Can’t Fake It Forever

There’s a common bit of advice in grief circles:  Fake it until you make it.

It’s not bad as far as it goes and can be pretty useful-especially just after the initial loss and activity surrounding it.

Like when I met the acquaintance in the grocery store a month after burying Dominic and she grabbed me with a giant smile on her face, “How ARE you?!!! It’s SO good to see you out!!!”

I just smiled and stood there as if I appreciated her interest, a deer caught in headlights, silently praying she’d live up to her talkative past and soon move on to another target.

Faked it.


BUT there comes a time when faking it is not helpful.  In fact, it’s downright dangerous.

Because if I fake it long enough and get good enough at it, I can convince myself that I have done the work grief requires.

Grief will not be ignored forever.

It bubbles up in physical symptoms and sleepless nights. It boils over in anger and impatience and anxiety and nervous habits.

There is no way through but through.  It has to be faced head on.

Life circumstances kept me distracted and busy for the first four or five months after Dominic ran ahead to heaven.


I cried, screamed and was heartbroken-I definitely had my moments. But for the most part I functioned at a pretty high level.

It wasn’t until things slowed down that I had my come apart. And it caught me by surprise.

I was forced to sit in silence and face the feelings.  I was compelled to hear my heart shatter-over and over again.

I’ve now had 33 months of this burden of sorrow.  Almost three years to think about, work on and pray through the pain.  

I’m learning to pay attention to my own heartbeat, to my body, to my triggers, to my joy-bringers, my joy-stealers and my limitations.  I’m beginning to accept the bellycrawl progress through this tunnel of darkness by focusing on the bright light at the end.  

I still fake it sometimes-it’s not worth it to me to get into a long conversation with that person I only see every year or so.  Too much time, too much energy and too little reward.

But I’m learning to be more genuine with the people that matter most.  I’m learning to be honest about how I feel, what I need and how much I can do.

And I refuse to allow busyness to creep up on me so that I don’t have the time and energy to continue doing the work grief requires.  



Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

8 thoughts on “Can’t Fake It Forever”

  1. Thank you for always putting into words how I feel. I too totally went into “survival” mode by staying so busy, trying so hard to feel normal. It worked a while until I crashed. Now I take life one day at a time- it will be 10 years in July that my sweet 22 year old christy ran ahead of me to heaven. I now can find moments of joy because I understand she isn’t really fine, she walks beside me every day. Just now as I am typing this there is a light breeze moving the wind chimes tgat her coworkers gave me after she passed. They said every time they chime it should remind you of all the lives Christy touched in her short live. She was pure love and I miss her so much 💔🌻💔. Dominic was an amazing person! I hope our children know each other in paradise 😊


  2. My son, Caleb, got me interested in watching Dr. Who. He ran ahead to heaven almost 4yrs ago at the age of 17. There’s an episode called ‘Heaven Sent’. The Doctor is desperately trying to cope with losing a dear friend and makes this statement:”It’s funny, the day you lose someone isn’t the worst -at least you’ve got something to do- it’s all the days they stay dead.” You really can’t fake it forever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, my yes!! That is so very true. That first day is devastating but the days after are harder. When reality sinks in and they “stay dead”-THAT’S when a heart finds it harder and harder to hold on. I am so very sorry for your pain and your loss. May the Lord give you every needful thing to endure. ❤


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: