February 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

John 11

32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35 Jesus wept.


Wednesday night, when I got to my desk, I had 28 messages from my friend, D. We met through a local moms’ group back in West Virginia and bonded over our shared pain: we are both grieving mothers.


are you around?

i need to vent




I’m going to write, b/c I have to get this off my chest …..Its come to my attention today that grieving mothers are not allowed to “offend” anyone.

My sister is having a baby this weekend and she doesn’t know the gender, i got an email from my mom saying that they know i will be upset if it is a boy, but we can’t take her joy away from her newly born child.

I wrote back asking her if she really felt it was necessary to write such a thing to me.

I wouldn’t want to offend anyone with my circumstances and my life.

Maybe I shouldn’t even come around if it is a boy, i might offend someone if i get teary eyes.

I wouldn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable and feel what it is to walk in my shoes every day because they ask me how many kids I have and i say three, two daughters and a son who died.

I wouldn’t want to offend them.

I wouldn’t want to make them uncomfortable. I would rather let them live in the imaginary world where everything is peaches and sunshine and no one dies and everyone is ok and happy. I wouldn’t want to give them a hint of what my life really is. It is probably better to be fake then be real. Because I might offend someone.

I might make them uncomfortable because I have a son who is dead, like its a disease that is contagious. I might rub off on someone, so hold your son tight when I tell you and offend you. because you never know how my offensive life might affect your perfect world.

I wouldn’t want to remind someone that the world is broken and so am I, that i get up every day and cry or have to hold back tears for the emptiness in my heart. It might offend someone to see the empty place.

To see the pain and the empty arms that I felt, to feel the pain of what it was like to look into my sons eyes for the last time, to hold him when he took his last breath. To visit his grave once a month. It might offend someone.

Or maybe it will offend someone if I post pictures of my son’s headstone with my living children beside it because we took him balloons or flowers, our missing link to my family in buried there. The brother that never got to fight with them or protect them, or get to know them. I guess taking my children there so they can know they indeed have a brother, might be offensive.

Its funny really, because no one worries about offending me.

Me, with the broken dreams and empty heart. Me, with the millions of sleepless nights and nights of tears and wailing for my arms to be filled.

Me, who had to sit at christmas dinner and actually hear about my sisters pregnancy when my father says “maybe I will finally get a grandson.” no one worried about offending me.

No one seems to worry about offending me by forgetting them have a nephew or a grandson.

No one worries about forgetting to mention my first child and just skipping to the second and third when they talk about my kids.

People and close friends didn’t worry about offending me when they stopped talking to us after Isaac died so that they “gave us space” It might have made them uncomfortable to be around me anyway. Maybe they would have been offended. I guess I wasn’t offended when friends stopped communicating with us because of their own fears.

no one worries about offending me when they say things like “he’s in a better place” “you can have other children” “God is in control.” and the dreaded “God wont give you more then you can handle” I guess that is not offensive….or people think I shouldn’t be offended.

But what the hell do they know. they have never lived through my hell.

They have never had to put a child in the bassinett at the hospital so he could be taken to the morgue. They have never had to close the lid on a casket containing their child. They have never had to watch their other children grow up without their brother. They have never had to hear the bus go by on the first day of school that their son would have started that year. They have never had to sit at a tree in memory of their son in their back yard and try to feel peace or some resemblance of memory for their dead son. They don’t wake up for fear of their others childrens’ lives, because losing another one would be a definite ticket to insanity. They don’t have to feel the anxiety and pit in their stomach if they even think about going to children’s hospital to take their other child to an appointment. It might be offensive to think about those things.

I wouldn’t want to take away anyone’s joy.

anyone’s naive life and pollute it with my offensive life.

If I could change it I would be less offensive, but this is the life I have and I am not willing to forget my son and leave him out of my family just so I’m less offensive to others.





I wanted to share D’s messages to me because they so eloquently convey the private pain of a parent’s grief. These are the kinds of words we share with each other; but rarely dare to share with outsiders. The death of a child is so unspeakable, so horrific, that those who experience it can become almost untouchable. D’s friends faded away when Isaac died. I lost friends, too.

Among my grieving friends, we share what happens when we show our pain more openly. People recoil. They want to make it o.k., make it go away, find a way to fix it. We experience a surge in our agony as friends glob solutions onto our wounds. Their solutions are swallowed in the chasm of our grief. We learn to only share the depth of our pain with those who also live with it.

Some things cannot be fixed. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for pain like this is just see it, respect it, sit with it and let it be. Remember our children. Acknowledge our children; respect that we are not going to recover; and let us, as we are, live among you.

Jesus knew that Lazarus was going to be just fine, ultimately. Still, he respected so much the pain of his friends that his own heart broke with compassion. He didn’t tell Mary that Lazarus was an angel, now. He didn’t tell her that God knows best or that it was His Father’s will. He didn’t even tell her that it was going to get better. He felt her grief; he respected her grief; and, together, they cried.