Grieving for the life that should have been…

When grief arrives, my heart gets clothed in dark silk. When grief arrives, love is forgotten. When grief arrives, I am alone in a crowded room. When grief arrives, all sounds irritate me. When grief arrives my closest ones cannot help me. When grief arrives, I see no meaning. When grief arrives, I feel empty. When grief arrives, I speak no words. When grief arrives, I am drifting in a stormy sea of emotions. When grief arrives, only she hears the deafening roar of the braking waves. Grief, the silent companion. My faithful partner. Yet I resist her.

A while later… She sits patiently in the corner waiting to be acknowledged. I hesitate. I linger around… Finally, I lay my eyes on her. I fear to face her painful grimace. Yet to my surprise she greets me with a sweet smile. I feel her loving presence. She waits with her arms open and she does not rush me. I take my time. I walk towards her slowly. Step by step.

With shyness I sit next to her, side by side, grateful for her company.  She waits her turn and brushes my cheek ever so lightly. When I let her, she gently places her palm on top of mine and rests there for a moment. A moment which could last for eternity. I still resist. She shows no anger. She accepts me as I am, radiating an overwhelming compassion.

I feel so stiff. So ill-equipped. But I remain sitting. A feeble gesture of surrender. I so want to give into her but my defences are strong. And my loved ones in the room next door. Perhaps I could be a bit bolder and just try to lower myself into her loving embrace as if by chance. She keeps still, expectant. I hear her heart beating and then I feel her tender touch as she begins to caress my hair. So soothing. I am a child and she is my mother.


I am safe in her arms and allow myself to weep a little. Silently and as if on the inside. The pain is stuck. She whispers to me. I hear her mellow voice, the words sound familiar, yet I don’t know their meaning. Her touch is rhythmical. Her love relentless. She sooths me even if I can’t cry.

No need for grand emotions. She knows what lives in me. She is the only true witness to my mourning of the life which should have been. To the life which had been lost. She feels my pain, she shares my pain, after all she is that pain.

– – –

The grief came today. I have been touched by the grief of others. Their grief found mine and together they created a silver stream of entwined human stories. Individual streams pouring into a single river, gathering power to shift  layers of stale sediments and flush the pain out with the force of a waterfall.

Why is it that I can grieve for others but grieving for my own loss is the hardest thing of all? Once again I paint the pain which I cannot cry.

2 Comments

  1. Forty eight years ago I had a 27 week miscarriage and a year later I had a stillborn full term baby girl. I was broken by these experiences. I started to mend when my son was born in 1973, but that grief is still in the depths of my soul. Your work helps me to connect with that grief without being overwhelmed by it. Thank you.

Comments are closed.