Who Is A Grieving Mother?

October 20, 2015

Who is a grieving mother?
Does she look different from one who is not?

Is her pain visible in the smile she sometimes forces…
behind the eyes on the verge of tears?
Can you see the aging her body feels from the trauma of loss?

She’s one who still pictures herself from before the loss
and is sometimes caught off guard at the reflection looking back from the mirror.

Who is a grieving mother?

She’s one who ignores a baby shower or birthday invitation one day, because the pain is still too raw.
And the next, celebrates the small milestones, for she knows how precious they are.

She’s one who boxes up a lifetime of mementos in an afternoon to spare her husband the pain.
Yet years later still can’t dredge up the courage to go through them again.

Who is a grieving mother?

She’s one who holds it together in the big things and falls apart over spilled milk.
Who loves deeply those closest to her, but keeps her heart guarded for protection from others.

She’s one who grimaces at the first laughs after loss, but later laughs louder than most.
Who finds joy in the simple things and relishes every day moments.

Who is a grieving mother?

She’s one held hostage by dates on the calendar and unexpected triggers.
And one who will always pause for sunsets, butterflies, and sweet signs from above.

She’s one who lets go of friends unable to support her.
And one who treasures those who didn’t walk away.

Who is a grieving mother?

She’s one who can experience an array of emotions on any given day.
And one who wishes tears would come when numbness covers her.

She’s one who screams at God one moment and clings to him the next.
Who didn’t expect her faith to grow so much from the most important unanswered prayer she ever spoke.

Who is a grieving mother?
She is one as complicated as the grief she carries.

“Do not judge the Grieving Mother.  She comes in many forms. She is breathing, but she is dying. She may look young, but inside she has become ancient. She smiles, but her heart sobs. She walks, she talks, she cooks, she cleans, she works, she IS but she IS NOT, all at once.   She is here, but part of her is elsewhere for eternity.”

~ Author Unknown

  • More from the Author
Heather Blair
About the Author
In 2008, my world as I knew it changed forever, with the sudden loss of our 14-year-old son, Austin. The journey to my blog (and attitude toward life) was bumpy and tearful, beginning at a memorial blog for my son. I later chose to take another path, challenging myself to find the JOY in every day, despite the sadness I still felt. I love and miss him daily but I’m living my life to honor him – and celebrating every moment it brings. My goal…to find and share the joy in every day. You can find me at Joyful Challenge
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  • 12 Comments

    • Kerry Isman

      October 21, 2015 at 2:14 am

      After 9 years without my son, I still could hardly read this. I have never read anything that completely and fully describes how it feels. Wish I had a copy of it

      1. Beth

        October 21, 2015 at 2:59 pm

        At the very top of the article is a tab to “print” this in pdf format.

      2. Susan Langley

        October 21, 2015 at 8:40 pm

        My son died Jan 1, 2014. I feel just like this woman this article speaks of. I feel I am dying in side no matter how I try and keep umy “happy face.”

    • Stephanie

      October 22, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Wow. My friend that stuck by me so closely and gracefully experienced the roller coaster of grief with me posted this beautiful letter. My life and destiny changed forever the day my daughter died…Today, I realize it was her time. When God gave her to me, He knew when He would call her home. I miss her terribly. Think of her every hour that I am awake. I am thankful for my suffering. As this author points out, it changes your perspective. Every moment becomes so sweet. Love is all that matters. The material, superficial world does not exist in my heart…I am blessed to be a grieving mother, for I have clarity/peace within this chaotic world.

    • Cherl B Pitfield

      October 24, 2015 at 9:46 am

      Perfect description!! I was sentenced to this Hell on August 21, 2014. Mom misses you Kaity, every second of every day, and always will!!!

    • Metka Trojar

      October 24, 2015 at 10:12 pm

      My almost 6-year-old son, Aljaz, died on July 24, 2015. Time cannot be reversed, therefore I wish it froze at least, thus my world – things and people – would remain unchanged as from before the loss.
      Yes, it’s only been 3 months. This IS still HIS moment. What about one year from now? And five years, ten years from now?!! What about when I am “old and grey and full of sleep, and nodding by the fire”? Will, on those days of mine, stricken in age, yet adorned by a solid portion of mental sobriety, he be but my own private precious memory, and merely the epitaph to a random passer-by on the graveyard?
      He deserves so much more because he was SO MUCH MORE to me, to his siblings, to his relatives and our friends.
      He remains my treasure, my love, my life.
      I am stricken with profound sorrow for my child: he conquered cancer twice, yet lost his life to acute Graft versus Host Disease that developed after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplatation.
      He was so brave, so strong, such a fighter.
      I am stricken with guilt, because it was me who sent him down this horrible path. My consent to standard cancer treatment was my child’s death sentence. If only I had known…
      Please, forgive me, Aljaz.
      I am alive but not living. I observe but do not react. Despair and loneliness prevail. Anxiety, shortness of breath and panic are sudden and all consuming.
      All I wish and humbly wait for is to meet my son in my dreams. Simply be there with and for him. Though this has become my inconsolable yearning, I am terrified to fall asleep each night, because I keep waking up only to realize that I woke up into my never-ending nightmare.
      I cannot let go of him, because I do not want to let him go. The energy – both emotional and mental that is left inside of me is concentrated on him. I can still hear his marblelike laughter, feel the warmth of his fragile skin, catch the fragrant scent of his soft hair, dive into the serene depths of his beautiful chocolate eyes and listen to his words of solemn wisdom – words of a young child who had to grow up too fast.
      My golden boy, the stone, too, captured your moment: “My Dearest One In The Whole Wide World”!
      My dearest one in the whole wide world, you ARE in my mind and in my heart, in my words and in my deeds! Always! I, who am your mother, love you for eternity, Aljaz!

      1. Kerry Isman

        October 25, 2015 at 12:53 pm

        Dear Metka. How clearly you state your pain and deep despair. I just want to assure you, that when you are old and grey, as I am getting there, you will not be alone and you will still feeling the loss of your son. I will be there with you as will many other mothers hoping you can still hear that voice that you never want to forget. The horribleness does get easier to learn to live with over time, but the anguish that comes from the ripping of a piece of your heart, never ends. I lost my boy 9 years ago, so this is all I can offer you at this point . Namaste’ Kerry

    • Amy Hollands

      October 25, 2015 at 4:20 am

      My daughter died in 1994. She’d be 22 and not a day goes by that I do not feel one little piece of this article ring true. It hurts, but it’s oddly comforting to know she is still present in some form. Cheri worded it perfectly…..we were SENTENCED. Beautiful article.

    • Who is a caregiver? | Rayna's Sunset

      November 19, 2015 at 11:13 pm

      […] Who is a caregiver? (Loosely based on and adapted from Who is a Grieving Mother?) […]

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