You think because you have “imagined” it, you have an inkling.

But you don’t.  

You can’t.  

Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We misconstrue the nature of even those few days or weeks. We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect this shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind.
~Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking

This was one of the most surprising things to me-that in spite of all the books I’d read, movies I’d seen, people I’d known (who had grieved a loss in my company)- I knew absolutely nothing of grief.

I did not know it would totally destroy who I was-leaving bits so small that I had no idea how to put them back together.

I did not know it would so completely block the light of the sun that I wouldn’t be able to tell day from night.

I didn’t know that it would change the taste of food, the smell of flowers, the sound of the wind so that everything I tasted, smelled and heard was death.  

Thankfully, slowly, the bits have come back together and formed a semblance of the me that was before.  

Before grief.

But not really the same.  A hollowed out husk of who I was.  Familiar shape without the substance.  

I’m learning to live with the me that’s left.  

Holding on to hope.

Leaning into love.  

empty statue

Original artist : Albert György
Bronze Statue located at Lake Geneva, Switzerland

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.

7 thoughts on “Obliterated”

  1. You think because you have “imagined” it, you have an inkling. ….This is me, I once imagined what it would be like losing a child…I had healthy kids and heard of someone losing theirs so I imagined what it would be like…I thought I knew I would be very sad but would logically know I needed to move on and get over it…I had no freaking idea what it would be like. And now I sit and think people look at me…. like I would have looked at me…thinking they know how much better they would handle it…to just move on and get over it…silly, blissfully ignorant, people…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Oh Melanie….”leaving bits so small that I had no idea how to put them back together.” It feels as though the bits have been collected by a strong magnet and although together, some of the important bits are just in the wrong place!
    Forever discombobulated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is precisely the picture that was in my mind, Carol. Like one of those children’s toys with the metal filings and the magnetic pen so you can draw hair on a face. Tiny, tiny bits that are now back together (more or less), some missing, some in the wrong place.

      Absolutely never the same. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s no wonder it takes us so long just to begin to feel like ourselves again. And then we find out that the “me” that is left is very, very different than the “me” before. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are so right about that Melanie and it’s something that’s virtually impossible to explain if you haven’t been through it. On top of that you the have the process of learning to like the new ‘me’ which is a whole different ball game. xx

        Liked by 1 person

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