Grief is a very unique and personal thing. It’s different for everyone. I’m not sure how I got to the point I am now. The place where I seem happy, like I’ve moved on. I’m not sure how or why I’m able to be a light to others in their darkness.
Sometimes, I find myself on the edge of grief. I wonder when the other shoe will drop. When I will finally break. When my life will all come crashing down and I’ll fall apart because I lost my son.
I was sad when it happened. Lost. I cried. I know I experienced some form of grief. But I also had two other babies in the NICU that I had to worry about and I couldn’t let my grief consume me. So I moved forward. I put on a brave face, held on to my faith, and even started helping others who were dealing with fresher grief than mine.
I approached the one year anniversary of their birth, and then his death, with trepidation. I was in grief groups; I’d been warned about what was coming. But the dates passed and all I felt was a calmness and peace.
I wondered as I watched the women around me dealing with their own grief if I had somehow not loved my son as much as they loved their child. I mean, these women were leveled by their grief. It consumed them. I felt extreme guilt over this. Was I normal?
I didn’t talk about him everyday or cry anymore or have bad days when something triggered a memory. In fact, I actively celebrated his short life, wrote about the blessings that had come out of losing him, and made it my purpose to use our loss to help others.
I must be a bad mom. I must be a horrible, uncaring person. I must not have loved him. How could I not be missing him in the deep, painful way that these other women were missing their children?
On my worst days, the extent of my worse was that I saw a set of triplets that were also two boys and a girl and I saw what was missing in my set of only two survivors. Or someone called them twins and it stung a little. But even on these days, I was thankful to remember him and usually saw the opportunity to raise awareness about loss.
I don’t post in a lot of loss forums because I fear I’ll be judged for being heartless or uncaring. I will occasionally say something to help someone in pain as a way to lift them up, but this is the first time I’ve put it out there that I feel like an outsider in these groups. But I do. And I wonder if I’m the only one that feels this way.
Grief is present in my life. I’ll never get over losing Carter. He’ll always be a part of me and losing him did change me.
But for the better. I know I’ve been given a gift. The gift to use this awful thing, this thing that nobody wants to talk about, and help others. Those that are going through it, but also those who aren’t. They need help too, so they can understand those that are.
I’ve decided to be happy because it is good for my health. ~Voltaire
Here’s something beautiful I feel like someone out there needs to hear…
I used to think that God took Carter because he thought I couldn’t handle three babies at once. That I wasn’t cut out to be a mom of triplets. That he saw something in me that wasn’t good enough…
I now realize that God took Carter because he knew I could handle it. That I’d use Carter’s loss for good. That he saw something in me that would be able to reach out to people and share my experience so that they wouldn’t be alone.
That’s a powerful thing. And that’s what keeps me from falling off the edge.
What about you? Have you ever grieved something so much but still felt a peace? Did you feel guilty because of it? Please tell me I’m not alone…
See more faith-filled posts at Missional Women, where I’m linked up this week.