My fellow bereaved mother and blogger, Kathleen Duncan, recently wrote that she felt she was done writing about grief.
It’s been a little over four years since her son Andrew ran ahead to heaven and, as she explains:
I think I’m done.
I think I’m done writing about death. Writing and thinking about death, grief, and pain doesn’t help me anymore. And it may be detrimental for me to spend time writing about those topics. ~ Kathleen B. Duncan
Both our sons were killed instantly in an accident (although the details are different) and both were vibrant young men pursuing what they loved when they left this life.
That got me to thinking since I’m only a few months behind her in my own grief journey.
Because my experience seems to be very different from hers.
I still find writing not only helpful, but healing. And while I think of many things in addition to grief, I still think about grief often-not only my own, but that of others. Not only the grief of bereaved parents, but of all the suffering, broken people I meet or hear about each day.
The feeling is different, but it remains.
At first my grief was so overwhelming and the sorrow loomed so large that it was constantly before my eyes. Everything I saw, heard, experienced or felt was filtered through tears. The world was a blurry place and life was unbearably hard. Every day I labored to lift my head from the pillow and roll my body from the bed. Every morning I remembered afresh that Dominic was not here, that my family circle was broken, that another 24 hours loomed large and lonely before me.
It’s definitely not like that anymore.
But, for me, what’s changed is the location of my sorrow and sadness, not the FACT of it.
Now, instead of being in front of me, my sorrow has bored its way into my bones. It rests deep inside the core of who I am, woven into the fabric of me.
I think of it like I think of being a mother.
My “baby” is 25 years old. But if I hear a plaintive “Mama!” in a store, I instinctively turn to see where the desperate or needy child may be. I can’t resist even when my head tells me that whoever it is, isn’t MY responsibility.
My heart responds because “Mama” is an unchangeable part of my identity.
I don’t cry every day. I don’t only see, feel or hear things through a veil of tears anymore. But bereavement has changed me forever. It remains part of the way I experience the world.
I appreciate Kathleen. I hate that we are part of the same “club” where the dues are higher than anyone would willingly pay but I love the precious community of loving parents who are willing to share their journeys through blogs, closed groups and published books.
And I am blessed by honesty, transparency and authenticity-whatever that looks like.
For me, that’s to continue writing about my grief journey. For someone else, maybe not.
There’s room for everyone because what calls courage to MY heart might not call courage to yours.
I suspect that just as our children are unique, the circumstances surrounding their deaths unique and we are unique, so will be our grief experience.