Capture Your Grief Day 3: In Honour
There is a spark inside our beating hearts that allows us to keep going through the darkest of circumstances, through situations that we could have never imagined once upon a time, through it all.
Knowing that there are so many hearts that do not physically beat here with us on earth at this time, sending waves of love out to each of them, while turning our attention for a moment to those hearts that are beating as we speak.
There is a moment (if not 1,000 moments) in every child loss parent’s story and aftermath that has me catch my breath, wonder at the simple fact that they are still here, still able to tell their story, still breathing, still parenting their child(ren) from afar, still surviving.
What immense strength they have, if only they knew.
We see it in others, yet it can be so difficult to see this fact of strength and survival within our own stories. I don’t think I really understand why that is. We are all walking miracles, having survived, still surviving, and yet there is a tendency to believe in another’s strength all the while denying our own.
We might hear oh you are so strong, or you have such courage, or ‘I could never go through that’, and it can feel… somehow offensive. As though it were a choice to be strong, or have courage, or to ‘go through that’, when we know that this thing of breathing, of survival, of shuffling through this place of deepest loss, it is not a choice. At least not at first it is not a choice, and often we are not able to see it as a choice, or the concept of choice in our grief, for many years. We might at some time look back to that place of choicelessness and wonder what kept our lungs expanding and contracting, how we were possibly able to bring air in through the salt soaked pond that surrounded our heart.
We feel perhaps that we are frauds, hearing words like brave and courage and strong, feeling that we are none of that. That if we could drop this burden of forever-missing we would, of course we would, in a second – that if we had THAT choice we would run like the wind, reverse time all the way back to what should have been, skip far away from those words that only warriors need to use. Flee. The opposite of fight. Abandon it all to the darkness. Drop the hands we may have found along the way and run only towards the light. What kind of strength are we even talking about?
If we had THAT choice there would be no place in our hearts for bravery, for courageousness, for the strength required of ten million mothers, for the rebuilding of an entire life, entire lives. Who needs it, all of it we would say goodbye to right now, we would never look back. A world where we are eternally free of the need to wonder how it is we are still breathing, still standing, where we know nothing, nothing of that other place.
But THAT choice is not an option, and so the shuffling remains. And one day – one day, yes, there will be a moment if it has not yet arrived – we will cast our eyes back through the darkness, seeing what has truly transpired here, see the absolutely incredibly massive amounts of strength, and courage, and bravery, and hope, and resilience, and spark, so many sparks, so very many sparks that have allowed us to make it this far, to lift our weighted legs, to expand our salt filled lungs, to beat our wounded hearts.
We don’t have to believe that we chose this strength, this courage, this bravery or this hope, we don’t have to own that all of these things are what we are made of, we can know deep down that we would leave it all behind if we could. We can feel so weak we cannot stand sometimes for days on end, cannot bear another breath in, another breath out. We can somehow exist in this space where the greatest strength ever known in fact sometimes feels like the most incredible shaky, drowning weakness. Where courage feels like terror. Where bravery feels like falling.
We can exist in this space, and deny it all, until there comes that moment when we can deny no longer. We are all of these things. These things are what we are made of, and they are everything our children would want us to be – we are all of it, and more.
And so I am writing this Day 3 message in honour of our precious beating hearts, in honour of the mysterious sparks within each and every one of us that continue to light our way.
In honour of your spark, in honour of your precious beating heart.