And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.
-Maya Angelou

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Give Sorrow Words

Give sorrow words, the grief that does not speak whispers the o'er fraught heart and bids it break. 
-William Shakespeare

The quote above was shared with me by a mom who lives in South Africa, who follows my blog and who has also lost a child.  It is those words that compelled me to keep writing after Jack died. I felt like I needed to continue to write because to silence my grief would most certainly cause my heart to break. 

But the reality is, my heart is broken. Period. Regardless of whether I write or not. And lately, I haven't felt much like writing. I've done a considerable amount of reading about loss and grief over the last several months. Much of what I've read has been helpful and comforting, however, I've also discovered that much of what is written on the subject is an attempt to get others to understand the grief of losing a child. And the fact is, no one can ever truly understand who hasn't lost a child. I believe it's impossible for a parent's mind to even conceive of the pain of losing a child because the pain is incomprehensible. Therefore, it's not even in the realm of possibilities for others to understand our loss. I was holding Jack in my arms after his heart stopped beating and I still didn't comprehend that he was gone. It simply wasn't conceivable in that moment. 

I'm not suggesting that people shouldn't write about their grief or that people shouldn't try and understand as best they can. But, for me, I'm becoming weary of reading about grief and I don't feel that documenting my grief is the direction my writing is supposed to take. Yes, I still need to deal with, work through and talk about my grief. If I've heard it once, I've heard it a hundred times - grief is a process. You can't shut it down or put it on hold. You must allow yourself to experience it to survive it. And experiencing grief, I am. Profoundly and intensely. 

So, what exactly is the point of this post? I suppose, in part, to offer an explanation to those who follow the blog as to why my writings have been few and far between and why they will likely continue to be few and far between. That being said, I'm not finished writing. I started writing on this public forum over eight years ago because of a beautiful little boy named Jack. I shared not only Jack's journey, but also the many life lessons that little boy taught me as we journeyed fifteen remarkable years together. I believe it's what Jack taught me (and so many others) that needs to be shared. 

I pray daily for guidance and clarity and the strength to "switch from the fixing, fully understanding, and controlling mode to the trusting, listening, and allowing mode."  During this time of allowing myself to simply "be" and to trust and listen, I was recently asked about collaborating on a book by one of Jack's former doctors. This book idea is in the very preliminary stages - as in, it's just an idea at this point. But we plan to meet after the first of the year to discuss the details and I'm excited about the prospect. I'm trusting that I've been given the clarity and direction I prayed for. Stay tuned.

Rather than give my sorrow words, I'd prefer instead to give words to the wisdom and lessons of Jack's life.

Onward it is.