Don’t tell me “time heals all wounds”
It doesn’t. Time passes whether we want it to or not. Scars form around the wound in an attempt to protect the self, but the wound remains. Time changes the wound, but the body will forever be the same. That is the body, but the mind and soul react differently. There seem to be “buffers” in my mind, thoughts and emotions tip-toe around the edges of the pain. At times, with no forewarning the buffers are trespassed, triggers occur that skip right over the buffers and delve right to the heart of the pain.
The wound is not spherical; it is not a shape that is easily delineated from the rest of my being. No, it has fingers and wind itself in and throughout all of me. It seems as if all of me is tender, soft, and fragile. Memories of what once was are tattooed over all of me.
Don’t tell me “this happened for a reason”
This loss has no rhyme nor reason. He was not ripped from our lives for a reason. If there was a “reason” for this what has any of us done that has warranted such harsh and everlasting “punishment?” The amazing, wonderful, loving being that has been ripped from us had done nothing that should have killed him. No, there is no “reason” for this. He, we, you never deserved a life without him.
Don’t tell me “he’s in a better place”
His place is with his family. His place is living a life full of adventure, excitement, mistakes, learning, and growing. This “better place” refers to some lofty vision of heaven with some jealous selfish Being that somehow decided a life of pain for those who knew Roo was worth bringing him to “a better place.” Don’t tell me this Being is omnipotent, loving and kind – if this Being was these things then all those qualities lead to actions that knowingly allowed pain, fear, and harm to come to those this Being claims to love.
Don’t tell me “I understand”
No one can “understand” the grief that is uniquely mine just as I cannot understand the grief that is yours. Everyone grieves differently because everyone loves differently. The Roo I knew and loved is different than the Roo others knew because our relationships were different. A mother’s grief is different from a fathers, sisters, or friend. Our grief feels and reacts differently to time.
I will not tell you I “understand” yours – don’t tell me you “understand” mine.
Don’t tell me I “need to let go and move on”
“Letting go” of my child is letting go of myself. At times I wish it could be so, but you see I have an amazing family I need to be there for. “Moving on” is leaving a piece of me behind. I will never be able to remove him from me; he is a part of me. “Letting go” is ripping me apart, taking the parts of him away, and trying to put myself back into some functioning form – it is impossible to do.
I cannot “move on” when parts of me are completely fractured, broken, and in pieces. Don’t tell me that I need to “get over” the tragedy I live with every day and any sense of normality is only temporary.
Don’t tell me I’m “young enough to have another baby”
My children are not replaceable. Having another child will not fix what is broken. My Roo is a once in a lifetime individual that I will forever love and cannot be replaced. Children cannot be replaced like changing a light bulb. They are unique people who hold their own place in mine and others lives.
Don’t tell me “things will get better”
Life does not “get better” it gets different. That is what I have learned from over a decade of grief for Gem. Life gets different, but there is always a part of me that is incomplete. There is always a part of me that looks at my lovely nephew, born the same year as Gem, and wonders what she would be like now. This is what I expect the coming years and decades to bring with my Roo also. Watching others grow up, make decisions, mistakes, experience the wonders of life – what would my Roo be like now. Life does not get better – it gets different. The life that once was will never be again – the path that was being walked has been ripped out from under our feet and we must search for stable footing – until that is found we are stumbling, falling, barely treading water. The search for another path takes time. The search for another path is fraught with heartache, anger, and fear.
While we are searching don’t offer platitudes. If our grief scares you and you don’t know what to say it is better off to say nothing. If you truly care just be there. Say “I love you,” say “I care,” say “I loved him too,” “I miss him.” Don’t try to make things better, just be there…