Saturday, January 31, 2009

Feeling Silenced

One recent outcome of my grief strength has not been particularly welcome. I'm beginning to feel silenced, in that the words that express how I continue to react and respond through my bereavement have come under attack, by none other than myself. I have a growing feeling of being silenced by hesitancy to reveal and hesitancy to offend and hesitancy to post thoughts that may be in opposition to those I love and to those I don't know. I recently read a fellow bereaved mother's blog where she described holding her hands over her mouth to keep the screams inside when she learned her baby girl had died. My heart broke for her. (Her grief is new, to send her a message of love click here.)

My experience when Caitlin died was that I had no skill to hold anything inside, my screams and wails and tears came out forcefully; I was helpless to prevent. Those around me were in the direct path of my raw grief and were helpless to avoid being surrounded by sorrow mixed with their own. I had no "control" as it were. After reading the mother's story of the death of her baby girl, I recognized that my hands in more recent weeks have come to cover my mouth in effect to keep some feelings inside, perhaps to spare others of continued shared experiences with my grief. But also, I've been restricting myself to avoid discomfort. In making meaning of the death of my only child, my grief journey has taken me to exploring and understanding, for myself, the "big stuff" of the human experience--that of life and death.

But, I will gently coax my own hands away from my face and place them lovingly at my own side, and open my mouth and speak. I will do this because, this place is my Fifth Season. My area to express the big thoughts and the small ones--and to those who join me here, you are (as you already know) free to listen or cover your ears, and please know that I welcome both reactions. For, I don't need another to agree with me or see life the way I do, here, I need a place to express and make sense. And I only need love and to love, and the latter means that I will offer my thoughts, and that is all.


  1. I can relate to this. It has been quite surprising to me how even friends who were very willing to listen to my stormiest tears at the beginning now are dropping away one by one. It seems that every week I cross one more dear friend off the list of those who will help me carry the grief that I still have.
    Those first few months I told my husband: I feel like I could cry for years and not be done.
    Thankfully I am gaining the strength to save the tears for my own solitude or for the few remaining that will listen.
    I love your writing, and grieve with you over your beautiful Caitlin. You can trust me with the reality of your grief.
    Love and {hugs} if only through cyberspace,

  2. Michelle,

    Your comment simply floored me. "You can trust me with the reality of your grief." THANK YOU. I'm humbled that you find meaning in my writing, and I'm honored that you share that with me. I could not travel this journey without other bereaved mothers--ones I meet in person and friends I meet here.