Lessons About Grieving

I have learned a lot through my journey of grief this first year.  Some lessons have been very painful while others have been enlightening, to say the least.  Some lessons I will carry my entire life.  Others, I would have preferred to stay the naive person that I once was.  Here is what I’ve learned:

  1.  LIFE GOES ON- Babies are still being born.  Marriages still take place. There are still appointments to attend to, dinners to be made, sports practices that can’t be missed, and birthday to celebrate. Though I cry out in anguish, laughter is still taking place every where around me.
  2. THE WORLD DOESN’T STOP SPINNING- Even though my own little world has come to a sudden stop, it’s not going to stop just for me just because I lost someone I love.
  3. PEOPLE FORGET- Refer to # 1.  Misery loves company and though we want to believe others feel the ongoing pain that engulfs us, reality is they don’t.  They forget that we just can;t walk away from “it”.
  4. IT DOESN’T GET EASIER- People assume that because we laugh, we smile, we assume our daily activities, it has gotten better.  Fact is, it hasn’t…we have just adjusted to our new lives
  5. LIFE ISN’T FAIR- Just as this was us a year ago, it could be anyone.  We don’t go through life with a signed contract absolving us from pain and heartache.
  6. FAMILY DOESN’T HAVE TO BE BLOOD- Some of the greatest support we have received has been from friends that we have not seen in years.  They have become our rocks.  when they heard the news from day 1, they have checked in with us constantly, send us prayers, reminded us that we don’t have to travel this road alone.  They are willing to listen to us scream…some scream along with us.  They have held me when I’ve cried, and lifted me when I was in despair.  Some live hundreds of miles away, but I feel their presence and support as if they were siting right next to me. They remember our loss at every birthday, every holiday, mother and fathers day…every anniversary.    They have become more than friends..they are  family
  7. FAMILY AND  CLOSEST FRIENDS WILL DISAPPOINT-   We assume that our family and our closest friends, more than anyone, will “get us.”  That we will be able to count on them for everything and anything.  Sadly, many times we can’t  They can be the first ones to disappear. Maybe it’s because they hurt as much as we do and they want to seclude themselves from us.  Maybe because tragedy hit so close to home it makes them uncomfortable.   I might never have the answer…they might not have it themselves
  1. IT’S OK TO SAY “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY”–  We get it.  I still would not know how to comfort someone that has lost their child.  There are no words.
  2. REALLY FOLLOW THRU WHEN YOU SAY ” I AM HERE.”- We rely on you when you imply that. As time goes by, we wonder we has become of you. We need you here now, yet you are no where to be found.  Do you think of us?  Do you remember our child?
  3. DON’T QUOTE SYMPATHY CARD SENTIMENTS- It’s easy to say “You will see him/her again.”  God needed another angel.” “They are in a better place.”  I know you mean well and I really appreciate you trying to comfort me.   But when you say any of those things, my heart and mind are screaming: “I WANT TO SEE HIM NOW! I NEEDED HIM HERE!  HIS PLACE WAS WITH ME! Please refer to # 1.  If you are still inclined to comfort me with biblical quotes, it’s OK…but be aware that my screams may escape me.
  4. REMEMBER THE SIBLINGS -My children have an immense burden to carry.  Not only have they lost someone they deeply love, they have lost their parents to this ugly illness called grief.  Check on them.  Remind them that they too are thought of and being lifted in prayer.  Tell them it’s going to be OK.
  5. REMEMBER THE STEP PARENT– People tend to assume that because the child that passed is not blood related, the pain of a step parent isn’t as intense as the biological parent.  As I have posted in the past:Family isn’t determined by blood, it is determined by those that have taken up room in your heart.  My husband has grieved as deeply as I have.
  6. WE WILL SAY THINGS TO YOU THAT MAKE YOU UNCOMFORTABLE- We might call you out on something you did or did not do that hurt us.  Don’t argue your point.  In our heads, our grief is so intense that you will not win. This isn’t about what is right or wrong, it is about the hurt that we feel.  When you try to justify your oversight, it only deepens the pain and prolongs the anger. Remember… Our emotions are all over the place. One day we may be laughing, another day lashing out.  Forgive us when we do.
  7. IF YOU DO HURT US, WE STILL LOVE YOU- Life is too short to hold grudges…no one know that more than us.  Don’t be afraid to say I am sorry.  We will probably cry and remind you how much I love you.
  8. IT’S OK TO TALK ABOUT IT- Don’t be afraid to talk about our child or our grief.  Us, grievers, become very honest during our journey.  If I don’t want to talk about it, I will let you know that this isn’t a good time.  Don’t take it personal. Even though that moment might not be a good time, eventually I will want to talk about it.  Be ready to listen
  9. DON’T WAIT FOR THE “RIGHT TIME.”Refer to # 6.  I might NEED to talk to someone and you came along at the right time
  10. DON’T LIVE A LIFE OF REGRETS-No explanation needed..



