Vantage Point

In February, two different families we know lost babies. I have been searching to find words of comfort that seem useful, but everything I compose feels forced, superficial, or cliche. What wisdom do I have, and what right do I hold, to pretend my words are what others need to hear? Grief is incomparable; there are no perfect words.  Often, all we can do is reach out to remind each other, and ourselves, that we are here.  Courtney posted the following after his ten mile run:

This week during my English 1 class, we read Pablo Neruda’s “We Are Many.” The lines “I’d love to be able to touch a bell / and summon the real me, / because if I really need myself, I mustn’t disappear” remind me that it is not abnormal to be critical of the me that shows up on a daily basis.  I often hide my vulnerability because I worry vocalizing my grief makes others too uncomfortable. I need to learn to embrace the me I am today, grief and all.  I need to not disappear.  Josh is in a better place, but daily I ache wishing he was still with me. I am selfish in this wish, yet, knowing I will be with him again, drives me to live my life for each day until I am with him.

When we were in Denver, we asked how bad it was going to get. Josh’s pediatrician told us to “put our mommy and daddy armor on” because we would have to be strong for Josh. Now that Josh is gone, I often use my armor to hide the true me, pretending to be strong, but truly being more afraid of looking weak:

In times of crisis,
we arm ourselves
with resilience and hope.

We set up barriers
to protect our hearts
from reality; use humor
to reload when
there is no escape
and no surrender.

Now, we battle ourselves,
our armor thin from
years of fighting.

Grief is brutal, yet,
our hearts fight to
remain strong to honor
those taken from us,
and for those we know
we are losing.

This is an army
we never planned on
pledging our lives to.

A form of warfare
others may not understand:
our trauma surreal,
our loss too personal, and
for their vantage point
we are envious.

A dark battle,
fought now by
courage and grace.

I pray for comfort, for those mothers, for me.

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