hate them.” So we grow up learning to use the socially appropriate versions of the words we want to say.
The thing about adulthood is you learn there are just some times when no other word will give justice to what you need to express. Such as when my shin has just met head on with the edge of the coffee table, or what I really think of our dog when he makes a mess, or most poignantly the hot boil I feel when so many things remind me of the heartbroken despair that is never far from my mind. So I think I have earned the right to use the only word that truly captures what I sometimes feel.
Here is what I hate:
I hate that I have questions. Questions about if we did the right things. Questions about what could have changed.
I hate that I stood in a parking lot holding my 5 year old this week because one of Ellie’s songs had just played on the radio and we were both bawling too hard to walk inside.
I hate that it is normal that our family errands sometimes include stopping by to clean a tiny headstone, to change flowers with the changing seasons.
I hate that when I have a call for an infant at work my stomach is in knots the whole way there; that I have to completely detach so that I can focus on what needs to be done without being overwhelmed with the memory of watching my own daughter being worked on.
I hate that every day I work I have to walk through those hospital doors and remember the sights, the smells, that hallway, that room.
I hate that with every joy, there is a pang of sadness because something is missing; that on Mother’s Day I feel such joy and pride coupled with such deep, wrenching emptiness.
I hate that when my kids see me sick, the first thing their panicked minds take them to is, “Mommy, I’m afraid you will die.”
I hate the visions that haunt my mind, the freeze frames of terror that are so easily remembered when the right trigger is there.
I hate seeing Fourth of July decorations appear in the stores, because it reminds me that horrible anniversary is right around the corner.
I hate that I don’t have a better grip on myself, that I haven’t gotten to a place where it doesn’t make me cry anymore, that I am not just living every moment in hopeful expectation until I see her again.
I hate that it hurts.
Please leave me a comment; it lets me know you’re listening!
6 thoughts on “A Strong Word”
You so accurately described exactly how I feel about Delainey's death! There, I said that awful word. I hate the word “death”. I would always say October 16, 2012 was the day Delainey went to Heaven. I couldn't say she “died”. The pain isn't lessening with “time”. I hurt and I hurt bad! Sometimes, I want to scream. I ask the same questions you do. And, I'm the Grammy, not her Mommy! I know my daughter is hurting in a way that I don't, but the pain is just as real to me. It hurts to see my daughter hurt and I hurt because Delainey is my granddaughter. I, too, await Heaven, as I want to see her and be with her again.
I love your blog because I can come and say how I'm feeling. That this awful heartache will never go away.
Please know that you are in my prayers and thoughts a lot.
Love & Hugs,
Just know I understand……I, too, live in fear and wish I were stronger. I hate that Arianna has so many phobias she's developed since Fonz died. I hate that my family is only 4 instead of 6. I love you and am praying for you! I wish I could do more…… 😦 Delo
Susan, I am so glad you can feel comfortable, I know that not everyone is willing to hear what we really want to say. You are always welcome to scream or cry or swear or whatever you need me for!! I wish there was something to make it better. I wish people would stop saying that it gets better, and just let it suck instead of trying to tell me I just need to trust, or be grateful she is healed. I DO know those things, and I DO trust my heart will heal, but it just takes more time than we think. I love your friendship, and I hurt for the loss of your precious granddaughter. I just hate the fallen-ness of this world, and am eager for the day it is all redeemed. Until then, I will keep walking this walk with you.
Delo, my words do not even scratch the surface of the grief you feel. My heart just shatters when I think of what you have been through. I know you haven't always felt strong, but I hope you know how your determination to press forward has been an encouragement to me. I love you so much, and am looking forward to the day I see you reunited with your beautiful daughter and your amazing husband in the place of no more tears.
Thanks Hannah! A lot of us Christians are eagerly awaiting the Lord's return for us! Sometimes I need to remind myself I'm on a pilgrimage, just passing through this mess of a world and will be HOME some day (soon, I hope).
This heartache will never go away. There is no “getting over it” and yes, we know all the things people say to us. And there are no time limits on our grief! Love you, I'm here with you.
I love you, my beautiful friend!!!!