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and then there were 2. I am the mom to 3 beautiful adult children..2 are still physically with me....One is with us in spirit. Even though they are adults, they will always my babies. I hope you follow me on my journey. Though we are all different, we are all the same

4 thoughts on “Lessons About Grieving”

  1. I’ve been following your journey, you express so beautifully, the many excruciating raw feelings we have as we get through life “after” we lose our child.
    When Kari died at 30 I had 3days off..thats all the company gave me. I spent more time in the bathroom than at my desk, trying not to cry out loud..but muffled screams escaped despite my efforts. My eldest was gone..and we changed forever, its been 10 yrs..at times it was yesterday. Hugs to you and your family.


    1. I am so sorry for your loss. I completely relate to the screams. I know that for the first few weeks, I scared many people at work. It is a shame that many companies only offer 3 days of bereavement, yet pregnant mothers are able to take months off from work with no consequences. My place of employment has the same policy. My only salvation is that I was on vacation and was able to still be off for 2 weeks but even still, what is enough time, right? This is not a club people want to belong to but when we do, it’s comforting to know that I too will survive this journey. Many blessings to you! Please feel free to keep in contact or to share your feelings. With your permission, I can share them as well.


  2. First off… my heart goes out to you… so sorry for the loss of your son.
    I just came across this page through TCF on Facebook. Your writings are so deeply close…. so true.. so well written… like I can almost feel your feelings as I read the words. I am coming up on my baby girls (forever 28) one year anniversary of her death. 41 days… a lot of what you say is so meaningful. I too am really having to work on anger management…. I don’t think its directed at anyone in particular… its just there… and your ‘Lessons to pass on’…. boy.. every friend of a grieving parent needs to read those…

    I thank you for sharing this with us. Maybe I will do something like it. For 180 days after the service for Bonnie Michelle, I posted a picture of several on FB with a detailed message of that part of her life.. so the other friends and family members that may have not known that particular part of her life would know her better. When I quit… i felt as though ‘they’ were tired of hearing how a loving dad was grieving… but I had a lot of folks message me that they missed the posts and would encourage me to do it again. I may do that… but I guess what I’m trying to say… is in your writing.. you are helping others to work through their grief process… and for that… ‘we’ all thank you.

    I wish there was more I could say or do…. but as you have so profoundly written, there just isn’t anything ANYONE can truly do for someone in our place… Thank you … hope the thought that you are doing something for others will make your boy smile from his resting place.


    1. Thank you for reading it. I actually don’t know why I did start it. I friend had bought me a journal to start documenting things as they happened, but it was way too soon. I think I needed tine to process this nonvenomous event. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I felt like if I was sharing my Joey with everyone else. There are days that I just can’t write. It is way too hard but the days that I do, the words just pour out of me. I will go back to the beginning, once in awhile and and read from the beginning and it is like reliving everything…the sounds, the smells, everything but as soon as I am done. I am FINE. I really do hope this helps someone that feels lost in the land of grief…and maybe on the way, they will find me and we can maneuver this place together hand in hand! I will put her date on my calendar so I think of you and your family…love to you


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