The most hidden grief is the one where there is no “category” for. I’m fearful to call my sorrow grief because society tells you that it is common and this type of grief is normal, when you know in your heart it’s everything but normal.
The most common meaning of grief is death. But we have it all wrong. Grief is divorce. Grief is broken families. Grief is miscarriage. Grief is betrayal. Grief is any loss you or I have experienced, no matter how “unlabeled” and unimportant the world thinks it is. It is our grief to name, to mourn, to feel. I’m tired of the world’s hustle mentality silencing grief. No wonder there are so many issues with our society, our people, our children. We can’t grieve therefore, we can’t heal.
But I’m not going to blame society for hiding grief. I’m going to own up here. I’ve participated in the denial stages to cope. I’ve enjoyed the distractions this world has to offer to keep my mind off the wounds that cut deep. Yet, I admit. I’m grieving.
I walk in this agonizing pain every week. Devastatingly, I know it all too well. It’s my brokenness, my emptiness, my heart wrenching reality that will never feel “normal”. But I bury it to function. Yeah, I guess people do that — and I’m one of them.
This grief strikes me every time my little girl is missing from her pillow next to me. Her silky green Frozen pajamas that light up her eyes every time she puts them on are laying there again, untouched by her sweet little frame. I pretend to not see them, it hurts too much. My heart aches and sinks deep into my bed, I don’t get to experience her warm snugly body tangling up into mine tonight. The most comfortable bed in the world feels like a stiff, tough board with no ability to bring comfort. Not only has this bed failed me, but I’ve failed me. I’m terrified to admit it, maybe I failed at being a mom. Her mom. Have I failed my daughter? I promised her before she was born that she wouldn’t have a life like this. My heart bleeds out in soaking wet tears staining pillowcases in privacy, but around my angel and others I have to be strong.
There’s no room for grief like this.
Society shows me what “grief” is and I’ve believed it. The dying, the sick, the real losses. My daughter is alive and healthy as can be. She is beautiful and full of personality and sass. Growing up in two homes, “she doesn’t know any difference” they say. My mama heart knows the truth — she wonders why I “leave” and come back.
I’m afraid to complain about the sorrow and loss I feel each time we blow kisses to one another as I drive away. I have cried, screamed, and begged God to change this awful ritual of saying “goodbye for now” to the one I birthed, the one I hold so dear. The more attention I give to it, the more I feel the weight of this unwanted emptiness that could keep me staring into a wall for hours. Yet, to ignore it altogether would not be love. To live my life without a second thought when I know that this was not how things are supposed to be, just feels wrong.
“Take time for yourself” they all say. And though it’s important, it’s never enjoyable. Not even for a moment truly, because my heart feels torn in two.
Bedtime stories are replaced by hiding under hollow covers, paralyzed toys staring at me, and a house so quiet it makes my stomach turn.
As a mother I want to watch my child grow up every day, every moment, not missing one holiday, one more birthday, one more “first”. I don’t know the reality of what it’s like for my daughter to have two bedrooms. What do her blankets and sheets look like there? Does she have similar toys? What about a night light? She needs one of those. Who is going to sing to her, “Jesus, lover of my soul” and tickle her arm until she falls into sweet slumber?
My daughter is sometimes “missing” and there is no category for grief like this.
It is “common” and “normal” according to our society. But as her Mother, it is the hardest grief I know. It is the most hidden grief too.
But one things I know is that I will never let this grief be wasted. This grief is so painful, it keeps me on my toes. When the ache in my soul overwhelms me and I want to escape it, nothing works except when I sit in my grief, alone with God. Peace flows when I press in to Him while feeling crushed in despair. He has shown me so much beauty in this brokenness and it pulls me closer to Him. Although this grief has a long road ahead I am certain of only one thing, this grief although hidden, will not be wasted.
I will allow this grief to mold me, make me, and shape me into whatever God wills for my life. This was not the path I would have ever chosen for myself or my precious daughter, but I will see to it that God will get the glory.