Why do I feel like I need permission to grieve?
I am a grieving mother who held life and death inside of my body, but I often feel like I am not allowed to tell you.
When I do speak up, I feel like I am breaking every social rule and completely ruining conversations.
The mention of my children in heaven silences rooms, more often than not, ending all the conversations awkwardly.
Yet, I can’t even get out of forcing you into that awkwardness when you ask me how many children I have, or if I plan to have more, or why there are so many years between them, etc.
When other’s ask with confusion, if I’m STILL grieving, since it’s “been a few years,” I feel like I am no longer allowed to mention it. Like there is no permission to speak my beautiful children’s names.
I feel like I will be judged for not “moving on.”
When those close to me intentionally say nothing, and give no recognition of my grief, especially during important times, like holidays and anniversary dates, I feel stuck.
I feel stuck in a grief I can’t be rid of, yet is also not allowed to be recognized.
I feel hurt.
I am avoided.
My grief is ignored, which means my whole heart and soul feels ignored too.
Sometimes I wonder what would make my grief more valid to others. If I had gotten to hold my babies alive?
If I had been able to deliver them naturally?
If I had simply gone into labor early, rather than their hearts stopping inside of me?
Is it a funeral and a headstone that would make it more valid?
A birth and death certificate that might have come if they had lived just two more weeks inside of me?
Would that have done it?
I ache for them.
I am incredibly grateful for my living children, and they are my whole world. There is not one bone in my body that considers my living children less than because of my children who died.
Is it ungrateful to ache for my children in heaven, while still enjoying every moment with my living children?
Is it unfair to those who have no children for me to keep grieving them this way?
Should I need permission to miss my son and daughter who died?
Should I need permission to talk about them, or remember them, or honor them out loud?
Should it make me feel like I am ruining everyone’s day by bringing them up?
Is it okay for me to say I miss them every Christmas and birthday and on the anniversary of their deaths?
Should I miss them less when they would’ve turned three and four, than when they might have turned one?
If I don’t have permission with others, I don’t know what to do. I honestly can’t stop my grief.
I can’t end it, can’t get over it, and can’t erase it.
I don’t even think I would want to, because who loses a child and doesn’t miss them forever? I don’t know. I don’t have the energy to “fake it” so that others don’t have to feel uncomfortable.
I could be sorry about that, but I’m not. So I hope they let go of me, and I – them. We can go our separate ways.
Grief shouldn’t need permission. Grief shouldn’t make everyone run away. Grief shouldn’t be a cause for judgment.
Grief should be recognized, honored, and comforted. It shouldn’t be compared to all the things that could’ve been worse, or all the ways it is less important than someone else’s grief.
And those doing the grieving shouldn’t have to be the bold ones declaring that they should be allowed to go through this. I feel sad I have to say that.
Yes, I’m still grieving. And still breathing. And still living. And next time you ask, I still will be then too.