Grief Work.

I’ve never worked so hard as I have on grief work. In the valleys of grief you find yourself questioning how you’re supposed to respond in every situation, trying to identify how you feel in every situation and balancing others expectations of you.

I’ve come to realize that my grief work is selfish, but it has to be. Another mama put it that we have to protect our own hearts because no one else gets it enough to do it for us.

Here’s some advice for when you find me in the middle of working through grief:

1. {Honor my space.} I need space. I need time. I need to be alone to process how I feel.
2. {Accept how I feel, even if it’s just for a moment.} I know almost a year has passed since Sam was born still but I still have moments where grief overwhelms me. If I cry, let me cry. If I scream, let me scream. If I ignore my feelings or yours, let me ignore them.
3. {Don’t tell me how I should feel.} Don’t – and I repeat do not – offer me platitudes. In fact, you’re welcome to just stay silent. I’ll talk if I feel like it or I’ll ask you your opinion if I want it. Don’t tell me life gets better, don’t tell me how blessed I am, don’t tell me I’m working through my grief in a wrong way because it’s different than how you might work through your grief.
4. {Don’t tell me how you feel.}  Unless you’re a loss parent. You don’t get it. I wish you did but not because you’d be a loss parent, just so there would be more understanding. There are days where I can’t balance my own emotions and in those days, I can’t balance yours. I wish I could but our minds don’t focus well in the midst of real grief work.
5. {Understand my individuality.} We all grieve so differently. Some of us might chose to stay busy, some of us might chose to stay in bed and hide from the world. Neither are wrong. How we work through our grief is a personal decision.
6. {Grief work is ongoing.} Just because I have good days doesn’t mean my grief work is over. I never stop grieving the loss of my child. I’m learning to live with the acceptance of the truth that he’s gone but my heart will never be ‘over it’. If one day we become pregnant again, a new baby won’t mask the pain of the one missing from our lives. You can’t replace one life with another.
7. {I know my grief might make you uncomfortable.} Here’s the selfish part, I really don’t care. All the loss mamas I’ve met have said the same thing. Get over it. We’re uncomfortable without our children. Our hearts burn in the most uncomfortable ways because happiness is never really the happiness we once had before. It’s okay living in a moment of awkwardness with us. We’re uncomfortable with all-consuming grief but we’re more than likely trying to work our way towards healing.
8. {You can’t fix me.} I’m broken but not in the fixable way. You know what fixes me? Letting me do my own grief work. We know you love us. We know you want what’s best for us. We know the dreams you have for us. But we’re healing the only way we know how. When you’re blindsided by the sadness of life as a loss parent only I can make my way through my own heartache, the best way I know how.
9. {Continue love.} What I need to know above all is that Sam is not forgotten. That Sam lives in you and in me. Continue love because it’s all that carries me in the valleys of my grief.
10. {I will never stop loving Sam.} Ever. Never. We made him. Love made him. He will always be a part of our family. He will always be out first child. He will always be our first boy. We will always talk about him. There will always be a place for him in our home. Our love for Sam will never die.

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3 thoughts on “Grief Work.

  1. So truthful. I keep reading a lot about ‘selfishness’ in grief and it’s a hard thing to be as we are always taught no too just look after ourselves, but sometimes it’s needed and that’s okay. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing this , anytime I try to reach out about my daughter my family let’s me know it makes them uncomfortable and that I need to just try and move on , it hurts because apart of me doesn’t want to move on

    Like

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