Friday, November 13, 2015

Don't Tell Me How to Grieve: On grief and loss

Don't tell me how to grieve. You do not understand my loss; you do not feel my pain.

Don't tell me how to grieve.

The loss of a child is unimaginable, the loss of a parent shakes your very existence. He was a baby, they may say. He is in heaven, they soothe. He was of me, you silently reply. He is connected to my soul.

A year or two. A day or two. Maybe younger than the ages you know or define. A butterfly in my womb; he was still, my child. Your parents, they say. Saw you grow, shared your joy. My parents, you say, have been with me all the way. I don't know life without them, I don't understand how to be. In their absence... I am not me. Of course there were fights, slammed doors, angry nights. But there were many, many hugs. Shared meals, shared tears. No success is complete, no triumph crowned without your mother's happy tears and your father standing proud.

Don't tell me not to mourn, don't tell me, life goes on. You don't know my pain, you can't feel my loss.

A grandparent sitting silently, in the corner of the room. His soul, soothes mine, in ways I can't define. Many times we complain, she's too demanding, or he's in pain. And then, one day, their silent presence is deafeningly loud. 

You're left to wonder about the relatives you'll never know and those old stories, Do you think they were true? That random cousin that visited once, What's the relation? You ask. That village they lived in, Where is it now? No one knows or no one cares, they are gone and that is that. 

Don't tell me how to grieve, as I lose my history.
Don't tell me how to grieve a future that will not be. 
I know you mean well, or maybe not. 
Right now, I don't care for I have loss and I have lost.

I've lost comfort or I've lost dreams. I have lost a part of me.