Grief does not demand pity; it requests acknowledgement.

Grief is not simply a feeling, it is a deep indescribable anguish of the soul that permeates our entire being. It exists whenever there is trauma and loss. I do not say this to diminish anyone’s grief in the loss of a beloved pet, a mate, etc.; however, there is no grief that compares with the loss of a child. You do not get over it, you do not move on from it. You only move forward with it. The excruciating pain becomes a lifelong companion.

Bereaved parents are not wallowing in self-pity. A part of their soul has been violently torn from them. Yes, they go on and find a manner of functioning that may appear to the outsider as if they have ‘gotten over it’; but let me be frank: NO! They have not! Appearances can be deceiving. Any unexpected ‘trigger’ can cause a downward spiral that breaks the sound barrier. In an instant, we can find ourselves emerged in a mire of quicksand, sucking us down a black hole of torment, flooded with memories of what was…that can never be again. All possibilities of making new memories is nonexistent. Another child will never replace the one that we no longer can hold. The anguish is simply indescribable to anyone who has been so fortunate to not find themselves on this journey.

A bereaved parent does not ‘heal’ in the same manner as others who have experienced loss and grief for other reasons. We don’t ‘choose’ to dwell on ‘negativity’. We aren’t desiring anyone’s ‘pity’. Child loss is in a category all its own. Therapy is not going to make us ‘feel better’. It may offer us some coping options which can be beneficial. But to think we are going to somehow, someday, be ‘cured’ is utter foolishness. We will carry our grief with us until the day we die. We will find a ‘safe place’ for it within ourselves, tucked away so that you can ‘feel better’ about us; but don’t ever deceive yourself into believing that we have ‘arrived’ at some imaginary utopia that you may desire for us.

Daily, we think about our children. Daily, when no one is looking, we hurt. We will never be the person we once were…ever! It will take us however long it takes simply to appear to you what you perceive as ‘normal’ and ‘better’. We will smile again; we will laugh again. But never be the same again. You won’t ever have back the same person we once were. Whether or not you can accept that is up to you.

All we ask of you is to acknowledge our grief. We don’t want you to ‘fix us’. We request that you validate our sorrow, and give our grief recognition. We demand nothing from you. We pray that you never know what we know. We would not wish this on our worst enemy.

What you can do is simply be kind.

Stand alongside us.

Accept the ‘new me’.

God will sustain us. He will carry us. He will not forsake us. He, Himself, is well ‘acquainted with grief’.

Isaiah 53:3

‘He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.’

God ‘gets it’ even if no one else does. It is in Him that we place our Hope. It is in Him and by Him that we have the promise of the Resurrection. It is in Him that we know there will come a day when all our tears shall be wiped away. There is no one else, nothing else, that can offer us that Hope.

So, please, know that we love you. If you need to grieve the loss of the ‘old me’, then please do so. At least, we are still here…though different. Our perspective on life has been forever altered. Things we once feared, no longer exist. Having to embrace a parent’s worst fear imaginable does that to a person. Understand that if we are expecting you to call or stop by at a certain time…and you don’t…we now have a new fear. We no longer take such things for granted. We now live in a world of awareness of how quickly things can change in an instant. We no longer take life for granted. Our values have also changed. What once was important, may now seem trivial. What once we perceived as trivial, has become of great value. You do not need to walk on eggshells around us. Believe me when I say, we can hear the crunching when you do.

Just be you and let me be me…the ‘new’ me.

(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at: Xulon PressAmazon, Barnes & Noble and DeeperShopping. Contributor at ‘The Mighty’:





19 thoughts on “Acknowledgement

  1. 😭😭😭💔💔💔😭😭😭😡😡😡

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually ordered bumper stickers today with this on them: ‘Grief does not demand pity; it requests acknowledgement’. Then, a gal who does graphics and liked the idea is having her friend, a printer, print up 150 more. It’s a deep burden on my heart to do whatever possible to hopefully lift the additional wounds that are often placed on those of us who grieve. I’ve seen far too many wounded unnecessarily by expectations placed upon them by those who lack any understanding of how deep our grief runs. I believe ‘education’ and ‘awareness’ is the best avenue, at this point. (((HUGS)))

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on when it hurts and commented:
    I don’t dwell on losing Christopher. I say this because some say and some think “You’re a Christian, don’t get stuck in grief”.

    I say what Jesus said on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

    And they don’t.

    The words shared here resonated with me. And the reason I can go on in life, despite the ache in my heart, is because I know Jesus was “acquainted with grief”.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on for julia ruth and commented:
    Last night I tried to explain to a very nice and very kind woman that I feel changed since the death of my daughter Julia. I ended up feeling frustrated and disappointed in my ability to really articulate my experience. As kind as she is, it was difficult for me to listen to her share how it took her five years to get to a better place after the death of her very loved sister who died, perhaps in the last decade. Next time I may ask her about the time line, but I know her sister was older, a senior. The words from this blog spoke to me about the feelings I also experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I found this especially poignant: “We will carry our grief with us until the day we die. We will find a ‘safe place’ for it within ourselves, tucked away so that you can ‘feel better’ about us; but don’t ever deceive yourself into believing that we have ‘arrived’ at some imaginary utopia that you may desire for us.”

    It is so true that part of what we do, as parents whose child has died, is that we have to learn to find a way to make OTHER PEOPLE feel better around us. We have to mask our grief – tuck it away, as you said. I learned early on that deep grief makes people very uncomfortable.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Excellent post with some great points. It brings to mind Ronald Reagan’s quote when he was speaking on Infant Loss Awareness:

    “When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, their isn’t a word to describe them.”

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s