Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What's REALLY "Scary"...







Today is Halloween. Spooky cats, witches flying on skinny broomsticks and goblins...Scary? Not by a long shot...Compared to bereavement...the traditional icons of Halloween horror pale by comparison.

I'll tell you what horror is...Horror is being 28 years old and now looking  down down down the long corridor of time that stretched out in front of my young self-- alone now and without my family beside me. The years seemed endless. The wait intolerable. How would/could I do this? Stark terror engulfed me when I gave in to the fears that seemed to be lurking all around me. Everywhere I turned-no relief from the mental screaming and anguish...This nightmare seemed never ending and I was already awake-- so how could this ever end???

As a Christian I knew that my family had gone to sleep and awakened in a "safe room." Forever free from threat of anything that would chip away at their happiness. So Jesus had my back I felt, in regard to them...but my OWN suffering?...He held my head above the near drowning waters swirling all around me...

I have a pet peeve now...almost 28 years into this journey. A pet peeve that's activated when I read certain phrases and envision myself as a newbie bereaved Mom...Things said to newly bereaved moms that have "questions"-- that would have sent me ( as a newly bereaved mom)  over the edge perhaps! And..maybe not come back?

The people saying these things most likely mean well. Or at least don't intend to scare the living daylights out of someone newly bereaved. Standing there at the beginning of a seemingly never ending long hall of years and years now newly ahead of someone though...how could those words not affect someone feeling just that scared, nervous, fearful, and just plain...weak?

"You will never feel the same again."You will never be the same again." You will never...is what "I" heard. 

What I wanted to hear,  what I NEEDED to hear... was that I could "be" again...not what I would never be...
I cringe when I read this in journals. Yes, I totally understand and "get" the not being the same after our child is deceased. How could we be the same though? We are not the same from year to year even week to week...day to day? Lifelong held habits, beliefs, feelings...these all alter irregardless of our children being alive or dead... 

We WILL change...and many changes can be POSITIVE changes too, though. Why can't we be more gentle to the newly bereaved who stand at the threshold of seemingly an eternity of loss...It takes awhile for even the   most stalwartly faithful, to regain their faith footing...

It's very similar to me to when I was pregnant for the first time, and I nervously asked others who'd been there, what labor was like. Some respondents were bluntly unkind and uncaring in what they told me. Horror stories. Emphasizing the incredible pain involved. The sheer misery and terror of it all. BUT...

Others told me more gently. It was already presumed I'd know there was pain involved. Quite a bit of pain. So they didn't feel the need to punch me on the nose with that fact. What they emphasized was the joy of holding your newborn. How it was worth all that went on beforehand. How sweet motherhood would eventually be...They gave me HOPE that I could do this! That I could successfully "deliver."

Grief, being an individual journey has many variations. But one universally accepted truth is that for many of us and some have reported here, it DOES get better. The pain WILL ease up. You CAN feel joyful again without tremendous guilt...Just like a new mother brings life into the world...we who have gone on this grief journey can bring new hope of LIFE, for those bereaved moms who see and fear only nonstop pain and... death. It all depends on how we "deliver' the news...Scary Halloween-like? Or with gentleness? A "haunting" question!  "Happy" Halloween!




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